PLANS for an Asda, a hotel, pub, other retail units, up to 350 homes and a pedestrian bridge over the River Taw have been given the green light by Devon County Council's Development Management Committee.
The plans were discussed at the meeting this afternoon when committee members agreed to advise North Devon Council that DCC's highways department has no objections to the scheme.
The committee initially recommended the plans for the site, known as Anchorwood Bank, for refusal in December because of highways issues.
But the developer has addressed those issues and council officers recommended the plan be approved this afternoon.
The plans have been altered to make the access from Asda to the A3125 widened and improve the traffic flow at the Stones roundabout.
In total Asda will now spend around £400,000 on road improvements around the site, should the plans go ahead.
The final decision rests with North Devon Council's planning department but that decision will be informed by today's meeting.
Also due to be discussed were plans for a Morrisons at Evans' Transport yard on Braunton Road, but that discussion was deferred at the request of the developers.
During the discussion on the Asda plan Brian Greenslade, leader of North Devon Council and County Councillor for Barnstaple, said: "My impression is this scheme has more legs than the other one.
"The applicant has come up with a far more robust traffic scheme than previously but this work must be done along with the development, if it goes ahead."
Richard Edgell, County Councillor for Chulmleigh and Swimbridge, said: "From a highways point of view this is a big improvement.
"A lot of work has been done to iron out the wrinkles.
"But it shouldn't be brushed over that traffic flow will be increased. And there are other development opportunities in the area which should be taken into consideration.
"The district council will have to be very careful which way to proceed."
And Mr Greenslade agreed. "There'll be a lot of development on the south side of Barnstaple in the next five years," he said.
"It's going to be a tremendous balancing act for North Devon Council's planning committee."