Residents of Baldwin Drive in Okehampton expressed their delight after Okehampton Hamlets Parish Council objected to a planning application which would see 60 new houses built overlooking the residential street.

All Okehampton Hamlets parish councillors agreed to oppose the application after Baldwin Drive residents presented their case, arguing that the proposed development for 60 new one, two, three and four bedroom houses could lead to a loss of privacy to existing residents, many of whom live in bungalows, as their properties may be overlooked by the new houses.

Baldwin Drive resident Bob Hines said: ‘We are very pleased, but we’ve got the next big hurdle to come with West Devon Borough Council. We’re not opposed to development, that’s not the point. It is the fact that we’re all bungalows along here and [the developers] will put these two storey and maybe even three storey houses. We’re gonna lose a view, but we don’t want people looking into our bedrooms – that’s our real concern.’

The developers, Leander Developments, originally put in a planning application for 43 bungalows on the site but reviewed the situation in October 2022, arguing that the appetite for bungalows was low and Okehampton would be better served by multiple storey residences, particularly as the borough council has declared a housing crisis. 

But Mr Hines said that the proposed development would not benefit the people of Okehampton and refuted the claim that there was no appetite for bungalows, pointing out that many living along Baldwin Drive were elderly and had specifically chosen to move into a bungalow after downsizing.

He added: ‘It is overcrowding the site and they’re not offering anything for Okehampton. What are they providing? Nothing. No amenity area is planned as they are claiming that residents can walk to surrounding facilities some distance away. Well, if you’re going to put families in there, they want a bit more than that. There is inadequate parking which would result in roadside parking on a road planned to be adequate for single vehicle use only. As to the site access along Baldwin Drive,the road has only been built to accommodate the weight of a refuse cart, not to accommodate the weight of heavy lorries carrying materials and heavy construction machinery.’

Okehampton Town Council has already decided to oppose the application citing density, loss of privacy and a fear of an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour as reasons. However, although the town council and the Hamlets have offered opinions, it is West Devon Borough Council which will make the final decision on whether or not to approve it. Members of the public can view and comment on the planning application (4440/22/OPA) on the West Devon Borough Planning Portal at