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Consultation responses – Little Bickington Lane, High Bickington, June 2023

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A plan of the proposed development
This plan suggests access to the development from Little Bickington Lane into an estate of 21 semi-detached 2/3/4 bed properties and 18 4 bed properties with a garage. Pedestrian links run throughout the development to create access to the existing allotments and wider countryside.

Executive Summary

A community consultation was held during May/June 2023 to help inform the proposals to develop housing on land off Little Bickington Lane, High Bickington.

According to Torridge District Council High Bickington has 490 registered properties and 800 registered electors.

We had a total of 109 completed responses received and this represents 13.6% of the reported population of High Bickington.

The main points raised by the consultation were as follows:

  • Road safety, in exiting onto the B3217 and management of increased traffic (within the village and through Atherington) and parking for residents.
  • Additional infrastructure to meet the needs of increased residents in High Bickington, primarily for healthcare and school provision.
  • Provision of affordable housing to meet the local needs.
  • Increased environmental provision within the site.

There was a call for further detail and collaboration/consultation with the village as the development progresses through planning.  

Additional consultations have been carried out with the High Bickington Community Trust and High Bickington Parish Council. These will be provided to Torridge District Council along with this consultation document.

This consultation will be used to inform the planning application submitted to Torridge District Council.

1.0 Introduction

In discussions with Torridge District Council regarding development of the land off Little Bickington Lane, High Bickington, it was agreed a consultation of residents in High Bickington would take place to understand the priorities for consideration of development of the site.

Prior consultation was undertaken with the Parish Council and the High Bickington Community Property Trust.

The consultation took place from early May to early June 2023 and was available via an online form. The consultation was advertised online via Devon County Council’s ‘Have your say’ pages, through the Parish Council and the High Bickington Community Centre and via posters erected at various locations across the village. (The questions are available in Appendix 1).

The consultation documents was posted to 490 addresses based on an address list provided by Torridge District Council.  109 completed responses were received (Full detailed comments are within the appendices) from the 800 registered electors within High Bickington.

2.0 Responses

2.1 Theme one – proposed access 

Is the proposed access for the development suitable and sufficient for the proposed development?  

Graph showing how many respondents agreed/disagreed with the statement that access to the development is suitable and sufficient - data table below image
Registered ElectorsAgree with statementDisagree with statementNeither agree or disagree with statement
800167815
Data table for graph – Access to the development is suitable and sufficient

Examining the reasoning behind these responses, 81 respondents cited traffic as their main issue.

The main concern raised was the access from Little Bickington Lane onto the B3217 / North Road. Feeling was that the speed of traffic on this village approach and the lack of visibility over the brow of the hill creates concerns about this junction. Respondents identified the following as potential solutions: to increase the visibility splay, move the 30mph limit further out of the village and introduce traffic calming measures to slow down traffic.

No concerns were raised regarding the access into the proposed development off Little Bickington Lane.

A further concern was the increase in traffic volume through the villages of High Bickington and Atherington. It was stated that pressure points currently occur on the B3217 through Atherington and Libbaton, and already cause difficulties for motorists therefore, it was suggested that additional traffic may acerbate this.

There was also comments regarding the existing use of Little Bickington Lane and poor existing parking practices. Given the proximity of this site to both the Community Centre and the pre-school we do not anticipate that this poor parking will be impacted by this development as at least two parking spaces will be provided per house.

2.2 Theme 2 – right number of homes

Are the right number of homes proposed on the site?

Graph showing how many respondents agreed/disagreed with the statement that access to the number of homes proposed for the site is about right - data table below image
Registered ElectorsAgree with statementDisagree with statementNeither agree or disagree with statement
800285724
Data table for graph – The number of homes proposed for the site is about right

Examining the reasoning behind these responses, 60 respondents cited maintaining the village as the main concern.

There was some concern there was not enough parking spaces provided in the design which would lead to wider parking issues (where there is an existing impact along Little Bickington Lane). This was also flagged by the local planning authority, to ensure a requirement for two parking spaces per property.

The main issues identified by respondents were the sewerage capacity, water, and broadband provision to cope with 40 properties. These issues will be addressed by consultations with statutory consultees during the planning process.

Other issues raised were the availability at the local school and access to the local surgery. Consultation with the Education Authority have already identified there is a clear intention to expand the school to accommodate growth. We understand the surgery has temporarily closed, arguably the additional population created by this development may make the provision of health services more sustainable.

2.3 Theme 3 – housing mix

Is the proposed housing mix suitable to meet local housing need?

Graph showing how many respondents agreed/disagreed with the statement that the proposed housing mix is suitable to meet local needs - data table below image
Registered ElectorsAgree with statementDisagree with statementNeither agree or disagree with statement
800294535
Data table for graph – The proposed housing mix is suitable to meet local needs

Responses included the following themes- the need for affordable homes for local people in the village, either citing the need for young people to enable retention in the village, or older people living in the village, who are looking to downsize into bungalows in the village, enabling a larger home to be freed up for a family.

Concerns were raised that affordable housing would not be delivered however the landowners are committed to ensuring that affordable housing is delivered by the ultimate developer.

2.4 Theme 4 – are the arrangements suitable

Are the arrangements for allotments, access to open space and provision of additional planting suitable for a development of this size?

Graph showing how many respondents agreed/disagreed with the statement that the arrangements for allotments, access to open space and provision of additional planting suitable for a development of this size - data table below
Registered ElectorsAgree with statementDisagree with statementNeither agree or disagree with statement
800293644
Data table for graph – The arrangements for allotments, access to open space and provision of additional planting suitable for a development of this size

37 respondents provided additional comments and the majority felt more could be done to ensure the retention and maintenance of hedgerow and additional provision for planting to offset the development.

There was also suggestion for the potential for a play area and use of solar panels within the development. The existing play area is within 150 meters from the site and to achieve anticipated building recommendations it is highly likely that photovoltaic panels will be incorporated onto all new houses in High Bickington.

There was a general feeling that any plans should be followed through with the developers. The landowners are committed to ensuring that the outline planning application requirements are delivered by the developer of the site.

2.5 Theme 5 – level of support for development

Indicate level of support for the development proposal, where 10 is fully in support and 1 is do not support at all. This is in response to question 10 on the questionnaire.

Graph showing the level of support respondents have for the development proposal in response to question 10 on the questionnaire.  Data table below image.

ScoreLevel of support
Number of Electors800
1 (do not support at all)42
2 9
39
47
511
66
76
89
93
10 (fully support)7
Data table for graph showing the numbers of respondents and their level of support for the proposal

3.0 Additional comments

No new themes were raised in the additional comments and these were largely a repetition of themes raised in questions 1-9.

4.0 Summary

The following are a summary of the main issues.

  1. Traffic congestion and safety is a notable concern. Ensuring sufficient parking within the development, potential improvements to Little Bickington Lane and safety improvements to the access onto the B3217.
  2. Ensuring the proposed development provides sufficient village infrastructure.
  3. Ensuring delivery of affordable homes for local people, both younger and older people.
  4. Increased planting, ensured retention and maintenance of existing hedgerows and additional environmental provision.

Appendix 1 – Questions

The following questions were asked in the consultation

  1. The proposed access arrangements are suitable and sufficient for this development?
    • Agree
    • Disagree
    • Neither agree or disagree
  2. If disagree outline your reasoning
  3. The number of homes proposed for the site seems about right
    • Agree
    • Disagree
    • Neither agree or disagree
  4. If you disagree, please outline your reasoning
  5. The housing mix is suitable to meet local needs
    • Agree
    • Disagree
    • Neither agree or disagree
  6. If you disagree, please outline your reasoning
  7. The arrangement for allotments, access to open space and provision of additional planting are suitable for a development of this size
    • Agree
    • Disagree
    • Neither agree or disagree
  8. If you disagree please outline your reasoning
  9. Looking at the proposal for the land off Little Bickington Road, please score your level of support for this (10 is fully support and 1 is do not support at all)
  10. Please add any additional comments you may have regarding the proposal

