Neighbourhood Forum




Disturbing Planning Decision


Wednesday 20 October 2021


We are receipt of a letter from a Torbay resident that sheds light on, what appears to be, a worrying planning decision when the most pressing need within Torbay is for affordable housing. Whilst people are trying to grasp what went on with the Inglewood saga... Tell us what you think.

Here is the text of the letter:



Torbay is said to be in a housing crisis, but what kind of crisis is this exactly? Who in Torbay needs housing?

At Monday’s Planning Committee meeting the members considered an application at Kingsland, an area identified in the Local Plan as a Future Growth area. The application proposed 90 homes, 26 of which were to be affordable homes, and category B1 employment space. The officer report recommended refusal primarily as the proposal was unsustainable due to loss of employment land, lack of access to local facilities and over-reliance on private car use.

The loss of employment space is due to a supposed need for categories B1, B2 and B8 commercial space. The Committee had approved two applications in Torquay just before this one for B2 and B8 commercial space, and this application promised B1 commercial space. Problem?

The report stated the distance to the nearest schools as one problem, yet the distance is exactly the same as it is from the recently approved Collaton St Mary sites to the nearest schools. There are shops far closer to the Kingsland site than there are to the Collaton St Mary sites, and Kingsland also benefits from the local hospital being just down the road. Problem?

Over reliance on private car use – I presume this means that no green fields are on a bus route? There is a new train station proposed at Edginswell. How handy is that going to be for our commuters to Newton Abbot, Exeter and beyond? Where’s the train station at Collaton St Mary? Isn’t it more likely that the residents of Collaton St Mary would be over reliant on a car? As Torbay Council is not investing in road infrastructure wouldn’t you think that the commuter might look at where the best areas of road and rail links are for their journeys?

With out of date Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans, plus a depressingly low land supply (the sole reason Inglewood was inflicted upon the residents between Paignton and Galmpton), wouldn’t you have thought the Kingsland application was like looking a gift horse in the mouth? Apparently not for our Planning Committee!

One has to consider why this application was turned down. It is no surprise the Conservatives would refuse it, as they are quite happy for applications like Inglewood to be inflicted on the area as it contributes to the view that the current Administration is failing and increases their chance of winning at the next election (despite being against Neighbourhood Plans and failing to prioritise building affordable houses for the ever increasing number of people on the waiting list). Which leaves us with the Liberal Democrats and Independent members who consistently cry that we are in a housing crisis due to a lack of affordable houses built over the last 30 to 40 years. So why did they refuse it? Is it a coincidence that a majority of Liberal Democrats are Torquay Councillors?

Put all of the above together and consider how inappropriate the Inglewood site is, the harm that development will do, and add the Planning Inspector giving more weight to the benefit of building new homes than the harm the development would cause, all because Torbay lacks an adequate land supply. Then consider what the chances are of defending an appeal against this refusal. How much is it likely to cost us all as taxpayers? Problem? Is it a sustainable solution to build against the already congested roads at Collaton St Mary and Windy Corner rather than at the end of the South Devon Expressway? Problem?

Nonni Mousell

Torbay Resident


Wednesday 20 October 2021 12:30
- Anonymous
That refusal does not make sense. The proposed development seems balanced and would help provide much-needed housing.
The reasons for rejection seem to be reasons that were not good reasons for rejection in the Collaton St Mary developments.
We should demand a serious explanation!

Wednesday 20 October 2021 13:57
- Anonymous
Nonni, actually the two independent councillors voted for it.

Wednesday 20 October 2021 15:17
- Robert Vincent
The area refused planning permission is designated industrial/ light warehousing. To the northwest alongside the ring the planned Edginswell housing including a primary school with sports fields and a local centre, care home. None of this has even started yet.
The centre of the Kingsland site is as the crow flies to the new Edginswell station is about 1700m. New plans for the station have still not come forward yet for a projected opening in 2023. The developers here seem to be trying to build before anything else is in place.
Inglewood could still be prevented if possible government ideas of brownfield first namely Devonshire Park and the gasworks. The same could be applied to Collaton in the short term but all those sites are in the local plan.

Thursday 21 October 2021 19:15
- Andrew Lavey
Looks like the Planning Committee is up to its usual tricks. I believe there are undercurrents with the Committee, hence the "wobbles".

Monday 25 October 2021 10:18
- Karen Kennedy
This is a future growth area, part brownfield. The reasons for refusal had the breaking strain of a soggy Kit-Kat - utterly ridiculous and easily refuted. This is likely to go to appeal and the applicants are likely to win. However, due to the costs of having to appeal this application the applicants are likely to reduce the number of affordable houses due to viability. The LPA were not satisfied with shooting ourselves in the foot once but shot the other foot for good measure!

Sunday 31 October 2021 15:27
- Helen Boyles
Let's hope that the urgent imperatives of the climate crisis will lead to a constructive debate and action to prioritise brownfield over greenfield development. It would be heartening to see planners and developers acknowledging the need for development to be supported by existing road networks in more urban locations instead of increasing a greenfield sprawl that inflicts unsustainable pressure on rural networks of lanes. The traffic implications of development proposals, with all the associated pollution and congestion, is just not being considered in a way that shows any meaningful engagement with the issues which destructively impact on human and environmental health. Is it too much to ask for some enlightened thinking that addresses our environmental responsibilities?

Last Updated: Wednesday 20 October 2021