Plans for barn to breed pygmy goats in Newton Poppleford approved

Plans for Littledown Lane on the outskirts of Newton Poppleford have been approved. Sidmouth Herald

Plans for Littledown Lane on the outskirts of Newton Poppleford have been approved. Sidmouth Herald - Credit: Archant

A couple have reassured Newton Poppleford residents they just want to ‘bring land back into use’ after their plans to build a barn to breed pygmy goats were approved.

Their original application for a ‘completely overgrown’ site in Littledown Lane included a bird hide and paths, but these were later withdrawn.

This meant it was unnecessary to change the use of the agricultural land and planning bosses unanimously approved the proposals this week.

Teresa Loynd, who submitted the application with her husband, said: “So many local residents have given us their support in clearing a piece of land that was so overgrown. We understand that people will be apprehensive when there is change, but we are just bringing the land back into use. “We genuinely wanted a bird hide to photograph wildlife, not just for ourselves, but also to help local veterans and other groups appreciate nature.”

The original application included an animal barn, a shed and a bird hide, but Mrs Loynd said the change of use was unnecessary when the latter was withdrawn from the proposals.

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She said she and her husband were ‘shocked and disappointed’ to read district councillor Val Ranger’s comments about their application, adding: “We have no hidden agenda and resent the implication that any change of use may subsequently be followed by an application for residential use.

“Every step of the way we have consulted planning on what we are permitted to do.”

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Councillor Ranger said she was not informed that the bird hide had been removed from the plans and she ‘would have supported agricultural use of agricultural land’.

She raised concerns about how the plans are labelled on East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) website, fearing councillors would be unable to ‘backtrack’ if a change of use was put forward at a later date.

Cllr Ranger added: “That is what the planning inspector said about King Alfred Way, for example – that EDDC officers had supported it all along, so it was unreasonable to object now.

“I felt it was essential that it was clarified that change of use was neither necessary nor granted by implication on the Littledown Lane site.”

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