BISHOPSTEIGNTON residents are fighting back against the inclusion of the proposed Forder Lane housing site in the Teignbridge Local Plan. 

A parish council meeting was held in the village’s Community Centre on Monday evening to give residents the opportunity to air their views. 

More than 100 people attended and all of them expressed their opposition to the plan. 

The grounds for objection revolved around environmental concerns, issues of safety relating to access and infrastructure and the addition of further pressure to already strained public infrastructure and services.

A resident also placed signs at the entrance to the village near the suggested site for 70 homes, making their views perfectly plain. The signs have since been removed for safety.

Cllr Andrew MacGregor (pictured with one of the signs) crystalised many of these concerns in his statement to the Teignmouth Post:

‘If this site makes it into the next Local Plan, it will represent a serious risk to the look and feel of the village, extending it into green fields and creating effectively a new and separate enclave on the Western approach and clearly residents are not in favour of this development.

‘As with the recently refused application for residential dwellings on the Bakers Yard site, the Forder Lane site presents a number of safety issues for residents, both existing and those who would be buying property here.

‘Devon County Council highways department noted the lack of a safe pedestrian route into the village along Forder Lane which is narrow and without pavements along several stretches. There is also a difficult junction to navigate into the A381 for cars, never mind those wishing to use bus services,’ he continued.

During the meeting prior to the issuing of the plan for public consultation, officers in the Strategic Planning team suggested that many of the sites were selected for the plan due to the sustainable travel opportunities. 

Cllr MacGregor suggested that residents would actually be risking their lives crossing the road to catch a bus to Newton Abbot or returning to that end of the village, as had been disclosed at the time.

‘Apart from highway safety, there is also the matter of this site being outside the settlement limit of the village – a point often used by planning officers to have applications turned down and, this is a location within the designated undeveloped coast.

‘The current local plan says developments will be considered inappropriate if they are more than a minor change, but this development represents a major alteration to the western approach to the village and will be highly visible across the estuary. 

‘Developments must occur. Everyone understands that, but these must be an appropriate solution in an appropriate location. 

‘The Forder Lane site is not an appropriate location.’