Campaigners numb at council's housing vote on 12,000 new homes
Campaigners say they have been left "numb" after a council narrowly voted in favour of building more than 12,000 new homes.
Teignbridge District Council had acted on revised expert advice to drop the number of homes planned over the next 20 years by 2,400 ahead of councillors considering reports last week.
But in the Wolborough area of Newton Abbot, plans for more than 1,000 homes are still on the table, despite strong opposition from residents.
And the Lib Dem opposition group leader, Alan Connett, has raised concerns about the vote, which followed seven hours of debate. It includes a "new village" of 2,000 homes around Exminster. The decision effectively had to be made by the casting vote of the council chairman, Chris Clarance.
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The Lib Dems had proposed a lower number of 10,000 houses to be built over the next 20 years, which narrowly failed.
Cllr Connett, who is also the county councillor for Exminster, said the decision meant 620 new homes would be built in each of the next 20 years.
He said many councillors felt that not enough weight was given to the views of local people.
"There is real public interest in this matter with the public gallery at the council meeting packed. Residents feel they have not been listened to by the Conservative run-council," he said.
Robert Hall, of campaign group Concerned Residents Opposing Widespread Development, said the plans for more than 1,000 homes at Wolborough Hill represented the "massive urbanisation of Newton Abbot".
He said: "We just feel numb. The scale is overwhelming, and we're very fearful about what's going to happen to the area. We'll fight it to the finish."
Teignbridge Council director Simon Barnes responded: "Councillors have spent a lot of time giving very careful consideration to the views of the public and, where a good planning case is made, making changes to the plan. We appreciate that with a large and complex plan there will always be those who disagree.
"There will be another round of public consultation, and while I'm sorry if anyone feels aggrieved with the process so far, there is a further opportunity for them to make their case directly to the independent inspector."
The plan is likely to be submitted to the inspector in Summer 2013.
Councillor Philip Vogel, Teignbridge executive spokesman for housing and planning said: "This isn't paint by numbers, it's about a detailed balancing of needs and setting the foundation for the next twenty years and beyond for housing, economy and environment."