Cockington residents' homes fears over fields
FEARS fields overlooking Cockington Valley in Torquay could be bulldozed for housing have been raised by residents.
The fields, known as the Piggeries, at the junction of Nut Bush Lane and Cockington Lane on the valley side of the road and fields at the junction of Broadley Drive and Manscombe Woods have been identified as potential housing sites as part of the Local Plan process.
Leon Butler, chairman of the Cockington and Chelston community partnership, said residents did not want to see the fields built on, particularly as they overlook the protected Cockington Valley.
They have been identified for potential development in a strategic housing land availability assessment produced as part of the Local Plan process.
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Mr Butler said the Piggeries was allocated as possibly 50 houses.
"The community partnership is very much against it as an intrusion on the country park.
"If they build there they will go along that strip to Stantor Barton farm. It's on the skyline, a beautiful, council-owned site. I am fighting hard to get it taken off. The partnership would like to see it as allotments," he said.
The site in Broadley Drive, at the back of Manscombe Woods, is earmarked as potentially a site for 50 homes. "It would be a big intrusion into the country park," he said. "The council should be building on brownfield sites."
Dominic Acland, director at Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, said: "The SHLAA contains a lot of hypothetical sites which no-one would really dream of building on. The field between Manscombe and Scadson Woods should be kept green, but if it has to be built on then local open space facilities like Occombe and Cockington should be given major funds out of it to improve green infrastructure.
"The Piggeries Field is more contentious because it will have a bigger landscape impact, and should be kept green for ever, or at most become allotments."
Pat Steward, senior service manager at Torbay Council's strategic planning department, said: "The SHLAA is evidence, not policy. The council and Neighbourhood Forums are using this evidence, plus a huge range of other evidence, to decide what should go in Local and Neighbourhood Plans.
"The SHLAA was undertaken by consultants as a refresh to the 2008 work, which was out of date. In order to ensure the work is robust consultants had to look at every site in the Bay with development potential. But that doesn't mean it will be developed.
"Working with Neighbourhood Forums, the council is working through the sites covered in the SHLAA to decide if and when some sites could come forward for development.
"The Local Plan must show 15 years worth of housing land supply, as required by national policy. At the moment the Piggeries site and fields at Broadley Drive do not feature in the 15 year supply."