More than 20 new homes planned for a rural village in Torridge have been thrown out.

Councillors took less than half-an-hour to reject the application to build 22 properties in a green field next to North Road, a main road into Bradworthy, on Thursday [June 8].

The plans had previously been approved, though it was claimed this was because councillors were “over a barrel” at the time as Torridge District Council didn’t have the necessary five-year housing land supply.

However, as the council now believes it has a land supply of almost six years and a legal agreement between the council and developer has yet to be signed, Torridge’s planning committee felt able to refuse the plans when they were re-presented this week.

The revised recommendation to refuse was backed by Bradworthy Parish Council, which says it “strongly opposed” the original application.

In a statement read at the meeting it said: “The site you are considering today is outside the development boundary. There is no housing survey evidence that these extra 22 houses are needed.”

The council added there is a “huge amount” of development currently taking place in the village, while the local school and doctors’ surgery are both “oversubscribed.”

However, speaking on behalf of applicants, Steven Bainbridge queried whether Torridge did have a near six-year housing land supply and said the ‘section 106’ legal agreement could be signed “immediately” should the application be approved.

He claimed there were “no technical objections whatsoever” to the application, concluding: “We hope we’ll be able to deliver 22 dwellings immediately adjacent to the village in a sustainable location and that the affordable housing for local people will be delivered.”

But planning officers were against, writing: “The proposed development would result in a form of unsustainable development at a site within the countryside, outside of the development boundary for Bradworthy, where there is a presumption against new open market residential development.”

Councillor Peter Christie (Green, Bideford North) agreed, stating the application was only agreed before due to the land supply issue. “We were over a barrel. We had to pass it,” he claimed. This is outside the development boundary and I take on board what Bradwothy Parish Council said about this site … quite frankly I don’t think it should go ahead.”

The committee supported refusal by seven votes to one with one abstention.