Revised plans for a prominent site on Fore street have been supported again by Ivybridge Town Council.

After a second round of discussions between the town councils planning and infrastructure committee the town council have submitted their intention to support the application to for a change of use from motor sales to building supplies.

Despite the huge number of residents objections, the decision was not discussed in a full town council meeting.

The main concerns in the original application centred around galvanised steel fences around the perimeter of the site, needed for security, were not in keeping with the surroundings and would be an eyesore. The revised application has addressed this and proposed that hedges will be planted in front of the most visible parts of the site. The type of hedge is yet to be agreed upon.

Other objections highlighted the increase in traffic and subsequent noise pollution it would create in the area. In the revised plans Palladium have suggested that deliveries will only be taken at certain times to limit the effect of noise pollution in the area.

Cllr Lance Austen of Ivybridge Town Council, who opposes the plans, said:

"The visual impact on Fore Street of putting a large galvanised fence around the area opposite the Methodist church would be significant in my opinion, along with the possibility of noise from reversing vehicles including the potential for fork lift trucks on the site. There is the possibility of access problems and fundamentally I believe the site does not suit a business such as a builder’s merchant’s that you would normally see positioned on an industrial estate. There are residents who live very close to the site and they are rightly concerned about the possible impact the change of use could make.

"As a Town Councillor I have opposed this application and as a former Chairman of South Hams District Council I believe it is not an appropriate change of use for this site. There have been a huge number of objections from local residents and I can only hope that our new Liberal Democrat District Councillors are prepared to stand up for the views of the people of Ivybridge now they have been elected.

"If the application does go ahead and a large galvanised fence is put around the site, I think a lot of Ivybridge residents are going to be asking how on earth it was allowed to happen."

The site has been disused for a while and some town councillors are minded that the site needs to be occupied.

Ivybridge Town Council responded saying: ”Ivybridge Town Council is a consultee in the planning process, and we are invited by South Hams District Council, as the Local Planning Authority (who determine planning applications) to make comment on planning applications received.  As a Town Council, we do not ‘approve’ applications, we may only support or object when making comment, and we do not have decision making power over planning applications. Our Planning Committee has delegated responsibility to respond to planning applications received for comment on behalf of the Council, and they are therefore not considered by full Council. All Councillors are permitted to attend a Planning Committee meeting, whether or not a committee member.

“Members of the public may attend our Planning Committee meetings and speak at the relevant section on the agenda. We acknowledge that there have been objections from residents to this particular application, however when making a comment in response to the application, these should be material planning considerations. Our Planning Committee welcomes comments from residents about planning applications being considered, however it is important that residents wishing to support or object to a planning application, ensure that they also provide those comments to South Hams District Council as the Local Planning Authority.”

Councillors at the South Hams District Council will ultimately decide as whether the application can go ahead or not. Their decision on the application will not come until the new year with the next development and management meeting not due until January 2024.