Appendix 2 – All responses Theme 1

  • A second entrance onto Little Bickington Lane from the end of the road with the four bed houses on it should be considered therefore allowing traffic to the four bed houses to enter without having to pass the smaller houses.
  • The egress from Little Bickington Lane is dangerous, as traffic coming from the Dolton direction approaches over the brow of a slight hill, and so visibility is very poor.  The main road needs levelling out.
  • Before agreeing to
  • Schools not big enough
  • North Road is already a busy road, with this proposal going to make it busier. It’s a dangerous road.
  • With recent new developments in the village the council has gone against their plans to take on extra parking for North Road
  • Parking is an issue in the village
  • With an additional 40 houses proposed on top of the existing traffic that will result from the current 30+ houses & the school/community centre, there needs to be a review of the existing road layout (B3217/Little Bickington Lane junction).
  • I live on the estate and getting out of Little Bickington Lane onto the B3217 can be dangerous at times with fast-approaching traffic generally from the south entrance to the village although traffic does start to speed up as it leaves the village but before it reaches Little Bickington Lane.
  • Past and ongoing speed calming measures (residents’ speed gun campaign/speed warning signage) have done nothing to reduce current B3217 speeds approaching Little Bickington Lane and there needs to be a complete review and redesign of the current road layout at what is a dangerous junction.  Should the 40 houses get built and there are no effective improvements to the current road layout, the junction situation will only get increasingly worse.
  • Proper traffic calming is needed at this access point on B3127 to slow traffic as it approaches the village
  • I think there needs to be specific mention of highway alterations at the B31217 / Little Bickington Lane junction. We live in Little Bickington Courtyard and getting out onto the B3217 can be a bit dicey, cars are already accelerating as they think they have left the village, and cars coming from the direction of the golf course are often speeding.
  • Heavy traffic on road… main route not suitable.
  • The surrounding road system is already overcrowded with traffic
  • There is very little visibility from fast moving traffic approaching from the right when egressing the present access which has led to many near misses. This development is likely to add a further 100 vehicles accessing the road and visibility of traffic approaching the village is inadequate. I would suggest the existing access and speed limit be moved to the top of the hill to give good visibility in both directions.
  • Getting out of the junction is taking your life in your hands. People drive too fast despite the 30 limit and you can’t see over the hill so can’t see what’s coming. As a pedestrian crossing the road to head to the footpaths on a daily basis it’s hair raising. If you’re going to build it you need to put something to slow the traffic and make it easier to see what’s coming.
  • The area was s already an accident waiting to happen. More cars will just make it worse and someone will end up getting killed.
  • Little Bickington Lane has traffic calming and is mostly single track, there is currently an issue with the lack of parking by the community centre and it regularly has cars parked all over the pavements, this also includes lorries, recovery pickup trucks, motorhomes and cars plus school minibus. Adding 40 homes is going to add to the chaos.
    Cars often block access to the houses at the bottom of Little Bickington lane.
    Also access onto North Road is currently dangerous as the road goes from the national speed limit to 30mph right before the junction – which means cars often break the speed limit making it dangerous for cars trying to get onto North Road. Adding more houses increases the likelihood of a bad accident. It would be great to see this addressed before houses are built. Perhaps widen the road and increase the vision for the drivers on entry and exit and add a traffic calming scheme like the other end of the village has
  • Cars speed on North Road and visibility is poor. Traffic calming required to slow traffic down
  • Current road network is not currently fit for purpose. Additional traffic flow will only make the situation worse.
  • Increasing traffic flow through an already small village with too much traffic
  • Issues with infrastructure
  • The infrastructure is totally inadequate at present.  Access onto this road is dangerous it’s too narrow and traffic drive too fast.
  • The roads can’t cope with the traffic that comes through the village now
  • Visibility onto the main road is not good now without more vehicles!
  • Little Bickington Lane is a small narrow lane that could not cope as access point for such a large development without it bringing significant impact on the current residents and community, creating increased traffic and endangering children and pedestrians.
  • Routes from High Bickington to Barnstaple and South Molton are dangerous single lane roads that already struggle to support existing traffic.
  • Junction onto main road is dangerous. Cars coming into village over the hill do on occasion travel too fast so when you pull out they are slamming on their brakes.
  • Lack of Bus service
  • Reducing Doctor’s surgery appointment availability
  • More traffic through the village
  • Lanes are narrow, visibility from main road is poor and already a lot of traffic through village 
  • It is mayhem getting into Atherington now with an additional 40 houses it will be substantially worse.
  • The junction out of Little Bickington is extremely dangerous. You cannot see over the brow of the hill, it’s only a matter of time before there is a serious accident. More houses means more traffic which increases the risk of accidents.
  • More vehicular access problems onto the main road, which is a poor junction anyway ( how it was passed originally I don’t know) with limited visibility, it’s just adding to a current problem
  • School in High Bickington not large enough and Doctors Surgery too small for more residents as both of these services don’t just serve High Bickington
  • A separate access road onto North Road rather than onto the existing development would possibly have a traffic calming effect on through traffic of the whole village. Would extend the 30mph area and would remove the dodgy visibility splays that are currently in place at the end of the existing development site.
  • Some kind of amendment to the current junction at the end of Little Bickington Lane is needed, an already dangerous junction without the addition of more vehicular traffic
  • Dangerous
  • The highways around High Bickington are insufficient for the number of cars etc already. Visibility when pulling out of side roads is virtually nil and often on blind corners. There should not be any more houses.
  • The current situation regarding egress from Little Bickington Lane onto the main north-south road is extremely dangerous as a result of poor sight lines and the blind hill to the south of the exit. Traffic speed on this road is routinely above the speed limit of 30 mph. Increased traffic on this junction will inevitably lead to increased RTI occurrences.
  • The visibility splay coming out of Little Bickington Lane needs improving and the 30mph zone needs to be extended further out of the village (towards the golf course side). Cars drive do not slow down as it is now.
  • The current junction to access the main road from Little Bickington is dangerous from a visibility point of view and the proposals will only worsen this.
  • The proposed development would increase traffic by up to 80 vehicles. The access onto the main road is already extremely dangerous with multiple near misses due to speeding and very poor visibility. The entrance and traffic calming scheme would need very careful investigation and planning. E.g. roundabout, build outs, priority ways etc.
  • The junction at the top of the estate where it meets the B3217 is currently dangerous, with a possible doubling of traffic movements in and out of this junction will result in an accident, unless traffic calming measures are put in place to the south.
  • The existing entrance for Ridgeway Green is unsafe for existing traffic.
  • Existing access is a very dangerous junction onto B3217 it is blind as traffic is coming over the brow of a hill.
  • It is important that the final planning application sticks to 30% affordable housing and that the shared ownership conditions encourage renters to buy and move on. I would suggest a majority of semi-detached and terraced housing to reduce the energy costs. I trust that these will be built to Passivhaus standards or equivalent, reducing energy costs and carbon footprint.
  • Access is too small
  • A total of some 40 dwellings could be expected to accommodate in excess of 100 adults, each of whom would need to own and use a car to cater for their working and recreational needs. Both ends of the road through High Bickington lead to choke points – specifically, Atherington to the North and Libaton to the South.  It is impossible to imagine this extra traffic being accommodated within the present highways infrastructure. And if the two choke points were somehow to be widened, this would only have the effect of turning central High Bickington into a new traffic hazard in its own right.  
  • The visibility splay to the right as exiting Little Bickington would need to be extended, the junction may meet regulation but in practice you cannot see to the right , as a coach driver I frequently exit here from the school & you put everyone’s lives at risk in pulling out as you can’t see to the right and people can’t see you as they enter the village . It’s worse for car drivers.
  • We do not need any more traffic using our narrow roads
  • Increased traffic from the development could exacerbate the safety of children who have to walk to school on the main road as this stretch of road currently does not have pavements.
  • Whilst we have no concerns about using the land for housing, we have significant concerns regarding the safety impacts that accompany the present plans.
    1. The junction of Little Bickington Lane with the main road is busy & already dangerous, threatening access & egress, largely from vehicles speeding over the brow of the hill.
    Improvements would be required, perhaps by the creation of a roundabout.
    2. The plan does not specify the anticipated number of cars able to be parked, but the likelihood is that there will be many more cars than available slots, with the overspill vehicles parked on Little Bickington Lane, creating problems to users of the lane.
    3. The housing will create increased pedestrian traffic, & the present plan shows no provision for footpaths to the Community Centre, school. or village centre.
    4. The village is in need of housing for the elderly. At present, there are a number of single persons living in large 4/5 bedroom houses in the village who cannot find smaller properties of the standard they seek within High Bickington.
