Catch-up on the major developments approved or rejected in Devon in the last six months

“New student flats, cinemas, thousands of new homes, river restoration works, health centres, new roads, hotels, Dawlish railway line works and town centre regeneration schemes are all among the list of plans that have either been put forward or seen councillors cast votes for approval or rejection.”

New cinema and giant indoor climbing centre for Exeter

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com

It may not necessarily feel like it, but we are nearly half-way through 2021.

And with lockdowns, coronavirus restrictions, and a slow return towards normality, you can easily be forgiven for missing some of the bigger stories that have happened in the past six months.

New student flats, cinemas, thousands of new homes, river restoration works, health centres, new roads, hotels, Dawlish railway line works and town centre regeneration schemes are all among the list of plans that have either been put forward or seen councillors cast votes for approval or rejection.

But the Local Democracy Reporting Service has taken a look back at the biggest planning applications that have both been submitted, and determined, by councils, so far this year.

SUBMITTED

KING BILLY

Plans to demolish an historic Exeter city centre pub and replace it with student flats have been resubmitted to planners after the time limit for work to begin expired.

Back in October 2017, Exeter City Council’s planning committee granted approval for the major student flats plan for Exeter’s The King Billy, which would also see a commercial unit and a restaurant/pub at street level.

Promoted Stories

But as more than three years later, work on the redevelopment of the Longbrook Street site has not begun, the extant planning permission has expired, forcing developer Rengen to go through the planning process again.

It has resubmitted the application, which is identical to the one that was given the go-ahead by planners more than three years ago.

The student flats plans would see 108 bed space student accommodation above a retail unit and a pub/restaurant on the ground floor, over 6 and 7 storeys.

The King Billy pub in Exeter closed in July 2018

The King Billy pub in Exeter closed in July 2018

When the scheme was recommended for, and subsequently granted, planning permission in 2017, officers in their report said: “It is considered that the scheme represent an opportunity for the site, which has remained, in part, vacant for many years to be developed for uses which are appropriate for this location.”

CLIMBING CENTRE

Fresh plans to open a new indoor climbing centre in Exeter have been unveiled after a previous bid fell through.

Last June, Grip UK Ltd’s plans to convert a vacant building in Mallard Road, in the Sowton Industrial Estate, into an indoor climbing centre, were approved by Exeter City Council under delegated powers.

But discussions with the freeholder of the building did not proceed further and therefore alternative premises have had to be considered to accommodate the use, a statement with the new planning application says.

And new plans to convert a vacant warehouse building and two-storey office accommodation at 6 Marsh Green Road, Exeter, into an indoor climbing centre have now been submitted to Exeter City Council.

The venture would be operated by the Climbing Hangar, which already has a site in Plymouth and which provides a unique leisure experience comprising a centre for climbers of all levels to practice bouldering.

STUDENT FLATS

Plans for new student flats right in the heart of Exeter city centre which would also see vacant shops brought back to life have been lodged.

SJR has submitted plans to Exeter City Council which would see the upper floors of 36, 37 and 38 High Street converted into student accommodation, with the reconfiguration of the ground floor retail units.

Numbers 36 and 37 were previously occupied by Paperchase, while 38 is currently occupied by Mountain Warehouse, with retail space spread over three storeys.

The plans would see the unoccupied basements brought back into use to support the retail uses, while the redundant upper floors would be converted into affordable student accommodation, with a total of 24 bedrooms configured within eleven self-contained student apartments.

A key objective of the proposal is to invest in the building to maintain retail uses on the ground floor and bring life back into this area of the high street, documents with the planning application state.

Artist impression of the student flats plan for Exeter High Street

Artist impression of the student flats plan for Exeter High Street (Image: Willmore Iles Architects)

It is proposed that the building will be named ‘Martin’s Gate’, in reference to one of seven historic gates used to enclose Cathedral Close, one of which was located in Martin’s Lane itself which will get an improved entrance under the scheme.

CIVIC CENTRE

Long-awaited plans for the demolition and replacement of a huge building widely considered to be one of the ugliest in Devon have finally been unveiled.

The Civic Centre on the banks of the River Taw in Barnstaple has been sat empty since 2016 when owners Devon County Council withdrew its staff from the property. That followed the relocation of North Devon Council staff to new premises at Brynsworthy on the outskirts of Barnstaple back in 2015.

