An application for a change of use of land to build holiday accommodation in Northlew has been refused by West Devon Borough Council.

The planning application 2076/23/FUL, which proposed change of land use from agricultural to site a shepherd’s hut to use as holiday accommodation.

But the borough council has objected to the plan arguing that there is already tourist accommodation available in the vicinity and that the development would “neither conserve or enhance the rural landscape at this location and instead be considered to erode the open and rural characteristics of the site and its setting.”

The council also raised concerns over the proposed drainage system via a cesspool, which it argues is not considered to be “acceptable and sustainable” and about the plan’s failure to show how the development will “maximise energy efficiency and increase renewable energy”.

This application is a resubmission of 3329/22/FUL which was rejected by the council in October last year for similar reasons including a lack of justification for a change of use of land, concerns over the impact on the landscape, inappropriate foul drainage and a  failure to show how the development would be environmentally-friendly.

An application for four holiday homes and a stable block at Inwardleigh (1314/23/OPA) has also been opposed.

Borough councillors rejected the application arguing that the isolated location would necessitate car travel and the increased use of the land would be detrimental to the environment and tranquillity of the area.

This application has proven to have caused some debate among residents. Some have argued that new houses and stable block would provide much needed employment and boost tourism and business in the area, while others have raised concerns over a loss of biodiversity and the impact on the nearby culm meadows. Concerns have also been raised over increased traffic on country roads.

In other planning news, an application (3032/23/COM) to install electronic communication apparatus comprising 15 wooden poles in Hatherleigh has been refused on the grounds that one of the poles would impact visibility from Higher Stockbeare. 

In Whitchurch, there has been an application for works to a protected tree (3299/23/TPO). 

The work would see the tree pruned back to previous cut points which the applicant argues is necessary as the new growth is not strongly attached. Comments should be submitted by November 9.

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