  • The current access from Little Bickington Lane onto North Road is dangerous, with a blind summit on the south side. There have been many instances of residents turning out of the side road and almost being hit by cars coming from the south, not being visible at the time the decision to turn out was made. This junction must have traffic calming at the very least, preferably a roundabout, before any additional houses are built.  It is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs.
  • I don’t believe the access from the main road is currently sufficient for 40 additional homes.
  • It says as access is from Little Bickington Lane there will be no extra traffic through the village but the way to access Little Bickington Lane from Atherington direction is through the village (North Road). Additionally, the junction from Little Bickington Lane is already hazardous as traffic coming from the other direction does not slow down. There have been many near misses there.
  • Traffic calming measures coming into the village would reduce the risk of an accident at an already dangerous junction onto the main road
  • The structure of the road system can not cope with more traffic. Lanes are too narrow and speed limits are not adhered to.
  • This village does not need any more housing if this did go ahead there needs to be a roundabout on the main road because they are travelling at a ridiculous speed coming through the village there is 30 mph speed limit there is going to be a nasty accident at the junction before long.
  • The access now is not suitable, unable to see up the road to pull out.
  • The turning off the main road is already dangerously inadequate, Further development will only make this worse. The developer should pay for a roundabout at the junction, which will reduce the danger of a badly sited turning.
  • Unbelievable scenario, has anyone checked the road (especially North Road, only access)
  • The entrance into Little Bickington Lane from the main road is not suitable now, being nearly on the brow of a hill and on a bend Which means that you cannot see if there is any traffic coming
  • The access into and out of the existing Little Bickington development and Community Centre onto the main B3217 road already causes problems due to traffic on the main road travelling too fast for safety at that point. There have been a number of near misses. Extra traffic from a new development will only add to the difficulties.
  • Local roads not designed for this scale of traffic, already overloaded with freight and commuter traffic
  • That access over the brow of the hill is dangerous.  Visibility is very limited as I found out first hand when I very nearly had an accident there.
  • Not enough doctors or buses for these houses or school places
  • This number of homes could see a lot more vehicles on the existing BS3217 through the village, which I feel could cause problems due to the volume of traffic on the narrow roads in the area.
  • The proposed access through the village via North Road gets just as badly congested as the village centre, it is a death trap for adults and children trying to walk with cars parked on the pavements forcing wheelchairs and mothers with prams and pushchairs to walk in the road.
  • No visibility when joining the main road
  • Little Bickington Lane already has to accommodate traffic to/from the Community Centre, school, existing housing development and workshops. There are already problems with overspill parking.
  • High Bickington residents are subjected daily to speeding cars and thunderous lorries approaching the village on the pothole ridden B3217. The Little Bickington Lane junction is on a narrow section of the B3217, on the brow of a hill and is blind to traffic coming from the south.
  • The B3217 is now a very busy road which is often need of repair. When road works take place near the village it can be difficult to get out or gain access. The Atherington/B3227 junction is also narrow and dangerous and is frequently blocked by heavy goods vehicles. When various local roads are closed for maintenance traffic is diverted through High Bickington, this causes chaos.
  • Local jobs (those that cannot be reached without transport) are in short supply, public transport is virtually non-existent. The nearest town is 8 miles away. There is no “connectivity”.  The village is currently serviced by a small, but excellent community shop, post office and local surgery (future uncertain) which opens 1.5 hours 5 days a week. The only operational pub does not serve meals.
  • High Bickington residents have no option but to drive to shop, eat out, catch a train, obtain medical assistance etc. High Bickington does not need more motor vehicles. It needs an adequate public car park for visitors, residents without car parking space and for anyone who is trying to run a business, as well as effective traffic calming measures.
  • Access into and out of Little Bickington lane currently is hazardous as it is close to the brow of a hill There is an insufficient view of traffic travelling into the village from the South. You state it will not add to traffic travelling through the village but most vehicles come into the village from the North through the village and the development will add to this.
  • I live by the traffic calming chicane at the North end of the village and can confirm it has the opposite effect to what was intended. Traffic will speed through the chicane to avoid having to wait for oncoming traffic at busier times of day. Motorists also ignore the direction traffic has priority. Traffic calming measures should be enforced much further back as the 30 mile an hour sign is on the chicane.
  • I see the situation at the proposed development to be worse due to the position of the junction at the top of the hill.
  • Improved traffic calming measures will be required at both ends of the village. The situation is often made worse by the frequent closure of the A 377.
  • The road leading from the south east – Winkleigh is already really dangerous for cars, cyclists and pedestrians, and animals, and there will soon be a dangerous accident as lorries and cars come tearing over the hill into High Bickington. The road leading through High Bickington to the A377 is already problematic at numerous points, including the main street and   Atherington junction.  Another 40 plus cars or more will make a huge difference to the regular traffic through this village. It is almost impossible to get through the main street in the morning by car, with school buses and people going to work. 
  • The main problem is the road through from Atherington and High Bickington is already a rat run with large lorries and vans driving through very often far too fast, and this is apart from the normal volume of traffic which has increased dramatically. The road and area are not designed for this type and volume of traffic.   The number of extra vehicles this proposal would entail driving through the villages would be an increase which is totally unacceptable.
  • Atherington is already very congested and quite dangerous for pedestrians and motorists with the amount of traffic, including many lorries, coming from several directions, with some of the drivers going far too fast and barely stopping when they reach the Atherington junction.
  • The proposed site access from the B3277 is situated at the junction of Little Bickington Lane and the B3277. This is the highest point in parish and additionally the B3277 is busy road at all times, the turning from Little Bickington lane is a “blind turn” from the south and little better from the North.
    Access to the proposed development is limited, dangerous pulling out into what is almost a single track road.
  • Access/egress to and from North Road is already poor. There is very poor visibility to see traffic coming into the village and this needs addressing in the planning stage, bearing in mind there is a frequently used lane at the junction going east.
    Access off Little Bickington lane is OK but the roadway is not up to highway standard and this should be addressed in the planning so that there are pavements on both sides of the road leading to the community centre and the early years department of the school, and the road wide enough for two way traffic.
  • There are no viable employment opportunities in High Bickington, and public transport is virtually non-existent. Most people will be working in Barnstaple, South Molton or Torrington which will involve using the B3217. At commuter times this road currently gets extremely busy through Atherington with significant holdups and ‘face offs’ in the very narrow places. HGVs going to and from the NWF Mill at Wixland and North Tawton also contribute to the congestion. There are no pavements on the B3217 making it hazardous for pedestrians.
     The development will add at least 40 additional traffic movements through an already very congested Atherington, but experience says that each house will need two cars for people to get to work. Potentially we are looking at 60 – 80 additional traffic movements through North Road, High Bickington and the difficult B3217/B3227 crossroads in Atherington. A recipe for disaster with more damage to properties and the BT cabinet in the centre of Atherington.
    The proposed development is in the wrong place.
  • The access to the little Bickington site from the main road is already a problem and would become a real danger if more traffic was regularly using it. The entrance is just over the brow of a hill coming into the village and it is hard to exit safely given the speed of traffic coming into the village.
    The road down to the proposed site entrance is not wide and is already very busy as it is used by school and community centre traffic as well as local residents.
  • The junction leaving Little Bickington lane is very dangerous due to speeding cars entering the 30mph zone clearly in excess of that speed. The addition of probably an extra 80 cars will make this situation much worse. In addition, the extra traffic through High Bickington and Atherington will have an affect on pollution and Road safety.
  • If you want to develop the area in question something will need to be done about the junction coming out on to the main road. It is very dangerous coming out on to the main road because of the speed of the cars coming over the brow of the hill.
  • The entrance and access to this road is dangerous due to the lack of visibility when turning out and into this lane from the main road. Traffic calming measures would need to be put into place to curb vehicles speeding both into and out of the village. How safe would the access to the school next to the Community Centre be with a major increase of road traffic using this road?
  • As a full time resident of this village since 2011 I have been aware of many changes, I consider the current proposals do not address the risk of increased traffic and access to the proposed site. Whilst I appreciate new housing is desirable I think the mix is not proportionate, ie. too many 4/5 bedroom and not enough single occupancy or small family units. There is not consideration to the access as the junction is already compromised as no footpath on the B road and a narrow lane. Please consider a public consultation, water conservancy and ECO elements like insulation and energy efficiency.

