Mrs Little has played a leading role in developing EDDC’s highly controversial Local Development Framework and the resulting Local Plan.

She is reported in the North Devon Journal as saying: “I am delighted to accept the role and I am looking forward to joining the two councils in the summer. This is an exciting opportunity to work across Northern Devon, whilst being part of a new joint working venture.”

The article states: “Among her most recent and notable achievements is her success in securing significant inward investment into East Devon, including the development of Cranbrook – a new community to the east of Exeter.”

Councillors Barry Parsons and Brian Greenslade, Leaders at Torridge and North Devon Councils, said: “This appointment is the first concrete example of our two councils working closely together and it will certainly strengthen the councils’ joint capacity.

“We believe the role will help lead to more efficient and effective planning services, benefiting not only the councils, but the people we serve.”