The application, which was originally submitted in 2010 was rejected, but was resubmitted in February this year, attracting dozens of objections once again.

Many sets of new plans were put forward by the applicant, prompting complaints from residents who argued that there had been so many changes that it constituted a new application.

Among the key objectors were Natural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and EDDC’s AONB officer, Chris Woodruff.

I represented residents at Higher Metcombe, who were within a short distance, as the crow flies, from the proposed buildings.

The application was rejected today by ‘delegated powers’ – that usually means by joint decision of the Head of Planning and Chairman of the Development Management Committee, following a recommendation from a case officer.

It is not yet clear what the reasons for refusal are but the main issue all along has been the appropriateness for a development of this nature (ie an industrial development) in a special landscape, such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It is absolutely fabulous news that EDDC has rejected the application – and I have no doubt in my mind that it is the right one.  That valley is incredibly special, with stunning views of the Otter Valley.

The applicant has indicated that he will appeal.

Photograph:  The beautiful area that was destined for an industrial pig unit.