Emery Planning obtained a resolution to grant full planning permission at North Devon Council’s December Planning Committee for the erection of 107 holiday cottages and improved leisure facilities, including an indoor pool and play barn, together with woodland planting and landscaping at Willingcott Valley Holiday Village, Bradwell Road, Woolacombe.
Whilst the application was subject to opposition from local residents and Parish Councils, no objections were received from statutory consultees such as the Environment Agency, Natural England or Devon County Council as Highways and Flood Authority.
The application was accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared by Emery Planning who project managed the submission. The architect for the development was Woodward Smith LLP, based in Barnstaple and the technical consultant team included Tylor Grange, Richard Green Ecology, Engineering and Development Solutions Ltd, Peter Evans Partnership and Porter PE.
The scheme has evolved over the last 18 months and has been revised following pre-application consultation with the Council, residents and parish councils so that the proposal will diversity and set a benchmark for tourism in North Devon.
The development is anticipated to involve over £21M investment on site and creation of 35 new full-time jobs. This will generate an additional £1.75m annual visitor and wages spend within the local economy. It will also facilitate the extension of the Tarka Trail though the site and provide a financial contribution in order to mitigate the impacts of tourist development on the nearby Braunton Burrows Special Area Conservation (SAC).
The site lies close to the boundary of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) and a full lighting modelling assessment was undertaken by Services Design Solution Ltd, Exeter which demonstrated that the development would not be harmful to the dark night sky or local wildlife.
An assessment of the developments likely impact in terms of Biodiversity Net Gain using the Defra metric also demonstrated that the proposals would deliver a significant overall net gain in biodiversity.