• Homes refusal ‘has national significance’

    5th April 2013 | News | Claire
  • http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Homes-refusal-national-significance/story-18618465-detail/story.html#axzz2PZmv7Hkc – and copied below:

    Campaigners against the overdevelopment of a village “under siege” from planners have declared an authority’s decision to reject proposals of almost 100 new homes could have national significance.
    Two applications for new properties in the East Devon village of Feniton were rejected, despite officers recommending them for approval.

    “This significant victory should send a strong message to developers and the national government,” said Claire Wright, Independent East Devon district councillor for Ottery Rural including Feniton.

    East Devon Council voted on Tuesday to turn down the plans for a total of 91 homes, with one proposal receiving unanimous opposition from councillors.

    Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish had written to the local authority’s chief executive Mark Williams before the meeting requesting the applications be removed from the agenda, due to concerns about flooding. More than 250 people took to the streets of Feniton in a “save our countryside” protest last month, expressing fears of the impact on rural areas the controversial new national planning policy framework.

    Opponents fear thousands of new homes planned in the district would destroy vast swathes of the countryside and overwhelm numerous local communities.

    The village near Honiton could see its population surge by 40% before 2026 if proposals for over 300 new homes are given the go-ahead, either by the district council or on appeal.
    Coun Wright described a “very real threat” to the village, and she expressed relief at the council’s decision not to “rubber-stamp” the latest applications.

    “It puts a line in the sand,” she said. “If these proposals had been rubber-stamped, it would have encouraged developers to submit more applications.
    “We’re saying enough is enough – both to the developers and to the government.”

    Pete Privett, vice-chairman of Feniton Parish Council, told the council meeting of the “enormous pressure” on the village, saying it was “under siege” from developers.

    A Feniton resident, who said his family home had been flooded three times since 1997, making them homeless for two years, said he felt “trepidation” at the thought of further development in the village.
    Ian McKintosh, chairman of the East Devon Alliance campaign group, said: “We believe any development should be of a suitable scale and sensitive to its environmental impact.”

    Plans for 50 homes in the village were recently passed on appeal, following a similar decision in February over proposals for 130 homes in nearby Ottery St Mary.

    Susie Bond, of Fight for Feniton, said the action group was “very heartened” by the decision to refuse the latest applications. Resident Chris Burton described the outcome as “a triumph for the future of our village”.