The 10-storey 1960s-built office block has been empty ever since, but Churchill Retirement Living Limited has now submitted plans for the site at North Walk.

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the North Devon Civic Centre

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the North Devon Civic Centre (Image: NPA Visuals)

Its scheme, submitted to North Devon Council planners, would see the building partially demolished and then redeveloped into a five and six-storey retirement living development comprising 77 retirement apartments including communal facilities, access, car parking and landscaping.

The proposed development comprises of 49 one-bedroom and 28 two-bedroom apartments, with a statement in support of the application saying that it is acknowledged that there is a “critical’’ need for the delivery of older people housing and a significant pressing need within the administrative boundary of the council, to which the proposal will contribute towards delivering these much needed homes, including older people housing.

DECOY PLAY PARK

Grand plans for the refurbishment of the Decoy Country Park play park to provide excitement, fun, movement and adventure have been unveiled.

The play park in Newton Abbot will be closed from June 6 for approximately eight weeks while Teignbridge District Council carry out the works.

Last year, councillors agreed to spend a six-figure sum on refurbishing the three play zones at Decoy Country Park, with the cost of the refurbishment funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 funds gained through the planning process.

The works have been delayed as a result of the coronavirus crisis with them initially set to be carried out in 2020, but when complete, it aims to ensure the provision of an updated exciting facility which maintains Decoy Park as a popular outdoor attraction.

And while most of the scheme doesn’t require formal planning permission, the provision of a new 5.4m high timber tree house to replace the existing 5.62m high castle unit does, and the council has submitted a planning application for the works.

The new tree house will be of a similar timber construction to the existing castle unit, will feature a multi deck at a height of 1.45m and a twisting tube side that descends from the tallest deck on the structure at 2.8m, and will feature multiple routes up to the highest platform to ensure good safe movement around the play equipment.

Artist impression of the proposed refurbishment of Decoy Play Park

Artist impression of the proposed refurbishment of Decoy Play Park

Documents with the planning application also reveal further details of what the refurbishment to the play park will consist of, with the overall design aimed at providing as naturalistic a play area as possible, while recognising the need to provide robust play equipment and safety surfacing that can be used all year round.

There will be a junior area, a toddler area and an adventure area as part of the works, with new hard landscaping to make it more usable by removing some of the worst mud spots, while new seating areas will also be included in the improvement scheme.

BOVEY TRACEY HOSPITAL

Revised plans for the demolition of a former hospital which would see custom built housing in its place have been unveiled.

Bovey Tracey Hospital dates back to 1931, but was closed by health officials in 2017, although the inpatient ward at the hospital had closed in December 2015.

Artist impression of the housing plans for the former Bovey Tracey Hospital

Artist impression of the housing plans for the former Bovey Tracey Hospital (Image: H2land Ltd)

The Furzeleigh Lane building had been registered with Teignbridge Council as an asset of community value, but no viable use or community group came forward with a bid for the site.

Last year, plans by H2land Ltd on behalf of the Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust, which owns the site, were submitted to Teignbridge District Council to demolish the building and build six new homes in its place.

Those plans have now been superseded by a revised scheme which would see four self and custom-build new homes provided on the site so that homeowners can tailor their properties to suit specific individual requirements.

TEIGNMOUTH HEALTH AND WELLBEING CENTRE

Plans for Teignmouth’s new health and wellbeing centre as part of a town centre regeneration project have been submitted.

The £8 million Health and Wellbeing Centre is to be built by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust in the heart of Teignmouth and is due to open in 2022, subject to planning permission.

The South Devon Health Innovations Partnership has put forward the formal planning application for the scheme which would see the demolition of redundant building on Brunswick Street and a new health centre built in its place.

Artist impression of the new Teignmouth health and wellbeing centre

Artist impression of the new Teignmouth health and wellbeing centre (Image: KTA Architects Ltd)

The Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust proposes to re-provide and co-locate a number of health services at the site, and the centre will accommodate two GP surgeries (Channel View Medial Practice and Teignmouth Medical Group) together with community nurses, therapists and lifestyles and prevention services as well as voluntary services and a pharmacy.