Appendix 3 – All responses to Theme 2

  • Making roads busier around the village, especially the main B road, North Road
  • Making schools busier
  • My concerns are will the local community cope with the number of houses being added to such a small village. Is the infrastructure there to be able to cope with the extra demand on Water, Sewage, Gas, Electricity, and Doctors etc.
  • Too many houses and with exec homes getting the prime sites ie adjacent to quiet lanes. 2-3 bed floor plans likely to be minuscule
  • Sadly the services (lack of) in the village of High Bickington and the surrounding area does not support the overall greater need that will be needed if all these homes are built and occupied. The services lacking in my option include public transport, medical/ GP practice, education, roads and routes to main roads including onto the A377. The B roads via Kingford Hill or Atherington are not suitable for more traffic, the roads are already unsuitably busy for their size and the volume of traffic is not safe for pedestrians both in the villages of Atherington and High Bickington.
  • As stated above, a development of 40 properties would likely lead to a further 100 vehicles requiring parking spaces in a village which already has a chronic parking problem. This development will do nothing to alleviate this problem.
  • Far too many. Not enough affordable housing. The village infrastructure will not cope with 80/120 more people. The roads will not cope with 80/120 cars.
  • Will the small affordable homes have enough private parking? Eg 2 spaces per house?
    The current newbuild estate is a mess with cars everywhere. It would be nice to see a space that is designed to allow for car parking but also green spaces, safe places for children to play etc. and not just recreate another jammed packed car park like the existing estate.
    Perhaps a central green space with houses around and then parking at the rear of gardens?
  • The amount of high density homes appears excessive in comparison to the amount of car parking available.
  • Way too many for a tiny village that’s already had a lot of new builds in the past 15 years
  • Too many houses for the facilities in the local area
  • Lack of adequate infrastructure.   Access through Atherington is a nightmare and the turning to the village of High Bickington in Atherington is dreadful with frequent accidents.
  • There are enough properties in the village already
  • Not sure the infrastructure is sewers, doctors, road network can cope with more use
  • About half the number would be appropriate. The proposed scheme is too dense and is not in keeping with the original village layout.
  • Again more people adding to the village with inadequate health facilities and transport services.
  • Too many for infrastructure. Not enough support for doctors, dentists or local schools or transport plus extra cars on road will cause build up at busy times through narrow lanes, particularly through Atherington
  • Traffic! 40 houses has to equate to a minimum of 80 additional cars driving through High Bickington and Atherington
  • Too many squeezed into a plot. Not enough parking provisions. Similar to that of the Little Bickington development which has resulted in cars being parked on pavements.
  • Enough housing in High Bickington with a new site recently developed
  • Not adequate provision in village to cater for this
  • Does the village have the infrastructure to support:-
    • Water and Sewage etc
    • More traffic
    • Schooling
    • Medical support Doctors etc
  • Local services are already stretched enough e.g. Very limited bus network. 40 houses seems too much. Your website claims that the development is outside of the village – this is untrue as they will be driving through the village (where the road is not great anyway) to get to Barnstaple.
  • The village is in desperate need of parking facilities and I think this development will put even more pressure on this.
  • The wider area roads cannot deal with yet more traffic. Residents will drive through the village and through the bottlenecks at Atherington and down to the A377 on their way to Barnstaple. No good saying they’ll use a different route, this is the quickest way and will be used.  The previous development has already proved this.
  • It seems too high, whilst it is agreed there is a need for more affordable housing in the area for local people to remain, the local highway infrastructure is not capable of handling increased traffic movements.  Both Atherington to the north, and a narrowing to the south of Libbaton golf course create jams and bottlenecks, with Atherington bearing the brunt.  properties there are already being damaged by increased levels of traffic, which is a trend that would be set to increase should there be much more housing created.  A major rethink of access to High Bickington needs addressing if much further development is to continue, failing that, develop areas such as Umberleigh, St Giles or Atherington which don’t have existing infrastructure frailties.
  • High Bickington has already had 4 housing developments and Doctors’ services have been reduced in the village as well as bus services, one per day. Traffic through the village including Atherington has increased significantly. A big problem is large articulated grain lorries going to NWF through the villages totally blocking the road if anything larger than a car is coming the other way. More houses means more traffic. There is a tiny post office and community shop inadequate for large influx of new residents from 40 planned houses.
  • I think a greater number could be built if there were fewer detached.  History suggest that will not be short-lived as Jeremy Hunt claims, and the housing needs are at the first home level. Thought also needs to be given to the amount of rural poverty.
  • Too many houses
  • To avoid the unmanageable growth of traffic as discussed in para 2 the number of houses to be built should be based on realistic assessments of additional employment within the village, thus keeping the inevitable increase in commuter traffic to a minimum.
  • We do not need any more houses, our doctors and hospitals are not coping as it is , there’s little public transport in High Bickington
  • The density of housing is too high, especially the area allocated for affordable housing.  A lower density would allow a less formal layout more in keeping with a Devon village.
  • Too many houses for the amount of parking given there is very limited public transport.
  • Any new houses will have an impact on the existing infrastructure which doesn’t seem to be considered
  • Looking at the plan there is not enough parking for each property.
  • High Bickington has enough homes in the village
  • If in fact, High Bickington needs these new houses at all
  • Stupid amount of houses in a small village with poor facilities, small shop, buses?  How many more cars on the one road in and out…..garages to be built?  More parking on roads and pavements.
  • We do not need any more houses. How are the school and surgery going to cope?
  • No local public transport pushing more traffic onto already overloaded local roads
  • That site is the highest field in the vicinity so any development there will stick out like a sore thumb.  It will be visible for miles around.  Any development should be in an unobtrusive location.
  • Hard enough to get a doctor’s appointment without more people living in the village. Other repairs needed in the village rather than building more houses.
  • There are too many, and I feel the increased traffic will be a problem unless the B3217 through the village is improved.
  • The water, sewage, electricity, gas and schooling are all stretched to the limit already. The buses have already been cut from two per day to one three times a week, which is unacceptable. The excuse that the buses were not being used is also unacceptable.
  • With 40 homes and no public transport for work would mean approx. another 60 cars in a very small village.
  • Seem about right for what? There are too many identikit houses crammed together on this proposed plot. There are not enough parking spaces (there never are) and no parking provision for visitors.
    It would be a rather noisy and not altogether healthy environment for those residents whose houses back onto the B3217. At the very least traffic calming measures would be required before vehicles reach Little Bickington Lane.
  • The facilities and amenities the village currently enjoy are right for the current number of residents. More cars, more children and pets will have a negative effect on what the residents have proudly built over the years.
  • The original proposal I believe was 24 for this site.  Neither the village roads nor the infrastructure within the village could cope with an additional 80 plus residents.   Public transport is terrible, and it is impossible to travel to work using it, or even attend a hospital appointment so people will have to have cars.  Cycling to Barnstaple or Bideford is dangerous because of the small roads, and there is no public transport system to the railway in Umberleigh for access to   Exeter or Barnstaple. Pound Lane is very small and winding and is not a good road for a rail link and alternatives are equally a problem.   Lots more cars on these roads will be a major problem for everyone and will destroy village life, particularly those who live on the main street through High Bickington.
  • I believe the number of houses is too great for the area involved. Parking would also be an issue as the vast majority of houses will have two cars and there is not enough provision for this.
  • This development proposes 40 homes in a small area, this far too many homes in the village which is already overpopulated without the necessary support services.
  • There are not enough services such as doctors etc., The Doctors are already stretched to their limit.
  • Too many people in a small area, where will they park their cars etc. It will increase the village population by 80+ and there’s not the infrastructure such as public transport, access to health provision (doctors surgery), broadband (system already at well beyond capacity); increased demand on water supply reducing pressure; management of sewage.
  • The number is about right but fails to address the local needs
  • There is not enough parking space for the smaller houses. The plan detail is difficult to see but it seems there is only 1 parking space per property. Presumably, visitors and second cars will be parked outside the Community Centre or elsewhere. It is no good building any type of house in a village setting and expecting people to use non car/van based transport.
  • The proposed 40 dwellings are too many properties for the local area. It would impact on the allotment space and the doctor’s surgery as listed in the policy for the land. The proposed planning space is at the high point of the village and would impact the landscape greatly. The policy states 25 houses on the land, not 40 and therefore 40 is extreme.
  • The addition of 40 more houses is far too many for a small village. No extra facilities will be funded, as mentioned above there will be a significant increase in local traffic. High Bickington has had more development than most North Devon villages, the demographics will be changed significantly by this many additional houses.
  • More proportionate is of housing styles, insufficient parking for number of houses due to inadequate public transport to this village.

Appendix 4 -All responses to Theme 3

  • The ratio between four and less than four bed houses is too high.  There should be more affordable houses.
  • Where is the provision for housing – i.e. bungalows – for the elderly, of whom there are, and will be many in the village, who will need to downsize.  The bungalows need not be large, but need to be very well designed, with two lavatories, and a sunny aspect.
  • We don’t need 40 new houses for local needs. What are the terms of the affordable housing? What build design will be incorporated to all houses to mitigate rising energy cost? What commitment does the builder have to make to limit damage to the environment and sustainable materials?
  • Alternative housing for elderly residents of the village is desperately needed
  • Not enough affordable houses. that’s what the village needs.
  • It would be good to see a higher mix of affordable homes or locals.
  • If anything the village needs small, affordable homes to keep the younger generations in the villages they call home.
  • There should be more affordable housing with adequate parking and infrastructure.
  • Too many open market
  • I’d suggest probably needs to be more for local housing.
  • Locals can’t afford this even with the buy scheme, which means they don’t own their own home anyway
  • Until the roads are improved High Bickington can’t justify building more houses
  • A few single storey dwellings would be beneficial, for villagers approaching retirement age
  • No more houses needed on Green sites
  • Not needed, inadequate facilities in village
  • If housing needed – should all be affordable.
  • There should be a much higher proportion of affordable housing, especially on the council owned land.
  • The area needs small affordable first time and rental for locals
  • Affordable housing is needed not further open market housing.
  • It is inadequate as there is no provision for the elderly or disabled. Semi-detached bungalows would be useful.
  • Should be restricted for people who have family in area (social affordable)
  • I have completed bullet No 3 as the research work done to underpin the proposed mix is not given. I suggest it would be beneficial to provide the appropriate details in any further documentation for, in particular, the mix relating to the number of bedrooms in the various houses is an important issue and one that I consider could be contentious.
  • Would be helpful to know if local needs still justify this level of development, to enable an informed answer to this.
  • Adding 40 new houses in a village that has very poor public transport (3 buses per week) means that more private cars are necessary for families to live and travel to work, shops etc.  This increases local carbon emissions.  Such a development should only be considered if public transport is improved for families needing to work and attend schools etc.
  • Providing the proposal adheres to the actual plan for housing for local people then there can be a positive impact for the community. However, if the development changes significantly for the benefit of the developers in the interest of profiteering, then the development will have a negative impact on the fabric of the village
  • The proportion of affordable houses should be increased, and compliance by the developer to keep to this number enforced. Too often a developer agrees to provide a certain number of affordable homes and then is permitted by the planning authority to reduce this number on financial grounds.
  • Not enough smaller properties for those starting out or those wishing to downsize as they get older.
  • Affordable housing for those who wish to live locally is needed
  • Local needs are for more affordable housing to house local people. The affordable percentage should be higher than 30%.
  • The large number of larger houses is not needed. More 2 and 3 bedroom houses should be included and the number of larger houses reduced. The affordable houses should be built first and all the houses fully equipped with solar panels and battery storage.
  • Unbelievable, cost of properties, mortgage rates going up.  Presume more children, small local school
  • Development there will be unsuitable for anyone – as above.
  • The need in the area is for more local housing not even more large houses to be sold to people by inflated prices outside the area, this is forcing couples to move away from families and friends. It is certainly NOT suitable for local needs. The school already has an extra classroom at the community centre.
  • Very few employment opportunities (see answer to No 4)
  • As far as I am aware there is no local demand for more buildings in High Bickington.
  • There is not a need for 4 bed houses but agree with affordable housing and shared equity housing.
  • Where does your reasoning for this statement come from: what local needs are you referring to?
  • In this current climate who can afford to live out here? Lack of public transport (not enough buses each day), where are they going to work? This will increase vehicles passing through the village and it’s surrounds.
  • The Community Property Trust own rental flats, shared equity houses and the community centre in High Bickington. We know from the interest in the flats and houses when they become available that there is a significant LOCAL need. This need is not being met at present; supply is insufficient. Furthermore, the supply of housing suitable for older people and single people is very limited in all the surrounding villages and is a missed opportunity in these plans. It is my opinion that the community function of the CPT could be enlisted here.
    We all know how plans start claiming affordability and then the plans get revised to make them more profitable for the developer. Local interest demands local supply for local needs and in particular a prohibition on second home ownership. Devon County Council are in a strong position to dictate what happens to their land. Why not employ any developer to do the councils’ bidding all the way to completion?
  • High Bickington needs more affordable housing for young families and flats for single people.  Also more bungalows or accessible flats suitable for single elderly people presently living in large houses in the village, who would downsize if suitable bungalows were available. There are already plenty of large properties in the village.
  • I would be suspicious that there would ever be the amount of affordable housing promised, in our new development in Atherington there are none, but were supposed to be originally.
  • What provision would there be to meet the needs of the elderly residents in the village to enable them to prolong their stay in the village? Would there be suitable social housing available for them?

