Torbay Council sells off land for housing in a £9m housing deal

Fields at Little Blagdon Farm, Collaton St Mary
Fields at Little Blagdon Farm, Collaton St Mary Credit: LDRS

A council in Devon is selling off 40 acres of farmland for housing - in a deal worth more than £9 million.

The land at Collaton St Mary near Paignton is being purchased by Taylor Wimpey.

Torbay Council has agreed a two-year deal, but will only receive all of the money if the developer gets planning permission.

But many people living near Little Blagdon Farm have opposed the plans.

They fear hundreds of new homes will increase the risk of flooding and there are concerns that health services in Torbay are already over-stretched.

Roger and Pam Bristow in their garden at Collaton St Mary Credit: LDRS

Roger Bristow, chair of the Collaton St Mary Residents’ Association, said: “It is a total disgrace that Torbay Council is being allowed to give planning permission on a piece of land previously owned by them, and which they have sold for a profit. 

“We are pretty devastated by the way it is moving.

"To my way of thinking, they are going to go ahead with it, no matter what is right or what is wrong. Money is the be all and end all.”

Torbay Council leader Steve Darling said any application would be judged on its merits by the planning committee in an independent process.

It is hoped derelict buildings like these at Little Blagdon Farm will be redeveloped for housing. Credit: LDRS

He said a deposit of £900,000 under the terms of the deal was available for the council to invest.

Options that would be considered for funding include affordable housing in Paignton, work at Oldway Mansion, projects in Paignton town centre supporting the Future High Streets programme, and improving events infrastructure on Paignton and Torquay seafronts.

The Little Blagdon Farm developer has to offer three out of 10 homes for ‘affordable housing’ with a mixture of social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership.

The site for the proposed demolition of farm buildings is outlined in red. Credit: LDRS

The council offered advance funding for a developer contribution of £394,000 for an anti-flooding scheme in the village, and would provide 10 hectares (25 acres) of nearby land for ecology measures.

The council’s planning committee has also given permission for new access to the Little Blagdon Farm site off the A385, and for the demolition of farm buildings.

And permission has already been given for more than 200 homes in the village, part of a designated Future Growth Area.

Credit: Edward Oldfield, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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