The inclusion of an on-site pharmacy is important since it allows GPs to liaise with the pharmacist easily and directly about the best drugs regime for patients and it provides patients with a one-stop shop alongside consultation and treatment, a statement with the application submitted to Teignbridge District Council planners says.

The building will include 25 specialist consulting rooms, six healthcare assistant rooms, seven specialist treatment spaces, musculoskeletal assessment, an audiology room, a podiatry room, as well as space for Volunteering in Health, the integrated pharmacy, a main reception space, four waiting areas and admin, office, staff hub and interview spaces.

Some of the services proposed for the new health and wellbeing centre are set to be transferred from Teignmouth Hospital, for which the Devon CCG in December 2020 gave approval, although councillors subsequently asked independent experts to look again at the decision.

EXETER CINEMA

Plans have been unveiled to convert Exeter’s closed Debenhams store into a new cinema.

Montagu Evans LLP, on behalf of Purple Investment Management LLP, has submitted a scheme for the former department store in Princesshay that would “contribute to the vitality and economy of the city centre”.

The four-screen cinema would be situated on the third floor of the building, with the applicants seeking tenants for the ground, first and second floors of the Bedford Street premises.

Artist impression of the proposed new cinema for the Exeter Debenhams site

Artist impression of the proposed new cinema for the Exeter Debenhams site (Image: Chapman Taylor)

A large foyer on the top floor area would also be provided, including a seating area and a bar, with the application stating that the views to the cathedral is a key consideration for the cinema operator when selecting the site for its proposed operation in Exeter.

CREDITON LIDL

Plans for a new Lidl in Crediton that would also help unlock land for a new housing development have been unveiled.

The budget supermarket has submitted plans for a new store on the outskirts of the town on land that is currently used by Crediton Rugby Club.

Under the proposals, Lidl would provide a £400,000 financial contribution to the club to allow them to move forward with purchasing their new home at Pedlarspool.

This would also unlock the reminder of the site off Commercial Road for housing, with up to 120 new homes allocated as part of the local plan – but with a condition that no development can take place until the rugby club have a new home.

A statement with the planning application says that if approved, the new Lidl will be constructed “at the earliest opportunity” and provide residents with increased choice and competition in food shopping in the town.

TORQUAY GATEWAY

Plans for a new Aldi, Costa Coffee and a fast food restaurant at ‘the gateway to Torquay’ have been unveiled.

The supermarket chain submitted plans for a new supermarket to be built on the edge of the town, saying that in light of the current economic uncertainty, the investment is more important than ever.

The scheme for Kerswell Gardens would see the demolition of the existing buildings on the existing Devon Garden Machinery on Newton Road, in Kingkerswell, right next to the end of the South Devon Highway, and the construction of the discount supermarket, drive-through coffee shop, drive-through fast food restaurant, as well as a replacement retail building for Devon Garden Machinery.

A statement with the application said the redevelopment will re-invigorate an under-developed site, help maintain continued investment and jobs within the local area, that the provision of a discount food store and food outlets will provide valuable services to the local community and open up opportunity for future development to the north of the site.

A new single-storey Aldi food store with associated customer parking is proposed in the lower half of the site, and the scheme would provide 106 parking spaces.

Kerswell Gardens new Aldi artist impression

Kerswell Gardens new Aldi artist impression

The fast food outlet – an occupier of which is not named – would consist of a unit that would also facilitate drive-through as well as space for a restaurant, kitchen and back of house uses.

The coffee shop – for which Costa Coffee is named – would be a single-storey standalone outlet with a drive-through facility.

A two-storey workshop/showroom and repair bay building for Devon Garden Machinery, a garden, estate and turf maintenance machinery retailer and servicer as well as an area of land reserved for external storage would also be created.

PUB CONVERSION

This is a bid to diversify the operation of the Highwaymans Haunt pub on the edge of Chudleigh to accommodate a strategy better suited to the changing needs of the hospitality industry in the countryside.

The application would see a change of use from a public house to mixed use, licensed café and farm shop, and change of use of land from agricultural to tourism to provide a 25-pitch campsite.

The Highwaymans Haunt pub in Chudleigh

The Highwaymans Haunt pub in Chudleigh (Image: Daniel Clark)

It says the strategy will have the potential to increase the current employment by four full-time employees and six part-time staff along with increased employment for local traders and producers

DETERMINED

LOWER OTTER RESTORATION

Councillors unanimously backed multi-million pound plans to restore the Otter estuary to its natural and historic flood plains.

