By Alison Stephenson, LDRS
Seventeen new homes for Holsworthy won’t be built because it’s claimed they won’t meet local affordable housing needs.
Torridge District Council’s plans committee have agreed with their officers’ recommendation to refuse a scheme by a Mr D Prouse for land at Rydon Mill.
Despite a plea from a councillor that this was about “a local businessman investing in his area,” and his agent suggesting the scheme has “tremendous benefits” for a growing town, councillors endorsed officers’ views that not having social rented housing in the scheme conflicts with local policy.
The application, which is outside the town’s development boundary, proposed that all five affordable homes in the scheme would be provided at a discount to the market, but only at 20 per cent discount not the 39 per cent requested by officers. Planning officer Kristian Evely said that the applicant had been asked to revise this but hadn’t done so.
Cllr Ken James (Ind, Milton and Tamarside) said no objections were received to the plan and the applicant was responsible for revamping the nearby Rydon and rescuing the golf club. “When he does things, he does them properly,” he said. “This is about a local businessman investing in his area and not about a big company making profits for shareholders.
“It is right next to a retirement village of the highest quality and has good access into Holsworthy, better access in fact than the 200 homes on the other side of the road.”
The applicant’s agent, Brian Turner from Kingsley Projects, reiterated that there was no public concern, and expressed frustration that it had been delayed by Torridge District Council.
“This scheme has a clean bill of health, there is no harm, just tremendous benefits for a growing town in the west,” he said.
Cllr Hames (Green, Appledore) said the application should be turned down, as approving it would open the floodgates for other people wanting to develop in the open countryside on sites next to existing developments.
He said like Holsworthy Town Council he was concerned that the discounted housing would not be affordable and he wasn’t in favour of the loss of mature trees.