AN APPEAL over the detailed design of a proposed development of 24 houses in Bridestowe has been rejected over flooding concerns and a ‘suburban’ design.

Developer Leander Developments appealed over their detailed plans for Town Meadow, 2957/21/ARM, to include nine affordable houses for local people.

This was turned down by WDBC in August 2021, over concerns about the design of the homes and the layout.

A report from the Environment Agency last August also raised concerns over the risk of flooding, noting that where the development was to be built has now been moved to be close to the ‘medium risk’ floodplain close to where the River Lew and Cranbrook Brook meet.

The Environment Agency stated: ‘Without proper consideration of climate change it cannot be demonstrated that the development will be outside of flood zones 2 and 3 over the lifetime of the development.

‘The site lies next to the River Lew and Cranford Brook in West Devon. The River Lew starts approximately 4km upstream on the edge of Dartmoor.

‘The catchment responds rapidly to rainfall given the steep moors and valleys.’

It went on to note that both the river and the brook have a ‘long history of flooding parts of the village of Bridestowe, including the land between the site and main road’.

Government planning inspector Neil Pope turned down the application over the issue of flooding, saying ‘as advised by the Enironment Agency, since the 2018 FRA (flood risk assessment) was prepared the flood risk guidance in the framework as well as climate change allowances have been altered. As a consequence, the 2018 FRA is now considered to be out of date.’

While he didn’t agree with WDBC that the design of the housing, partly arranged as a terrace, was ‘cramped’, he did consider that it was out of keeping with its village setting.

He added: ‘The proposed layout and single storey nature of so many of the buildings is akin to the type of suburban housing estates that were bolted onto some villages in the past.’

He acknowledged that the application would provide affordable housing, but said the other concerns outweighed this.

Among current applications to West Devon Borough Council is an application for the conversion of a barn at Whiddon Down into two holiday lets.

The proposal at Martin Farm is for planning permission and listed buiding consent, 0724/23/FUL and 0735/23/LBC, for a plan for converting a barn into two holiday lets.