East Devon District Council’s planning committee voted to approve the Lower Otter Restoration Project (LORP), which will create 55 hectares of mudflats, saltmarsh and other valuable estuarine habitats.

The £15m project, led by landowner Clinton Devon Estates and the Environment Agency, will see the Big and Little Marsh floodplains around Budleigh Salterton restored, with breaches created in the Little Bank, the Big Bank and the River Otter Embankment to allow water to flow through.

The aim is to avoid the significant risk that a major flood or extreme tidal event could lead to catastrophic failure of the existing embankments, with unpredictable environmental and social impacts, given that in recent years, part of the South West Coast Path that runs along the embankments have been closed to the public for significant periods due to erosion caused by such events.

The committee heard that if nothing was done, then changes to the environment would likely occur, but would be unmanaged and unpredictable, and backed the officer recommendation to approve the scheme.

Mike Williams, from the Environment Agency, told the meeting that its vision is for a nation ready for and resilient to coastal change, today, tomorrow and to the year 2100, and the LORP plays a part in delivering that vision for East Devon.

As part of the plans to restore the historic floodplain of the River Otter, breaches in existing embankments would be created to allow water from both the River Otter and the estuary to inundate the site, creating intertidal saltmarsh and mudflats.

The Lower Otter Estuary in Budleigh Salterton.

The Lower Otter Estuary in Budleigh Salterton. (Image: PACCo)

In addition, South Farm Road will be realigned and raised at a point just to the south of the existing road, and a small car park created at its western end and a new road bridge will be required, and a new footbridge to the south. Existing footpaths will be realigned and the landfill site capped and planted with grassland and woodland.

The spit to the south will be allowed to evolve naturally, necessitating the removal of the southern part of the loop path known as Donkeys Turn.

The cricket club will be moved from its current location to land off of East Budleigh Road, permission for which has already been granted under a separate planning application. Floods have left part of their current Ottermouth home under water on three occasions in the past 10 years, with a plan to relocate to Janie’s Field on the outskirts of the town having been agreed.

ILFARCOMBE EXTENSION

Plans for nearly 350 homes as part of the first phase of the major southern expansion of Ilfracombe have been given the go-ahead.

North Devon Council’s planning committee backed Inox Homes (Ilfracombe) Ltd’s scheme which will see 347 homes built on land to the east of Old Barnstaple Road

Outline plans for up to 750 homes together with a mixed-use centre, extra care housing/facility and primary school the huge 187-acre site off Old Barnstaple Road were approved back in 2017.

Councillors agreed with the officer recommendation to approve the scheme, as well as a related application for playing pitches, a multi-use games area (MUGA) and car parking.

STUDENT FLATS

Plans that could see an extra 1,250 bedrooms in student flats to be built on the University of Exeter campus have been given the go-ahead.

The university’s plans for the development of the Clydesdale, Nash and Birks Grange Village Halls of Residence site off Stocker Road, which could deliver an additional 1,250 bedrooms, were overwhelmingly supported by Exeter City Council’s planning committee.

Councillors agreed with the recommendation of approval that planning officers had suggested, saying that purpose-built accommodation on the university’s own campus was the best way to reverse the trend of family homes in the city being occupied by students.

The plans would see the demolition of the existing Clydesdale and Nash Grove accommodation buildings – built in the late 1980s and early 1990s – and the construction of new student accommodation buildings ranging in height from three to eight storeys.

Ancillary services, such as a shop, café and facilities, are to be provided in the ground floor of some of the buildings.

The scheme will also see the existing Birks Grange refectory building demolished and replaced with the construction of a new six-storey student accommodation building, with ancillary social and amenity space on the ground floor.

At the existing Birks Grange Village Student residences, the accommodation blocks would be refurbished to Passivhaus standards and include changing from catered halls to self-catered halls by introducing a kitchen within each flat.

Artist impression of the Clydesdale and Birks Residential student flats development at the University of Exeter

Artist impression of the Clydesdale and Birks Residential student flats development at the University of Exeter

The Estate Services Centre would also be demolished and replaced with the construction of a new three and four-storey student accommodation building, with separate plans to relocate the existing Estate Services Centre to a new location at Rennes Drive also approved.

