A three-way bid to increase the size of a Devon village by as much as 40% should be dismissed, an MP has told a planning “super inquiry”.
The special hearing was called by the Planning Inspectorate after proposals by three developers which would see 235 new homes built in Feniton, near Honiton.
Conservative Neil Parish said the community of 716 homes had already seen 50 new homes approved recently and will not be able to cope with a fresh surge in development.
Appearing at the inquiry, at the Flybe training centre at Exeter airport yesterday, (fri), he said neither the village nor its struggling drainage system could handle such an explosive growth in population.
Following his statement to the hearing, he told the Western Morning News: “This is enough development. Feniton has met its requirements - why should it be inundated with more houses?
“Local people, myself the parish and district council are all opposing this because it is over development – that is why I am asking the inspector to throw out these appeals because they are unnecessary.
“I am not against development because we need homes but Feniton has had its 7%.
“ There’s a good community spirit within the village –what you don’t want to do is foist another 40%.”
Three separate schemes from Wainhomes, Strategic Land Partnership and Feniton Park Ltd have all been unanimously refused planning permission by East Devon District Council.
The applicants have appealed and the Planning Inspectorate has combined three appeal hearings into a single event, which runs for eight days until next Friday.
Residents, who were flooded three times over the recent bad weather, are furious at the plans, claiming the sewage system is not sufficient for the extra homes and the local schools cannot take any more pupils.
However, the case hinges partly on the failure of the district council to approve a new local development plan.
The authority’s lack of a five-year land supply is also a key factor in whether the inspectors rejects or upholds any of the appeals.
Campaigners blame the Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which introduces a “presumption in favour of sustainable development” and upgrades the importance of the land supply shortage.
East Devon independent district councillor Susie Bond won the seat vacated when former Tory councillor and developer Graham Brown resigned after being caught boasting about his ability to secure planning permission.
She refused to blame the council, adding that many other local authorities were in a similar position.
“National government has pushed the NPPF through too quickly,” she added.
“We have allocated 5% for Feniton and are already above our allocation with 50 homes forced upon us.”