Appendix 4 -All responses to Theme 4

  • It is not clear as to what they plan to do here.
  • Nowhere is the commitment to solar as obligatory on all properties? Where are the surgery and dentist spaces for upwards of 300 new residents? Build quality is appalling the most recent development, what commitment to a high quality builder? Why are we taking more agricultural land out of use? This village cannot grow nonstop and hope to retain its community spirit.
  • There is no indication of how the hedgerows etc. will be protected once the development has been completed and I suspect they will suffer from unsympathetic management as they seem to provide the boundaries to the new properties. The only real way to protect the hedgerows is to bound them by public access roads and pathways to isolate them from private properties and for traditional management of them to be the responsibility of the Council/Local Authority.
  • The plan doesn’t show any space for additional allotments or additional planting. Also the path into current allotment looks like it will go right through a current plot holders plot. So that needs addressing.
    Saying you will keep current hedges isn’t really adding to the area- but planning on growing new hedges instead of fences would be great for wildlife. Especially as the site will be hit with harsh and strong winds in winter.
    Also adding solar would be good.
  • Not enough.
  • I cannot see a need for further allotments before consideration for increased healthcare is given.
  • If there were fewer properties on the site each would have space for their own vegetable garden. The provision for public open space in the village is already limited and inadequate for the existing community
  • It’s a field now, why change it?
  • The allotments already have a waiting list with the current residents.
  • Not needed
  • Could always be space for more open space
  • Not suitable
  • There may well be other more important needs for the village which would give better value for the planning gain. Alternatives need to be fully discussed with the Parish Council and other village groups to achieve the best mix. Improvements to local services, medical, educational and utilities should be considered.
  • Extra screening along the hedgerow running down beside Little Bickington Lane should be put in place, so residents of Ridgeway Green have privacy. The houses of this new development will look down onto the gardens of Ridgeway Green.
  • The area has recently been developed alongside a Community Property Trust on the basis of a Village appraisal. Has a liaison been made with the CPT to find out if this scheme will fit in with the long term plans of the village?
  • it would be nice to see more hedgerows planted instead of fenced borders to properties to balance the habitats that would be displaced by the development.
  • Difficult to comment on the information given.
  • The plan doesn’t provide sufficient information about the subject matter within the question!!!
  • As well as providing access to open space and additional planting, a contribution should be sought towards the maintenance of Quarry Wood, the community woodland to the west of the site, as the additional number of residents will considerably increase pressure on the wood and add to the costs of maintenance for which funds have to be raised by the volunteers who look after it. In addition, play facilities for children should be built within or near the development.
  • Not enough planting.
  • NO, NO, NO….has anybody from the Council been to look at the site???  Please do, it will be soooo clear why this is a ridiculous proposal
  • Irrelevant – as above
  • As is common knowledge this provision is always cut down as building progresses. Also the current trend of charging maintenance for outside spaces is totally unacceptable.
  • Open space is already here. There are allotments already available but five of them are not being used.
  • I really don’t understand this question. The proposed new development is clearly shown as being next door to the allotments and a stone’s throw away from the community woodland, so access shouldn’t be an issue for inhabitants.

    However, these already existing facilities are for the benefit of the whole village, not just this development and other householders, some of whom have lived in the village for many years, are not so lucky. For example, a number of houses on North Road have no footpath at all and doors/gates open straight onto the B3217.

    The hedgerow which is described as a “biodiversity enhancement” in the accompanying blurb already exists. As a conservative estimate 40 new houses will result in 40/50 more cars and I doubt that the resulting emissions, plus the increased use of resources, can be offset by the planting of a few trees.

    It’s worth pointing out that, despite being one of the wettest counties in England, Devon currently has a hosepipe ban until December. One of the reasons cited by South West Water is population growth/ house building.

    There are a number of lovely walks around High Bickington which, for most residents can only be reached by crossing or walking along the B3217. I wouldn’t classify these as having “enhanced pedestrian connectivity”.
  • From what I can see of the plan the arrangements will be insufficient and only put a strain on existing green space etc.
  • With less number of housing the provision of planting could be increased.
  • The existing allotments are already fully utilised, any additional planting is completely inadequate for such large development.
  • Not large enough.
  • There are local footpaths but there are few and attention needs to be focussed on improving access to open spaces all around the village or the existing paths will get overused
  • There is not enough space provided for allotments. Offsite open space is good- onsite the provision is poor.
  • The number of houses proposed would impact on the allotment space and reduce the natural environment for wildlife. There would be decreased number of planting opportunities with the proposed number of houses.
  • A level footpath to the village amenities with dropped kerbs to allow wheelchair access is essential.
  • The change from farmland, the inevitable removal of hedges (despite you suggesting the contrary) will have a large negative effect upon the wildlife and nature in the area.
  • Personally, I couldn’t ascertain where these spaces would be. A safe, suitably sized play area would need to be designated for the children as there is no safe space for the children on the Little Bickington development to play and they end up playing on the road around parked cars!
  • Information too vague, public consultation should be mandatory.

Appendix 6 – All additional comments

  • We would anticipate developer contributions towards…. and transport’ This needs to be confirmed as to what this would be.  Without enhanced public transport to/from the village (at least multiple bus services every day) the statement of ‘homes in a sustainable location’ is meaningless.
  • The houses needs to have solar panels, to cut energy costs, because BE AWARE that the site is extremely windy.  And with suitable heating, not the disastrous biomass boiler that serves the older development.  We need:  assurances from the doctor’s surgery that it will continue in the village; and also an increase in the bus service, to include a service on Saturdays.
  • My whole reason for not agreeing in principle to this development is there is currently insufficient arrangements in place for Healthcare.  The GP service offered in the village of High Bickington for the population is shrinking and not fit for current purpose let alone another 100 plus possible patients.
    Since Covid the service at the village surgery has been dramatically reduced. Prior to Covid the Dr’s held surgery every morning, that has been reduced to 3 mornings between the hours of 8.30 to 10.00. Then the practice nurse appointments were removed for dressing BP checks etc. More recently the surgery has been shut completely due to “staffing issues” so everyone has to do a 16 mile round trip for healthcare needs…if you have a car! There is no bus service.
    One can’t help but think the slow shrinking of the service is a ploy to close it completely.

