A COMMUNAL area within a Roundswell housing estate in Barnstaple is to stay after planners said no to three new houses on the site.

Applicant Rowan Homes applied to change the use of the land which has been designated a public open space (POS) area since the Roundswell Village housing estate of around 30 homes was constructed in the early 1990s.

But North Devon District Council’s planning committee agreed with the officer’s recommendation to refuse the application at its recent meeting and the new owners will have to remove the fence it has erected around the site at Meadow Park to keep people out.

Fremington Parish Council objected to the loss of the space and there were a number local objections. 

The parish council said there was no access for vehicles and the homes would have a negative impact on biodiversity and neighbouring properties.

The committee was told that the POS was never transferred to the council, but it had maintained the area since the homes were built until its sale at auction in July 2022, and the space had remained open for public use. 

The committee considered the plan would cause overdevelopment, with houses too close together. 

Concerns were also raised about the three-bedroomed homes not having parking spaces and the communal parking area for 47 cars not being big enough for more vehicles, which would make it unsafe.