A net increase of between approximately 1,200 to 1,250 student bedrooms within the university campus would be delivered, a statement with the application says, although the precise number of units is not for determination at this stage given that this was an outline application.

YELLAND QUAY

Locals cheered as North Devon Council Planning Committee voted 11 to 2 in favour of rejecting plans to build a multipurpose housing development on the Taw-Torridge Estuary.

There had been more than 900 objections to the proposals – with only two letters of support – but planners had recommended that the scheme for Yelland Quay be approved.

Artist impression of the Yelland Quay regeneration scheme

Artist impression of the Yelland Quay regeneration scheme (Image: Woodward Smith Chartered Architects LLP)

The scheme includes 250 new homes, employment land, retail space, cafes and restaurants, indoor sports provision, public halls, with a unique community centre building to be found almost floating at the heart of this mini-development.

But on the grounds that it would not deliver “appropriate” housing requirements, impact on highways and local traffic, the harm it will cause to the landscape and “inadequate infrastructure” that does not meet local needs, councillors refused the scheme.

NEWTON ABBOT TRAVELODGE

Plans for a new Travelodge hotel to be built in the heart of Newton Abbot have been given the go-ahead.

Teignbridge District Council’s planning committee backed the council’s own plans, which would see the Halcyon Road car park converted into a 72-bedroom hotel with a restaurant.

Councillors agreed with the recommendation of officers of approval, saying that it was a long-term aspiration for the town, would boost footfall and spending, especially post-Covid, and would have significant net benefits.

The new hotel is the second phase of Teignbridge District Council’s masterplan for the centre of Newton Abbot, with a 25-year lease having already provisionally been agreed with Travelodge.

Artist impression of the Halcyon Road Travelodge plans for Newton Abbot

Artist impression of the Halcyon Road Travelodge plans for Newton Abbot

The five-storey hotel would include a total of 72 bedrooms, as well as a restaurant for 48 covers. There will be 31 parking spaces located to the southern part of the site, with further spaces to be allocated to Travelodge in the multi-storey car park with a voucher ticketing system in the hotel foyer.

SALSTON MANOR

Plans to save one of Ottery St Mary’s most important buildings have been approved.

East Devon District Council’s planning committee unanimously agreed to support plans that would see 13 homes built within the grounds of the former Salston Manor on the edge of the town.

The Salston Manor Hotel in Ottery St Mary

The Salston Manor Hotel in Ottery St Mary

The plans would also see an extension to the building constructed for a further two homes and would enable a previously consented but not implemented scheme for the conversion of the main building to form 11 flats to go ahead.

Councillors heard that the site is outside the built-up area boundary of Ottery St Mary and was contrary to local plan policies, particularly as no affordable housing was to be provided, but that the wider benefits from the restoration of the listed building outweigh the negatives of the scheme and thus it was recommended for approval.

BRUNSWICK WHARF

Multi-million pound plans for the regeneration of the waterfront area in Bideford have been given the go-ahead.

Torridge District Council’s planning committee almost unanimously supported the redevelopment of the Brunswick Wharf site on the East-the-Water side of the Long Bridge.

The £20m-plus scheme from Red Earth Developments features apartments, design studios, boutique retail and restaurants, as well as 85 apartments and a public square with a riverside walk.

Councillors heard that the scheme aims to breathe new life into this neglected stretch of waterfront, bringing vital long term investment to the East-the-Water area, as for “too many years, the site has sat like an open wound in the heart of Bideford, festering and decaying and blighting the river frontage”.

The scheme includes 85 apartments, a signature restaurant, five design studios with potential for live/work, a café, eight boutique retail units, a public square with a riverside walk, 103 private parking and 45 public parking spaces, 133 private cycle stands and 40 public cycle stands.

A public square and attractive new riverside walk will also be developed as the scheme aims to breathe new life into this neglected stretch of water-front, bringing vital long term investment to the East-the-Water area.

Artist impression of the Brunswick Wharf regeneration plans

Artist impression of the Brunswick Wharf regeneration plans (Image: Red Earth)

The layout of the development will create three open-sided squares – two private and one public – linked by a quayside walk along the entire frontage of the site.