    I know planning must consider all aspects of the impact of all developments and it is interesting that your questionnaire does not directly ask about healthcare impact from the point of view of the residents in the area.
    I would ask those responsible for planning to investigate further the long term plan for a GP service in the village involving the CCG. I fail to understand how a growing village has had to increase its education places but the healthcare cover is now being reduced. I would suggest the GP service be reinstated to pre Covid levels, or consideration given to a new GP practice commissioned under contract to serve the High Bickington village and surrounding villages to the North and East of the village, the current arrangement are insufficient and very unfair to patients living in a rural area with no travel services especially the elderly and infirm. The impact of further housing will surely necessitate the increase of the GP service not reduce it. I have no objection the housing development providing the above is taken into consideration and acted on.
  • As long as the high Bickington surgery is restored to pre covid level of services as it looks like Torrington health centre is doing less for village this month due to unforeseen circumstances surgery shut to end of May
  • Proper face to face meetings are needed to give details BEFORE ANY KIND OF PLANING IS GIVEN
  • I’d like to see more parking provision for the houses in purple and/or a significant improvement in the bus service to Barnstaple.
  • Why is there such a need to develop farmland surrounding a rural village, that is fast being no destroyed by any over development.
  • I would suggest the development needs to be smaller to include additional parking and for protection of the retained Hedgerows and new planting as well as improvements to the access onto the B3217.
  • If the plan is to connect to the biomass SERIOUSLY think again. It doesn’t work properly, goes off when there are power blips and needs resetting, and we have power blips on a regular basis.  Ppl are taking the CPT to court over it. Additional strain on the system would be utterly ridiculous. We are often cold in the winter, no-one’s radiators work properly, you can’t guarantee to have hot water at any time.  They can’t even produce a bill at the moment! Ppl on Cole meadow have paid to have gas installed it’s so bad.
  • I think adding space for children to play on the plot is key to keeping them out of the car park areas.
    I know there is the playing field but so few parents actually take time to take their children over there and the play park is private so who knows it could change use in the future also.
    So a play space and green spaces and think carefully about where all the cars go
    And improve the safety of the cars joining the main road.
    Even maybe start the addition of a footpath for walkers as currently, they run the gauntlet trying to walk North road safely.
    Also for people with disabilities, the site is on a hill and a path down North road is the easiest way for people to access the shop and doctor, school without having to climb back up the hill.
    Please also add yellow lines to stop cars blocking current house driveways at the bottom of Little Bickington lane.
  • The village needs to grow!  This is a big boost to the village.  Traffic management through the village is key to ensure no accidents on North Road
  • More thought and planning is required regarding the impact of this development on the local environment and services including the impact on other villages in the local area.
  • It will increase traffic flow even more, create more houses that only people from outside the village can buy and create even more parking issues.
  • If more housing is to be built it needs to be affordable for young persons who want to stay local to the areas they grow up in.
  • We live just outside the village and the narrow road just outside High Bickington that gives access to Country ways, A T Motors and Boreat Barton have seen a substantial increase in traffic.  The road is nothing more than a narrow lane badly maintained and is used as a rat run/ short cut from High Bickington to join the road to Torrington.  We would need traffic calming measures.  I have asked in the past for warning signs regarding horse riders etc and nothing was done.  It is already dangerous.  Without proper traffic calming measures improvements in infrastructure the development should not go ahead.  In principle we do not objected but the Council simply cannot keep building houses without proper infrastructure that can cope and is safe.  The rural properties on the edge of the village must be able to enjoy horse riding, cycling and walking along these country lanes without fear of being knocked over by speeding traffic or a substantial increase in traffic that use the lanes as short cuts.  We should not have our lives disrupted or eroded because housing estates are built without proper infrastructure and traffic calming measures put in place to protected these country lanes and their residents.
  • The village doesn’t need any more houses
  • The main concern here lies within the access point for this development. The entry/exit into little Bickington lane is dangerous as it is now without traffic calming measures on the main road into the village, with limited visibility and next to no reaction time. The argument that traffic would not affect the main village is flawed, what about those coming from the Atherington end? Would they teletransport over North Road to Little Bickington? There is no mention of how the current healthcare provision would be expected to cope with a further 40 houses when it’s current provision is already insufficient, with existing community member having to travel to torrington to see a doctor. There is no improvement proposal to public transport links which would suggest these 40 new houses would require their own transport.
  • Small rural villages cannot continue to absorb this sort of development year after year without having an adverse effect on the quality of life of the residents and the natural environment. The need for housing must be tempered with the need to preserve the rural environment and the ecosystems it supports. Stating that a hedge will be preserved and a few trees will be planted will not balance the detrimental irreversible impact 40 new homes will have on this small rural village and its surrounding rural environment.
  • Tied into the development needs to be a plan/building to bring the whole school over to the new site. The existing buildings in the centre of the village are not fit for purpose in this day and age. I very much question the understanding of the current situation regarding student numbers. I am aware there is a large cohort of pre schoolers/reception. Not only in the village but also the surrounding area. So the capacity will be very stretched if using the current infrastructure in place.
  • Please review and consider the medical services in our village before you go ahead with more housing… people need to travel 16 miles round trip to see a Doctor presently as our surgery is closed due to staff sickness. Since Covid the HB surgery runs at very reduced hours with no nurse support anymore. There has been no communication of the changes.
    There is no bus service to Torrington and villagers are relying on others to help. Also consider the school facilities spread over 2 sites. Sewage treatment facilities are constantly being visited.
  • It’s ridiculous. Go build on more run down brownfield sites and repurpose those with doctors, dentists and schools before building yet more housing that’s going to impact the local area. Roads are not fit for purpose already with potholes & flood risks.  We’re already on a hosepipe ban because of low water levels and South West Water is letting sewage into the sea – deal with that first!
  • Atherington and High Bickington already struggle with traffic with lorries from NWF, a long established local employer. I accept this traffic which is justified and was occurring before I moved to the village but to build an additional 40 properties without the correct infrastructure is unnecessary and quite frankly ridiculous.
  • Please think about the Doctors surgery, the transport access, the size of the school. This is already at busting point due to the many developments over the last 10 years!
  • Would the developer consider extending the electricity supply to the Playing Field/Pavilion on the other side of Quarries Lane, to make this village amenity more accessible to villagers, as the proposal states they will support existing services and facilities
  • To many lorries from Kingford Hill and Atherington to the feed mill.The roads do not need any more traffic causing more chaos
  • Having funding allocated for further development to the village school new site and further business units on current little Bickington would be a very good idea. Something along the lines of the conditions put in place for the first phase of little Bickington development already completed.
  • I do agree more homes are needed (in general) but there are not sufficient provisions in this village, there are no local amenities (apart from a community shop which already has no parking available anywhere).  Doctors services are being diminished, no dental services, just wish any new developments came with ‘something’ to benefit the rest of the community other than just houses….
  • I do not agree with any of it
  • New housing is good for the village in terms of community etc, but it’s the extra pressure on local resources that is a concern
  • As well as highways being unsuitable. Infrastructure also poor. V few buses, over stretched Drs when open & no bus service to nearest town with Drs.
    Roads are also frequently closed. Nightmare.
  • Road improvement are require for any future development in High Bickington. Example a bypass for the village of Atherington. Plus better Public Transport, a more regular Bus Service, which can connect at Umberleigh Railway Station.
  • The scale and location of this plan, together with the lack of consultation so far leaves us far short of achieving a balanced proposal. The statement that the development will not increase traffic through the centre of the village depends on the definition you use. North Road, already heavily used and potentially unsafe will deteriorate further and the traffic generated during the development will be totally unacceptable to local residents, children using the school annex and others
  • Not against additional housing for the village but 40 houses seems far too excessive when you consider there is a very poor bus network, transport links are not great (it is not an A-road going through the village) and local services are already stretched (doctors surgery, dentist etc). Significant screening and extension of 30 mph zone needs considering.
  • Will the developer build a full time surgery, dentist, local shops, water treatment plant, community heating? Local school? Saying there is probably capacity at the existing school is quite frankly irresponsible.
  • The notices put around the village were very poorly displayed with a poly pocket being used instead of lamination. This resulted in them getting wet and being unreadable.
    The length of time for consultation was very
  • This proposal would garner more support if funding was allocated for further development of the school.  An extra 40 properties will bring in more families to add to a school that is currently close to maximum capacity.  primarily however, the transport and highways infrastructure away from the village will need addressing before support can be fully given.
  • A public meeting needs to be called to discuss this project in greater depth because many mistakes were made on the previous development regarding traffic access, parking of vehicles, children`s play space or lack of it, pedestrian access to village, safe walking access along roads and a very dangerous access road to the Community Centre.
    These aspects could be overcome with good liaison with local people who were involved in the previous project and good, well trained, experienced planners who understand the needs of a small community.
  • I would approve the proposal if there were to be a commitment to build more social housing, but no to shared ownership dwellings, also the existing entrance would need to be improved.
  • One parking space per dwelling is totally inadequate. The existing houses and residential road by the Community Centre are already clogged up with vans and cars. The Community Centre car park is used as overflow parking for commercial vehicles including lorries and coaches at times.
    Developer contribution to education, open space and transport is only ever a token gesture. The previous developments have contributed little to village amenities apart from children’s play areas.
    Why not build a school and turn the existing school buildings into affordable housing which would meet a local need. More commercial housing for High Bickington does nothing to enhance the village but just puts more pressure on existing limited infrastructure and increase traffic on very narrow roads.
  • There is not enough sewerage capacity in the village and there is not enough public transport for people to be able to get to work or to be able to get to any of the nearest towns which means if they can not drive they cannot work or shop.  But if they can drive and they could end up with being a 2,3 or even 4 car family as they would all need to be able to get work and be able to get to the nearest town and we do not need a lot more vehicles on the roads or driving through the village as as we are meant to be looking at getting the emissions down to save the plant this is definitely not a good idea please think of the environment! Some of off the little lanes around the village are turning into death traps for the number of vehicles on the road.
  • I fully support more housing in High Bickington. I just feel that this is a missed opportunity to meet more local needs. However, it is better than nothing. I would like a firm commitment to the 30% affordable and shared ownership given how often the numbers are not reached. There is no mention of transport in the survey. I trust thought will be given to it.
  • Doctor schools can not cope with this amount of houses neither can the roads parking in village
  • I support the proposal ” In Principle” accepting that there is a general need for more houses. However, as in many things ‘the devil is in the detail’ and I realise there is much work to be undertaken to present a comprehensive proposal for Planning Approval.  The plan published would indicate that in addition to semi detached and detached properties there is one terrace of 3 houses and one of 4 houses. Also ownership of the social housing and the organisation/trust for those houses under shared equity arrangements requires to be articulated.
  • Accepting that new houses have to be built somewhere, it should at least be the case that when looking for sites the planning authorities give full weight to the whole range of needs of both existing and projected additional residents, to include traffic management in an area where public transport is almost wholly extinct and likely to remain so.
  • I hope that the affordable homes are not all built together but are mixed with the other homes in the scheme.
  • As one of the residents who was a member of the High Bickington development I do have one concern. The original scheme acknowledged the likely future need for a new school as part of the wider area development. I hope the siting of the proposed allotments does not jeopardise any land intended for the school.
  • I see there appears to be no provision for additional parking within the proposed development, this needs to be provided as the extra over parking at the community centre is already being used by people that live down within the village and this development would only add to that problem. The parking at the comm centre is for people who live there and for those who are attending the centre .
    It would be a consideration from DCC to liaise with HBCPT as to compensating them with a means to supply an energy supply to the existing estate as the existing Biomass needs replacing, I can only assume DCC had a say into the green energy system that was put in place , and now it looks like the HBCPT are pushing the issue upon the homeowners to seek an energy source of their own.
    With reference to compensation , meaning , the existing inhabitants being inconvenienced by the development taking place , because it will cause considerable disruption on a daily basis with large vehicle movements in and out .
    Another consideration would be that the access to the new development was via Quarry Lane which was upgraded to service the two playing fields along with the new houses. That would have many more benefits for the local community as access to these fields has a terrible junction.
    I feel the proposed development would, maybe provide more housing stock but spoil the little Bickington site. Mainly due to an increase in traffic and inconsiderate parking.
    Oh and both Pubs are closed.
    It would be nice to get some feedback to this consultation.
    The key on the plan accompanying the consultation is impossible to read so a full consideration of the proposal is not possible. 
  • We just don’t need any more housing in our beautiful village, the roads are not suitable for any more traffic, including the big lorries that will be delivering materials to the site, the doctor’s surgery is nearly non existing, the hospitals can’t cope as it is not big enough, now the reservoir can’t cope with 2 weeks dry weather
  • I think the village needs these extra houses, there are young and local people who are having to move out of the village, therefore more in High Bickington they may have a chance to live in the village where they grew up and have a connection with.
  • Affordable housing is important for a population that is increasing.  Using existing green spaces for new housing carries a high environmental responsibility.  We owe it to future generations to minimise carbon emissions and all negative environmental impacts.  Just meeting Building Regulations is no longer enough.  In my opinion new green space developments should be carbon neutral or better.  The electric car is now a reality and all new housing developments must ensure that charging infrastructure is a part of that development if we are to limit our contribution to global warming.  If this site was exemplary in terms of energy self-sufficiency and environmental impact then it would be worth supporting.  It is no longer acceptable to turn a blind eye to the real threat of global warming that we now all face.  Time to wake up and take a more radical approach!
  • In the interests of transparency, I believe that DCC need to consult the people of the village through a face to face meeting.  A discussion of the development could be a positive step forward to allow further clarity on questions that people may have. There will be a further impact upon the surgery in the village with an influx of people that move in without an increase in health provision.
  • Our lack of support reflects our reservations – hence the need for a more detailed plan which addresses our concerns
  • The Little Bickington Farm development by High Bickington Community Property Trust (CPT) was of a holistic nature, with housing, workspace, community, woodland, sport and education facilities integrated across the site, with strong community involvement and support. The proposed development should be integrated as far as possible with the existing site, through close and continuing dialogue with the CPT and community. 
    2. The access onto North Road is a major concern and should be addressed before any consent is given to further development on this site. It is for this reason that I cannot give the proposal a higher score in Question 9.
  • I would love to see the new school site built before this development takes place. I don’t believe the school currently has capacity for additional children. I would strongly suggest that Devon County Council acquires funding for the new school site BEFORE beginning this development, hence my score of 3/10.
  • The homes need to be built to the highest environmental standards. All (including social housing/ help to buy etc) should have solar panels, air source heat pumps, high level insulation and rainwater collection systems for toilets and watering as a minimum.
  • The increased traffic resulting from the development will have a negative impact through Atherington as well as High Bickington
  • The roads are not suitable for more traffic.
    There is very little public transport options, most people would have to drive to bigger towns to fulfil all their needs.
  • High Bickington school is not big enough to take on so many children, the road infrastructure is not ok, and the doctor’s surgery needs to be open more often also with a nurse in attendance, the bus service will need to be daily and more than once a day.
  • New Building South of Little Bickington Lane
  • Dear TDC
    I am writing on behalf of the High Bickington Community Woodland Management Group.   

