A decision on whether to extend a housing estate on the edge of a South Hams village has been postponed after authorities found a road had been wrongly constructed.
A planning application for the third phase of Canes Orchard on the eastern edge of Brixton was to be discussed by South Hams District Council’s planning committee last week.
The outline application for 29 homes would extend what will be a substantial development. 27 homes are already complete and occupied, and two subsequent phases of 17 houses each also have planning permission.
However, just before committee members were due to begin their deliberations they learned of problems with the way a road had been constructed in the already-built part of the site.
A Devon Highways representative had visited and found the road running through phase one of the development "does not appear to have been built in accordance with approved plans", councillors were told. Because of the width of a pavement, the highways officer was concerned the road may not be able to "support further housing".
Officers had not yet looked in detail at the situation, as it had only just been discovered. So councillors were given the option of making a decision on the application with the assumption the highways issue could be resolved. Instead, they chose to defer it.
As SHDC staff noted at the meeting, the main reason the application is being decided by the committee is that the landowner is Cllr Basil Cane, SHDC member for Wembury and Brixton. Decisions on many applications are delgated to planning officers, who use their expertise together with input from the local SHDC councillor.
Cane’s Orchard, the name given to the development, is on land belonging to Cllr Cane’s Venn Farm.
This latest phase of the development has again met with opposition from locals, with 14 people getting in touch with objections, against four in support. Brixton Parish Council objected strongly to the application.