The public square will have retail, restaurant and design studios around the three edges with different levels giving form and interest for visitors, and a coffee house sits central to the square and its design form references the shipbuilding history of the site

WOLBOROUGH HOUSING

The massive new 1,210-home housing development on the green hills outside Newton Abbot is set to go ahead after the last legal challenge to block the scheme failed.

The Court of Appeal this week has rejected all the arguments put forward by Abbotskerswell Parish Council over whether a High Court ruling that the planning permission for the Wolborough scheme was sound.

The parish council had claimed the judge’s verdict contained errors in law, but in the order made by the Right Honourable Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, it was ruled that none of the grounds for appeal on which Abbotskerswell Parish Council had challenged the initial verdict on were valid, ruling that in his judgement that there is no discernible error and no other compelling reason for an appeal to be heard as the judgement is closely reasoned and successfully applies conventional and established principles to the facts of the present case.

The Wolborough Barton masterplan

The Wolborough Barton masterplan

The rejection of the appeal means that the challenge to the granting of planning permission which the secretary of state had given can go no further, meaning the outline permission for the scheme, as well as full permission for the Wolborough Barton farmstead element has now been given.

PCL Planning’s scheme, submitted on behalf of the Rew family, for the land at Wolborough Barton, in Newton Abbot includes an outline scheme of 1,210 homes, a primary school, employment land, community facilities, including a day nursery and a health centre, a local shopping centre, play area, allotments and a multi-use games area, as well as a link road connecting the A380 and the A381.

Reserved matters for the detail will need to be submitted and approved before work can begin, but full planning permission to convert the Wolborough Barton farmstead into a boutique hotel, restaurant and bar, has now been granted.

BARNSTAPLE CINEMA

Plans to extend a North Devon shopping centre to create a new seven-screen cinema and refurbishment of retail units have been approved.

The application, granted planning permission under delegated powers by officers, would see big changes made inside the Green Lanes Shopping Centre in Barnstaple.

The space occupied by the former BHS store will stay as retail, but the upper two floors, plus an additional newly-built floor above, would be converted into a seven screen multiplex cinema.

Artist impression of the Green Lanes Shopping Centre Cinema plans

Artist impression of the Green Lanes Shopping Centre Cinema plans

It would be the replacement cinema for the existing four screen Scott Cinema on Boutport Street, the application says.

It adds that there would be clear significant economic benefits for the town and this area of North Devon and the improved cinema facility will be of benefit to both the resident population and tourists/visitors.

Granting planning permission for the scheme, the report of planning officers concluded that the public benefits of the scheme, which includes protecting the vitality and viability of the town centre and overall economic benefits, outweigh the negative impacts on balance.

DAWLISH ROCKFALL SHELTER

Work is set to begin this summer of a 200m tunnel to protect trains against falling rocks on the Dawlish railway line.

Teignbridge District Council planners under delegated powers have approved Network Rail’s plans to extend the existing rockfall shelter over the railway line between Dawlish and Holcombe.

Following approval, Network Rail hopes to begin construction work on the 209m extension of the rockfall shelter north of Parsons Tunnel in August which will help protect trains against falling rocks along this section of vital railway that connects communities across the South West with the rest of the country.

Parsons Tunnel was previously extended 100 years ago, and Network Rail will extend that further by providing a rockfall shelter in modern materials, but with open sides rather than the brick built enclosed tunnel extension.

Once started, construction of the £37.4m project is expected to take around a year to complete.

Artist impression for the Parsons Tunnel North rockfall shelter plans

Artist impression for the Parsons Tunnel North rockfall shelter plans (Image: Network Rail)

Preparatory work at the top of the cliffs overlooking this stretch of railway has already begun in March whereby Network Rail engineers started cutting back some of the vegetation. This work is being closely monitored to ensure the least disruption for wildlife habitats and biodiversity.

The rockfall shelter, which is the third phase of works on the Dawlish line, and follows the two sections of new sea wall in Dawlish, is critical to ensuring the resilience of the railway between Dawlish and Teignmouth for generations to come and protecting this critical route from falling debris.

PIRATES STATUE

Plans for the installation of a statue of two real-life female ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ on Burgh Island have been withdrawn.

