a planning development for 308 houses adjacent to Okehampton's Exeter Road Industrial Estate has been given the go-ahead by West Devon Borough Council.

Ten councillors at the borough planning committee meeting on?Tuesday voted unanimously to approve the construction of the homes.

Linden Homes, the team overseeing the development, submitted a reserved matters application to the borough council for 308 dwellings on the land.

It is the second phase of a plan to build 328 homes on the site in total, ranging in style and size. The first phase of 20 houses to be built around an extension to Baldwin Drive was given the go-ahead in February.

Ward member for Lew Valley Cllr James McInnes: 'I have to say I am very excited about this development. It has a wonderful design, and it is truly raising the bar for design for new developments in Okehampton.

'The development is quite intimate, and there is a lot of greenery and trees incorporated into the design.

'The development comes about as part of the Local Plan devised in 2005, and has been on the cards for a long time. Now the penny has finally dropped, and a higher quality of design is being used.'

The units will have a mixture of two, three and four bedroom houses, alongside one and two bedroom flats, and 13 two bedroom flats over garages. Thirty-five per cent of the houses built will be for affordable housing.

In the original outline plans, Linden Homes applied to build 366 houses in total, but downscaled the project to a total of 328 homes due to the topography of the land.

Cllr Terry Pearce: 'I think this development is a big step forward. It has been on our books since 2005.

'There are lots of pleasing aspects to the plans. The design quality of the houses is very high, and it is also refreshing to see the density of homes reduced. It shows a lot of thought has gone into these plans.'

As well as houses, the south-east section of the development site has been allocated for open public green space. As well as terracing and trees, there will be at least two flat fields for sports, and a play area for children with high-specification timber equipment. Oak and hawthorn trees are to be planted throughout the site.

Cllr Alison Clish-Green said: 'This looks like a very exciting and well thought out development. In terms of maximising the green spaces and infrastructure, now is the time to get it right, because once you get rid of hedges or green land, you can't get it back.

'It seems like a lot of thought has gone into the environmental aspect of the plans, with the open green spaces, and trees.'

As part of the conditions attached to permission being granted for the project, Linden Homes must construct the first portion of the link road planned between Exeter Road and Crediton Road.

There is also to be a spine road that passes through the development, linking it with the Persimmons Homes development to the north of the site.

Linden Homes has also agreed Section 106 contributions. A Section 106 agreement is a legal agreement between the planning authority and the applicant, designed to secure community benefits.

Linden Homes would pay contributions toward local education totalling more than £500,000 and a contribution to the transport infrastructure, providing a public bus service that will utilise the new link road.

West Devon Borough Council would receive more than £2-million and Devon County Council over £500,000 over a six-year period through the Government's New Homes Bonus scheme.