Major planning applications approved for Barnstaple

Aerial view from Long Bridge, courtesy of Woodward Smith Architects.

Posted on: 11 March 2016

Two major planning applications for Barnstaple’s Anchorwood Bank site have been approved by North Devon Council.

During the council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday (9 March), members followed officer recommendations for approval of the applications, which will see further retail space and 166 new homes coming to the site.

Application 60370 for the retail space also includes a restaurant/café complex with outside seating areas, as well as car parking and cycle spaces.

Application 60406 approved the design and detail of the new homes, which will include a mix of houses, apartments, duplexes and penthouses, with a central park area, public piazzas and small park area.

Chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor Eric Ley, says: “There was a good debate about the two applications by committee members. We needed to look at the best possible way of utilising Barnstaple’s largest brownfield site. The housing element was non-contentious and the committee was impressed by the high-quality design. The key issue was the perceived negative impact that the extra retail space could have on the town centre. However, the majority of that space appears to be bulky goods providers, such as DFS, which currently local people have to travel to Exeter or further afield for. The connectivity of the site and the town was added as an extra requirement, as it is vital the new site and the town centre work together for the benefit of residents and visitors to the area.

Leader of North Devon Council and local ward member, Councillor Des Brailey, says: “It’s great news for Barnstaple that these applications have been approved. The site needs the development to continue, it has been an eyesore for some time now. The mix of retail and housing on the site will complement each other well.”

Local ward member, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “It is wonderful news that these two major planning applications have been approved. Anchorwood Bank has long been an icon of neglect for the people of North Devon in general, along with Barnstaple and the surrounding wards in particular. Its long overdue redevelopment will reinvigorate this area in conjunction with the Long Bridge as one of the most important and historical gateways into Barnstaple.” 

Full details of both applications can be found on the council’s website.

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Posted in: Planning