Ashburton councillors have called on Teignbridge Council to help combat the town's growing affordable homes shortage.

Latest estimates suggest 33 low cost properties are needed, yet none have been built in more than a decade.

Next week, district councillors will be asked to consider a housing project at Pitley Farm, Dolbeare which, if approved, would deliver 14 homes, half reserved for residents who cannot afford to buy on the open market.

On Tuesday, members of the town council discussed the scheme, which has been put forward by landowner Michael Waycott.

Several times in the past he has been refused permission for development at the site close to the A38 on grounds such as flooding, highway safety and development outside Ashburton's boundaries.

In the latest application, Mr Waycott's agent, Mark Dyson, claimed the problems had been resolved. 'There is demand for family homes of the size and type proposed in the Ashburton area and it goes without saying that the affordable housing will be oversubscribed by eligible local applicants,' he said. 'I would respectfully remind the planning committee that the 2008 application for the same proposal had support from a good number of members and refused by only a narrow margin.

'Since then the housing land supply has not improved and I am informed that no significant affordable housing applications have been allowed and neither are there any consented sites waiting to be developed for affordable housing.'

At Tuesday's meeting, Cllr Michael Posner urged the town council to write to Teignbridge 'in the strongest possible terms' and support Mr Waycott's plans. 'There have been no affordable homes built in many years, at least a decade,' he said. His comments received support from across the chamber. Mayor Cllr Donald Distin said: 'Teignbridge seem to be building all around Newton Abbot but there's nothing in this area.'

The town council's hopes could be dashed, however, as Teignbridge planning officers are again recommending refusal saying the greenfield site lies within countryside 'outside the reasonable limits of the town.'

They are concerned the homes would be remote from local services and that an increase in the number of pedestrians would result in 'additional danger to all users of the road.'

The application is due to be considered on Monday (April 16) at a public meeting in Forde House, Newton Abbot, starting at 9.45am.