    As you may be aware a 5 acre Community Woodland, known as Quarry Wood, lies approximately 200m west of the proposed new building site off Little Bickington Lane. It was planted in 2005 by volunteers from the village as part of a community led project in conjunction with Devon County Council.  The project also included a community centre, affordable and open market housing, workshops, sports field, a new primary school and allotments.

    The above project was conceived to meet the needs of the village and was the result of a Parish appraisal, environmental audit and public consultations. The results of this ensured the new development met the needs of the inhabitants at that time.

    Since the above project was completed, Quarry Wood has matured and has been very well used for recreational purposes e.g. nature observations, dog walking, camping, social events etc as well as for educational visits by the school. The woodland volunteers are now producing and selling charcoal and logs locally from the coppiced timber. The wood has also been awarded “Best Devon Community Woodland” twice – 2014 and 2023.

    The concern of the management group is the extra pressure 40 more houses in such close proximity will have on the woodland ecosystem and the denudation and disturbance that will inevitably happen when overuse occurs.

    Question 1 – Has an environmental assessment been carried by the developers of the scheme? If not, why not, because an estate that size will have a large impact on the countryside around the village.    If it has, will there be an open public meeting to share the findings?

    Question2 – What measures will the planners require the developers put in place to offset the overuse of the surrounding countryside?

    Question 3 – Will green spaces be provided by the developers within the estate to provide areas for children to play/ explore near to where they live?
  • Local facilities are already stretched, especially health. There is virtually no public transport (3 buses a week to Barnstaple only) The burden on local services would be high, what is to be done to improve access to health and dentistry. Will the school get funds to finish its planned growth, perhaps funded by the developer
  • Not enough space to write all the problems this development will make, cannot believe that this is even being considered.  Open your eyes and access the amenities and the dangerous road that vehicles (especially HUGE lorries) speed through…pavements on only one side of North Road, cars are parking on pavements.  The effect of more and more cars will be stupid and extremely dangerous. 
  • It will generate more traffic on the road through High Bickington and Atherington, who already suffer from very bad traffic jams.
  • Very concerned about what infrastructure that will be put in place to support a large amount of additional housing. Our sewage and water systems are already overstretched. The doctor’s surgery is currently closed. Will new classrooms be built to accommodate new pupils, if required, rather than shoehorning them into existing spaces?
  • Just because the land is available does not mean a development of this size is suitable or appropriate for existing residents.
  • The local infrastructure is inadequate even for existing development.  Any further development will erode the quality of life for existing residents still further, which is unfair on the existing community – many of whom are elderly.  E.g. it is impossible to get a dentist and the GP surgery here has effectively closed.
    The road network is a wholly inadequate for existing volumes of traffic… The road between Libbaton and L/H Bickington is too narrow in places which makes it impossible for vehicles to pass an HGV.  If 2 HGV’s meet then there is usually chaos.  The same goes for Atherington – but much more so.   It is ridiculous that NWF lorries, and plenty of other lorries, go through that totally inadequate junction and cause massive disruption and delays with all sorts of vehicle manoeuvring and anguish caused.  So frustrating, especially when trying to get to a doctor’s appointment at G. Torrington etc.
    Before any significant further development is even considered for the High Bickington area, these issues MUST be addressed and resolved – especially the wholly inadequate B3217 road that runs through the village.
  • There should be a public meeting to discuss the proposal before it is granted.
    There is often problems with young people when their parents decide to move them from the town into the countryside, if the site goes ahead the builders/owners of the land should pay towards facilitating a youth club and a village car park. The local roads are degenerating at a vast rate with potholes appearing everywhere, more building with the resultant rise in the number of vehicles will make them even worse.
  • We were told prior to the last development that the sewerage plant was already at maximum
  • I have found it extremely difficult to reconcile this Consultation Document with the “Vision for the Development” which appeared in the accompanying letter.

    High Bickington is a rural village which has experienced more that its fair share of house building over recent years but precious little planning or investment in infrastructure. The proposed new development would be situated on the highest point of the village and, like the previous development, will stand out and be seen for miles around. I fail to see how this meets the vision for “development that integrates with the landscape and responds positively to the character and appearance of the area”. In fact I struggle to see how it meets any of the 5 “visions”.

    Finally, there is a feeling among some in the village that this development is a “done deal” and that completing the Consultation Document is a waste of time (perhaps due to previous experiences?).

    I hope this doesn’t deter people from responding and I sincerely hope it isn’t true.
  • As a volunteer and supporter of the local Community Woodland, I fear that the new houses so close to the woodland will have an adverse effect on this award winning area. Rather than building more houses we should be extending and conserving our woodlands to increase biodiversity and combat climate change.
  • As with all new developments has the impact on high bickington STW been looked at SWW have a history of accepting all new developments without regard to the capacity of the receiving works. Just more income. I am a retired Environment Officer with many years of dealing with them.
  • My wife and I are residents of High Bickington, and referring to:

    The May 2023 Community Consultation letter sent to High Bickington residents and further information provided at https://devon.cc/littlebickington
    lNorth Devon and Torridge Local Plan – Adopted October 2018

    our six comments follow:

    1.There is an apparent discrepancy between the number of dwellings proposed in the Local Plan and in the Community Consultation that needs clarification. I.e.
     
    The Local Plan, High Bickington Rural Strategy, Policy HBK01: Land at Little Bickington Lane states “Land south of Little Bickington Lane, as shown on Policies Map 18, is allocated for residential development that includes: Approximately 25 dwellings, including affordable homes…”

    The Local Plan, High Bickington Housing Trajectory Allocations HBK01: Land at Little Bickington Lane, shows a total of 32 dwellings between 2023/24 and 2025/26.

    The Community Consultation states approximately 40 dwellings are proposed.

    We are not opposed in principle to extra housing, but an extra 40 dwellings seems too high density for the space allocated.

