Councillors said the scheme was fraught with issues
Councillors have unanimously chucked out plans that would have seen nearly 100 new homes built on the edge of Newton Abbot.
Persimmon Homes’ scheme to build 97 new homes on green space at Ogwell Mill Road was rejected on Monday morning by Teignbridge District Council’s planning committee.
The scheme has been recommended for approval by officers, but councillors felt the plan would have an unacceptable level of harm on the landscape due to the number of houses proposed and the layout of them on the northern boundary.
Councillors said that the scheme was fraught with issues, was fundamentally flawed, and not good enough for Newton Abbot.
Cllr Phil Bullivant, whose Bradley ward the application site is in, said that the development would be imposed across the skyline on anyone looking across the valley from Highweek. He said that the foundation line of the homes proposed would be higher than the existing treeline and it would have a negative impact on the setting of Castle Dyke.
He added: “This is a development which is fraught with issues and problems. It doesn’t fit with what is already built in the area and feels way short of the minimum expectations that the council should have.”
Cllr Mike Hocking, his fellow ward member, added that all the properties in the adjacent Emblett Drive were bungalows because any houses would break into the skyline, adding that a previous scheme in 1979 for the site was refused for that reason. He added: “This does have fundamental flaws.”
The site is allocated for more than 70 homes in the Local Plan, and Cllr Colin Parker said that this would contribute towards the housing need. But he added: “Even though they have come down from 109 to 97, it is still way more than the 70 allocated.”
Cllr Martin Wrigley added that the scheme in front of the committee was clearly better than the one that came before them previously. But he added that the committee would not be doing Newton Abbot a favour to approve this scheme in its current state, saying: “It needs significant reworking to take account of the landscape in which it is sitting.”
Proposing the plan be refused, Cllr Jackie Hook said: “We are all aware of the huge public feeling about the visual impact of development around Newton Abbot. They could take out 15 houses in the top corner and then you wouldn’t be able to see the development at all from Highweek as would be hidden behind the hill. There is much that we can criticise here and I propose refusal on landscape grounds.”
Cllr Janet Bradford added that she didn’t think the plan was good enough for Newton Abbot and Cllr Adrian Patch said that while the Local Plan came up with a figure of more than 70, that was indicative figure and points towards an expectation of the number of homes to be built, rather than this 40 per cent increase.
Local residents had also called for the scheme to be rejected, saying that the proposals would have an harmful impact on the landscape, the new skyline would be ‘offensive’ and there would be a loss of biodiversity in the area, as well as saying that the increase in traffic flows in the area next to a primary school would have been ‘an accident waiting to happen’.
A previous meeting in February saw the committee defer a decision on concerns over the affordable housing mix and layout, car parking provision, details of the play area, and the impact on the landscape.
Persimmon Homes had said that they had addressed the issues and requested that in line with the officer recommendation, the scheme be approved.
But councillors were still concerned over the impact on the landscape and boundary treatments and they unanimously rejected the plans.