Yes to ‘excellent’ affordable homes in Branscombe

A Government planning inspector will make the final decision on a 155-home development in Banwell.

A Government planning inspector will make the final decision on a 155-home development in Banwell. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Plans for a new housing development, aimed at creating affordable homes to help young families live in Branscombe, have been approved.

The outline application would see 10 homes, including six ‘affordable’ properties, built on land adjacent to the Fountain Head pub.

Members of East Devon District Council’s development management committee met on Tuesday to discuss the proposals. Applicant Andrew Gibbins, who grew up in Branscombe, told the committee he was committed to providing ‘attractive, sustainable, affordable homes’ that respected the village’s character and appearance. He said: “The village has a great but aging community which is struggling to keep up the numbers of the local school where there are currently 22 pupils and only three new starters this year.

“We need young families in our community to sustain and maintain what few services we have.”

District council ward member Geoff Pook also backed the plans and said the average home in Branscombe started at £357,000. Cllr Pook added: “There’s no denying there is a need for affordable housing in Branscombe - the holiday home percentage is 30 per cent - plus. You go to Branscombe out of holiday season and you just see empty houses and dark windows.

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“Youngsters just cannot get onto the housing market and get houses in the village in which they were born and in which they live in and their families live in.”

Cllr Matt Coppell said the plan was the ‘right thing for the right village’, but he could not support it as there was no Neighbourhood Plan.

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Cllr Helen Parr said: “It’s got the support of the parish council, the district councillor and the young families that cannot stay in Branscombe. I think this is an excellent scheme.”

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