Earlier this year, the bid for the art installation on Burgh Island to represent two of Britain’s forgotten pirates – Anny Bonny and Mary Read – was unveiled and a planning application submitted to South Hams District Council.

The pair were among the most notorious pirates as they wreaked havoc throughout the Caribbean during the golden age of piracy in the early 1700s.

Some historians have claimed the two became lovers while others suggest they formed a three-way relationship with Anne’s husband, the English pirate captain Jack Rackham – more commonly known as Calico Jack.

The sculpture would have measured approximately 2.4m high and sat on plinths that would be 50x30cm and 25x30cm, respectively, with the addition intended to be “a gift to the Island that is home to such rich pirate history”.

Anne Bonny, John 'Calico Jack' Rackam and Mary Read: Some historians claim the two became lesbian lovers while others suggest they formed a three-way relationship with Anne's husband, the English pirate captain Jack Rackham - more commonly known as Calico Jack

Anne Bonny, John ‘Calico Jack’ Rackam and Mary Read: Some historians claim the two became lesbian lovers while others suggest they formed a three-way relationship with Anne’s husband, the English pirate captain Jack Rackham – more commonly known as Calico Jack (Image: Getty Images)

But following objections to the proposals from the parish council, the applicant – The Producers Live Ltd – has withdrawn the plans and instead will focus on finding an alternative location for the memorial.

Its statement said: “Following feedback from the parish council, we will be withdrawing our application to install “Inexorable” on Burgh Island. The statue was intended to be a gift to the Island that is home to such rich pirate history. We absolutely respect the decision of the council and will find an alternative home for Anne Bonny and Mary Read.”

EXMOUTH HOUSING

Plans for more than 300 homes to be built on the edge of Exmouth have been given the go-ahead despite the scheme “lacking vision and being fit for the 20th, not 21st century”.

East Devon District Council’s planning committee almost unanimously backed the recommendation of officers to approve the scheme for the Goodmores Farm site at Hulham Road.

Outline planning permission for the scheme was granted for up to 350 homes in June 2018, which included only five per cent of the homes being affordable.

And while councillors were upset with the lower than 25 per cent policy requirements, there was nothing they could do to change it as the principle of the development had previously been agreed.

The proposals for 303 homes at the Goodmores Farm site at Hulham Road in Exmouth

The proposals for 303 homes at the Goodmores Farm site at Hulham Road in Exmouth

The scheme, which was backed by 11 votes to 1, with one abstention, includes 303 homes, 2.3 hectares of mixed use employment land, 1.3 hectares of land for a primary school, a football pitch and a locally equipped area for play.

CULLOMPTON RELIEF ROAD

Plans for Cullompton’s long-awaited and “essential” relief road have been unanimously given the go-ahead. Mid Devon District Council’s planning committee voted in favour of the new road that aims to take traffic out of the town centre.

The £15million relief road scheme, which officers recommended for approval, will see the new road built to connect Station Road to Duke Street near the Meadow Lane junction and to divert traffic away from travelling through Cullompton town centre.

It is primarily proposed to address existing traffic and transport problems within the town and the associated impacts on air quality, environment and amenity.

The route for the Cullompton relief road

The route for the Cullompton relief road (Image: Devon County Council)

It would incorporate land currently within Tesco’s ownership, land that is part of the Cullompton Community Association (CCA) fields and sports facilities, including those used by Cullompton football, cricket and bowls clubs, and agricultural land to the south.

It is hoped that phase one works would be able to commence in winter 2021 and the scheme is proposed to be implemented in three phases, allowing for as little interruption to as possible to existing sports facilities, recreation and amenity land, and reducing the wider impacts on other amenities as a result of the construction period.

DARTINGTON HOUSING

Councillors have backed plans for 120 homes to be built on the edge of Dartington.

The sites – at Broom Park and Sawmills North – cover two green fields with 120 houses planned and are both allocated for residential development as part of the adopted Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan.

The outlines schemes – put forward by Baker Estates and the Dartington Hall Trust – would see 80 homes built at Broom Park and 40 at Sawmills North and when South Hams District Council’s development management committee considered them, it agreed with the officer recommendations for approval, despite more than 200 objections to the plans.

