Proposals for a development of 21 homes near Lew Trenchard School on the outskirts of Lewdown have been rejected on appeal.

Planning inspector Hollie Nicholls said that Viburnum (SW) Ltd’s plan to build a mix of bungalows and two, three and four bedroom homes on the plot east of another recent development of 17 homes would be out of keeping with the area.

While she admitted that the plan at Cross Roads, Lewdown would bring seven much needed affordable homes, four to rent and three for part-rent, part-buy, she decided that the development would urbanise the area, filling in a green space between the settlement growing up around the school to the east of the village and Lewdown itself.

She said: ‘The introduction of the development of 21 dwellings on the site would consolidate the built urban mass when viewed in conjunction with the adjacent development.

‘The separation that the site offers between the rural landscape and the completed development would be eroded, bringing the development much closer to the tree line and thus, increasing its visibility in views from Lewdown. Therefore, the overall scale, mass, and urbanising character of the development would be harmful considered in the context of the modestly scaled settlement.’

She went on to say that the proposal would ‘give rise to two main harms in relation to its failure to address an imbalance in the local housing stock and its effects on the character and appearance of the area’.She admitted that the ‘affordable housing component would be a notablel benefit... with seven local individuals/families directly benefitting’ but said these ‘modest benefits’ were outweighed by the rest of the scheme, which went against the local blueprint for development, the Joint Local Plan.

Meanwhile, an application to convert an agricultural building at Higher Narracott Farm near Exbourne has been agranted on appeal. Application 0039/22/PDM was originally turned down by West Devon Borough Council. The planning inspector heard that WDBC had now granted permission for other buildings on the farm to be converted.

Other applications to West Devon Borough Council include:

Conversion of an agricultural building into a dwelling, Eworthy Farm, Eworthy near Germansweek –

Permission to fell a decaying lime tree which has been classed a safety risk in a Conservation Area, Parsonage Court, Lifton –