NEWTON Abbot Town Council (NATC) has recommended refusal of a proposed 86-home development saying it has no ‘masterplan’ by which to judge the application’s ability to meet local need.

The Wolborough Grange site sits in farmland between the town and Abbotskerswell.

Known as NA3 in the Teignbridge Local Plan, the wider area is expected to accommodate more than 1,500 dwellings in the coming years.

Also in the pipeline are 10 hectares of land for employment uses, social and community facilities, ‘green’ infrastructure, recreation space and a new road connecting the A380 South Devon Highway with the A381 Totnes Road.

The District Council has offered to draft a ‘masterplan’ outlining how the allocated land should be developed but is still to produce the document.

Yet housebuilders are already submitting planning applications, leaving town councillors wondering who will deliver the promised infrastructure.

Chair of NATC’s Planning Committee, Cllr Mike Joyce, said: ‘We had no choice but to recommend refusal of the Wolborough Grange proposals as we don’t know whether it’s a good deal or not.

‘Without a masterplan for NA3, we can only speculate whether other applications will help meet the overall need.

‘For example, the amount of affordable housing proposed for Wolborough Grange is below the district’s level of 20 per cent.

‘Will other sites offer more, we just don’t know?

‘And the chlidren’s play area looks very small for 86 homes, are others being considered across NA3?

‘It’s like we’re being offered individual pieces of a very large jigsaw puzzle and being asked to drop them in place without ever seeing the picture.

‘To be honest, with the amount of growth Newton Abbot is expected to take in the coming 20 years we need the right tools for the job.

‘The decisions we make now will affected thousands of people for generations to come.

‘We don’t always want to say ‘no’ to new housing but must have the means to judge whether each proposal helps to deliver the overall aim and for that we need a masterplan.

‘We hope it’s coming very soon.’