    2. The Community Consultation information at https://devon.cc/littlebickington states “This proposed development is adjacent to an existing modern residential estate in High Bickington and would be accessible via Little Bickington Lane thereby avoiding any increased traffic into the village centre.” This not correct; due to mobility problems, bad weather, etc some residents from the new development will wish to drive to the village centre for facilities such as the post office, community shop, church, pub and school. There will also be an increase in traffic passing through the village on North Road to and from the Atherington direction. Speeding along North Road is already a problem; there is a risk this dangerous practice will increase if more vehicles from the new development pass through the village. Please note that the long, narrow, single-track Pound Lane and Nethergrove Lane have few passing places and are used as shortcuts to the A377 Barnstaple to Exeter main road. These lanes are unsuitable for the inevitable increase in traffic arising from construction/sub-contractor’s vehicles and eventually residents’ vehicles from the new development. When considering the number of new dwellings to be built, the above points need to be taken into account.

    3. The Community Consultation states “………………we would anticipate developer contributions towards education, open space, and transport.” Is this suggesting a proposal to improve the village’s bus service?

    4.The Community Consultation states the proposal will “Facilitate development that integrates with the landscape and responds positively to the character and appearance of the area.” The current trend of new local housing faced with plain, pale painted render does not achieve this; concentrated developments in this style stand out starkly against the landscape. Housing with, at least partial, facing of local stone/slate is less conspicuous and more in keeping with the traditional North Devon vernacular.

    5. Local infrastructure is already struggling with increased demand. What provisions will be made to ensure the domestic water supply and sewage is adequate for the village’s increased population?

    6. There is already insufficient car parking for residents of the development north of Little Bickington Lane, which has led to overflow parking in Little Bickington Lane and the Community Centre car park. Adequate additional parking should be provided for the proposed new development.

    We are not opposed in principle to extra housing in the village, but given our comments above we can only score support of 3 out of 10 until our concerns have been addressed. 

    Please note, we are also forwarding a copy of our comments to the Local Plan department (localplan@torridge.gov.uk) to ensure that our concerns are noted and addressed by all parties involved in the decision-making process.
  • This is a very high, bleak and windy spot which will be at the mercy of the rain and wind without any shelter.   I live in Cole Meadow, and the house rattles furiously under the force of the weather.  At times it is almost impossible to leave the front of the house because of the wind. This will be even worse in the location where the houses are going to be built.  
  • The main problems with this proposal are the very limited transport, medical and shopping facilities in the village.
    We have a very small community shop which is run by volunteers.
    The doctor’s surgery (currently not open) offers a very limited service (8.30 to 10.00 each day) and only for very basic things. For the vast majority of appointments, you need to go to Torrington Health Centre which is 8/9 miles away and is only accessible by car. There is a definite need for public transport.
    The public transport we have is very inadequate (3 times a week to Barnstaple and only 1 bus on those days and your time is limited to 23/4 hours at most which is not enough time to then catch another bus to the hospital due to the time restraints, or to travel on further. This really is not acceptable, especially in times where we are supposed to be cutting back on car use.
    The preschool and school may have enough space for extra pupils (?) but it is the general provisions which are not available and the major, major issues are lack of transport and medical facilities and the volume of traffic already on the road between Atherington and High Bickington which is already unacceptable.
  • The proposals would substantially alter and adversely impact upon the character of the village and be detrimental. The layout, irrespective of any subsequent amendment, will clearly enable subsequent extension into, and further future development of the allotment land.
    Overall the services in the vicinity, particularly the rural roads and lanes, are already sub-standard, and have not and can not be adequately improved. Any increase in traffic will exacerbate the existing situation which, with inadequate parking provision and on-street and pavement parking, is already unacceptable and dangerous.
    High Bickington is 3 times the size it was 50 years ago, and the rapid development that has already been undertaken recently, inhibits and precludes proper integration. There is no employment in the area, necessitating all to travel elsewhere by car, as the bus service is sporadic at best.
    A period of stability is vitally necessary to develop and establish a proper infrastructure which is long overdue, before embarking upon further extensive and uncharacteristic mass development. The vision for this development is perverse and unachievable.
    Simply, the village can not support, and neither wants nor needs yet another housing estate.
  • This is a poorly worded document , it is contradictory and not worthy of Devon County Council.  
  • The Village is not big enough to take on more residents.
  • In the current financial climate who can afford mortgages and budget for travelling to and from work. If they’re working from home the broadband supplied to the village will not be good enough. Limited public transport for those without transport and a new ‘bus stop’ will need to be instigated as to get to the current stop by the Golden Lion is a long walk down a road without a path = dangerous.
  • I have heard comments about the plans overburdening local facilities. High Bick has a great range of facilities and I cannot think of any threatened by the proposed population increase. As a retired GP, more patients would encourage the local surgery to maintain their valued presence in the village, as past chair of the community shop, it would strengthen our viability, similarly for the pub(s), post office, churches and school. The community centre already has a wide range of users, and there is room for more. BUT keep at least part of this development for people who already have local connection so that the whole village may continue to thrive with a balanced demographic that includes young people who may wish to start families. This proposal generally does that but has to be delivered at completion. You only have one chance!
  • We need more affordable housing in N Devon but not at the expense of community life in small villages. High Bickington is expanding into a dormitory conurbation with limited public provision, e.g. the junior school has run out of space and the Community Centre is being used as an overflow.  
    Dolton, Winkleigh and other villages to the south of High Bickington have/are expanding and this puts more and more traffic through Atherington. Had this proposal included putting a southerly by-pass around Atherington (Higher Town to the layby below the sewerage works) then this housing proposal would be more acceptable.

  • The policy stipulates approximately 25 houses to be built on the land, 40 seems excessive in comparison to the number quoted in the policy. 40 houses prejudices the policy in relation to allotment space and the proposed plans do not cover the doctor’s surgery as per policy and therefore would take the land a surgery should be built on. When we bought our house, the plans were for the primary school and doctors surgery and only the preschool has been built and the surgery is non existent. The current doctors surgery is open mornings only and when we first moved to high Bickington it was open twice a day on minimal hours and has decreased over the years. The surgery was closed during covid and has recently been closed due to staff sickness. There are concerns that even if a surgery was to be built that there may not be sufficient staff to be able to open the surgery and provide a service to those who require it and are unable to access torrington for services. The services and facilities the proposed plan offers for the new houses, don’t really exist. There is a very part time doctors surgery a community centre with some activities, a community shop which relies on volunteers to open and run it and a school. There is one bus service in the village a day which does not give flexibility in and out of the village and then there are no other transport options other than seeing if locals can assist with transport. Preschool numbers have increased without the building of the proposed number of houses. The reception class in September has more children accepted than the number the council allocated which is good but the concern is how many children will be turned away if numbers are already increasing without the number of houses being proposed are built. Another concern is the increase of traffic in and out of the village with the number of proposed houses. The village already has a lot of traffic flowing through it including large lorries which can cause issues at times. There are a lot of parents who drive their children to school instead of walking them despite how close they live to the school. The number of cars will increase, cars are already speeding to and from the preschool on little Bickington lane. The junction of little Bickington lane to the main road is dangerous at present with the way traffic enter the 30mph zone just before it and cars always speed into the village and are surprised when a car pulls out when the road was clear when they looked. The access to the lane or the new buildings needs to be improved. There will be a risk of accidents increasing if not addressed with the increase of cars.

    My understanding is the adjacent landowner referred to is the high Bickington community property trust, if this is the case, I feel sorry for any future residents. The CPT have been unprofessional throughout our time living in the previous development resulting in expensive legal bills to try and rectify issues. The stress they have caused to us and many residents is not acceptable nor professional. Any new properties need to have proper working heating and hot water services and to not be connected to the biomass district heating system.
  • I think there would be more children living in this development than anticipated and the school is very short of space. The school desperately needs to complete its development into a single site school joined to the community centre. The plans have been waiting for funding for several years now.
  • The traffic level going through Atherington at the present time has increased substantially in the time we have lived here, I certainly would not like to see it get even worse. Also is there sufficient infrastructure to cope with this development? Perhaps the planning officers should spend some time in this area and see the chaos and damage to our community that is taking place before they give permission for this to go ahead.
  • High Bickington has had more housing estates than most North Devon villages. The existing Little Bickington estate was largely designed for local people to get on the housing ladder.  This new development is designed to make money for people at the expense of those already living in the village. 40 new houses is far too many for a village the size of High Bickington, no new facilities will be paid for, the sewage system is already struggling, the access onto the main road is horrendous.  This plan is a dreadful idea.
  • I have no objection to additional houses being built in the village but fear the necessary infrastructure will not be put in place to deal with the increase in vehicles and population. Living on North Road I fear for lives when walking into the village due to the number of vehicles travelling at speed. There are no pavements and no signs to indicate concealed entrances. Having had my arm knocked by a car, I am extremely wary of increasing the volume of traffic through the village. In recent months we have had several diversions through the village again leading to a huge increase in the volume of traffic. We do not let our teenage grandchildren walk on their own along the road as it is so dangerous. I feel that there should be a public meeting with representatives from the council to discuss our concerns and to hear what they are planning in order to deal with the potential problems the development might cause. Is the council liaising with the Community Property Trust over these matters?
  • I hope a public consultation will happen with more consideration to water conservancy, better insulation of the homes, ECO elements, ie. solar panels, improved road access, in particular safety.
    Overall a better formulated plan please.

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