A DATE has been set for a public inquiry after developers appealed against a second refusal for planning at the controversial former Dairy Crest site in Totnes.

Essex-based glue company Fastglobe submitted a second application to South Hams District Council in April for a mixed-use development of the eight-acre site next to Totnes Railway Station.

Planners refused permission in July after receiving more than 300 letters of objection from residents, A handful of residents supported the application.The appeal hearing will be heard at Follaton House, the district council’s headquarters, on December 5.

At this month’s full council meeting, Totnes Town Council was urged by South Hams District Councillor John Birch to send an official representative to the public inquiry.

In a report to the town council he said: “Fastglobe has lodged appeals against the refusal of both its planning applications for development on the former Dairy Crest site. The town council will need to decide if it will be taking an active part in the inquiry under what is known as ‘rule six’ status. This status means an involved party will be able to present evidence on a formal basis and cross examine the evidence of others.”

Town councillors voted unanimously in favour of sending a representative to the inquiry, and will now decide who to send and what to say at their planning committee meetings.

They stated: “There are historic aspects to the site and the town council has a duty to represent views at the meeting to make it clear how important this site is to the town.”

Fastglobe’s first outline application, including 20 holiday lodges, was refused. Their second increased the number of new homes to 79, removed the lodges, and added ten commercial units, as well as plans to preserve the historic Brunel building and chimney.

Totnes’ homegrown Atmos community project still has plans for 99 homes for local people and enterprise and work space providing employment for 160 people at the site. They ran a campaign to encourage residents to object to Fastglobe’s application.

South Hams Council Planners said Fastglobe’s appeal will be determined on the basis of the public inquiry.