The officers, in their report, stated that all statutory consultees and specialist advisers had no objections to the proposals and, as such, they are recommended to go ahead, and councillors voted by 10 votes to 2 in favour of the Sawmills North scheme and by 10 votes to 1, with one abstention, for the Broom Park plan.

INGLEWOOD HOUSING SCHEME

Plans for a new village on fields near Paignton have been given permission by a planning inspector. The government-appointed official has allowed an appeal by the developer for the site known as Inglewood.

The scheme was opposed by Torbay Council because of its impact on the landscape.

Evidence for the appeal was heard at an online planning inquiry in January.

In a published decision, inspector Andrew Dawe has given outline permission for up to 373 homes, a pub and primary school on land alongside Brixham Road near White Rock.

Objectors said the development would cause unacceptable harm to the setting of the protected landscape and the open space between Paignton and Brixham.

The inspector accepted the scheme would cause some harm to the landscape character and appearance of the area.

Indicative image of the Inglewood development, proposed between Paignton and Brixham

Indicative image of the Inglewood development, proposed between Paignton and Brixham (Image: Stride Treglown)

It would also go against local planning policies by filling part of the “settlement gap” of open countryside.

But he said the limited harm to the landscape was not enough to justify rejecting the application.

TOPSHAM GAP HOUSING

Plans for nearly 250 new homes for the ‘Topsham Gap’ have been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Exeter City Council’s planning committee unanimously approved three separate applications for the edge of the town.

The Clyst Road site where 155 homes in the Topsham Gap will be built

The Clyst Road site where 155 homes in the Topsham Gap will be built

Outline plans for 61 residential units for land at Broom Park Nurseries and Five Acres on Exeter Road, and outline plans for 24 homes at an adjacent site off Exeter Road were given the go-ahead in line with the officer recommendation for approval.

And councillors also granted the reserved matters approve for 155 homes at Clyst Road, a site that they have previously refused planning permission for, only to see a planning inspector overturn the site on appeal.

MONKERTON HOUSING

Plans for 200 homes on the edge of Exeter which include safeguarding land for the potential Monkerton railway station have been approved.

Exeter City Council’s planning committee almost unanimously backed the scheme that will be up to 200 homes built on land at Hill Barton Farm.

The site is allocated for development within the Monkerton and Hill Barton Strategic Residential Allocation and previous outline planning permission for a scheme had been granted but lapsed as work had not begun.

Planners had initially recommended refusing the scheme as only 10 per cent of the houses were due to be affordable, but following late negotiations, that had been increased to a policy-compliant 35 per cent.

They subsequently changed their recommendation to approval, and councillors backed the plans by 12 votes to 0, with one abstention, when they met.

Planning officers had told the committee that it was accepted that the site meets the principle for housing as sustainable development, that the council does not have a current five year housing land supply, and it was clear that the scheme as submitted for 200 dwellings would contribute towards the council’s shortfall of deliverable housing sites in the area.

And following the confirmation that their proposed offer of 10 per cent affordable housing has been increased to a policy-compliant 35 per cent affordable housing, they said that it was recommended the plan be approved.

HARLEQUIN SHOPPING CENTRE

Controversial plans to redevelop Exeter’s Harlequin Shopping Centre into co-living apartments will go ahead after the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government decided against calling the application in.

Exeter City Council approved plans to turn the centre into co-living apartments, along with a hotel and other facilities, back in October.

The redevelopment will see two blocks built on the site – block 1 would see a total of 251 co-living bedrooms – which involves a number of flats being built for students but can be rented by non-students as well – with 116 hotel bedrooms in Block 2.

The plans will also see the creation of a pocket park, significant improvements to the urban realm of Paul Street, enhancing the environment for pedestrians and cyclists and the replacement of the pedestrian bridge over Paul Street with a modern, lightweight bridge.

New artist impression of the Harlequin Shopping Centre redevelopment scheme (Image: Curlew)

However, requests were then made to the government calling on the secretary of state, Robert Jenrick, to make the final decision because of the impact on the historic environment.

But Mr Jenrick has said he is satisfied that in this case it was appropriate that the decision was made at local level.

In deciding not to call the application in, the government said: “The secretary of state has carefully considered this case against call-in policy, as set out in the written ministerial statement by Nick Boles on 26 October 2012. The policy makes it clear that the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively.

“The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.”