A NEW development proposed for Lifton could see it turned ‘from a village to a town’, according to a parishioner at a meeting of Lifton Parish Council recently.

Gladman Developments Ltd have submitted an outline planning application to West Devon Borough Council for the erection of up to 60 dwellings with public open space, landscaping and sustainable drainage system and vehicular access at a site on land off Fore Street (pictured).

As consultee to the borough council, Lifton Parish Council discussed the application at a meeting in September. Before the meeting officially started, members of the public voiced their concerns about the application, including not enough provision made to mitigate traffic issues, what provision had been made for locals to buy in preference to those coming from elsewhere, a smaller number of houses may be better to keep the village feel and concerns that access to the site — proposed vehicular access from Fore Street — was ‘not ideal’ with a somewhat blind corner and speeding vehicles.

During the meeting the chair summarised the proposed development and how it fitted in to the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan (the proposed blueprint for development in West Devon, South Hams and Plymouth).

It was noted that some of the proposal fell outside of the Joint Local Plan in a ribbon development to the west of the village and might therefore harm the rural character of Lifton.

It was also noted that the development was deemed sustainable due to the proposed footway to the village.

The clerk summarised objections received from the public which fell mainly into the areas of noise and disturbance, overlooking, overshadowing and loss of light, concerns over radon gas, impact on local wildlife, adverse effect on village character, increase in primary school numbers resulting in larger class sizes, increase in residents using the medical centre resulting in increased waiting times, a detrimental effect on landscape, increase in traffic and road junctions and decrease in pedestrian safety.

Councillors discussed concerns about the development of extra land outside the Joint Local Plan boundary and pedestrian safety.

It was hoped that some solution could be provided where speed appears to put pedestrian safety at risk.

It was said that there were concerns that outsiders would purchase the homes but previous experience indicated that locals would be able to buy and Lifton had had a ‘very low build rate’ since 2003. It was also said that previous builds had not had the anticipated disruption and there were many people who needed new homes.

Lifton Parish Council voted to support the application but reserved judgement on the highway access and the extent of the boundary beyond that of the Joint Local Plan.

The official consultation response to West Devon Borough Council stated: ‘While the parish council are generally in support of an application on this land, significant concerns were raised regarding two issues — councillors do not wish to see the western boundary of the proposal exceed the boundary drawn up in the Joint Local Plan and councillors continue to have concerns about pedestrian safety given the speed of traffic along this section of road. They would like to see further thought given to this issue.’

The final decision on the application lies with West Devon Borough Council. Comments are still being received on the application, visit the borough council’s website www.westdevon.gov.uk. The target determination date for a decision is October 16.