Housebuilders behind plans to erect 277 homes at a redundant army camp have provoked anger among locals after a sales advert describing a "waterside development overlooking the Cornish sea" appeared – despite the fact planning permission has not yet been obtained.
The advert about the former Fremington Army Camp has appeared on property website www.bovishomes.co.uk where it was spotted by North Devon councillor Frank Biederman.
But developers behind the project say they are surprised to see the advert. Frances Firmstone, from Fremington Developments LLP, said: "I didn't know Bovis had advertised the development so it's a surprise to me. We haven't contracted with Bovis but within reason they can do what they want. I can understand people would be upset."
Planning permission was refused in December and the developers have appealed. The decision of an independent inspector is likely to be made public in May.
It is common practice for builders to advertise homes before they are erected, but Mr Biederman says in this case doing so shows "spectacular arrogance".
"I find this in poor taste and shows what they know about our village," said Mr Biederman, councillor for the Fremington ward.
He also said he had a friend call Bovis Homes to find out what they would tell him. He was told the homes would be ready in six months and the fact the site is subject to planning permission wasn't mentioned.
Barry Cummins, Bovis Homes' South West Sales & Marketing Director, said: "Following our standard sales and marketing programme, we place potential 'coming soon' developments on our website to offer local people the chance to register their interest in buying a new home.
"It does not presume that consent will be given but rather offers us the opportunity to build up a database of local homebuyers to contact should permission be granted.
"This is part of the process of making the construction of our developments as smooth as possible with disruption and delays kept to a minimum," he continued.
"More than 100 potential buyers have so far registered in this way at Fremington and we will remain in communication with them to keep them updated about the progress of the plans.
"Should full planning consent be given we will send them a brochure with more detailed information about the housetypes that will be available."