A BEEHIVE shaped holiday home set into a steep wooded slope has been given retrospective planning permission despite complaints that it spoils the view from Okehampton’s Simmons Park.

Councillors at West Devon Borough Council’s development management and licensing committee voted six in favour to four against to allow the application for the novelty bolthole set into the hillside accessed by a small bridge.

Called Humble Bee, it is the fifth holiday let in the grounds of 129 Station Road, which include a yurt also granted planning permission after being constructed.

Okehampton town councillor Jan Goffey told the WDBC meeting on Tuesday last week (June 30) that neighbours were opposed to the development.

‘The property is accessed via a narrow private lane which is also a bridleway to Fatherford Woods. This is very popular with local walkers, cyclists and horseriders and it is very steep and multiple holiday lets have been built over a wooded site overlooking the bridleway,’ she said.

‘Were the stablility of the site to become compromised by excessive rainfall, for example, with damage to the tree roots, the resultant landslide could be horrific. There are only a few properties along this stretch of private road, all occupied by local residents and the multiple occupancy of 129 and its multiple holiday accommodation is causing local residents much distress due to traffic increase, noise and destruction of the peace and tranquility of the environment on the very edge of the town.

‘This property is extremely visible from Simmons Park, depending on where you stand and also on the time of year.’

Okehampton ward member Cllr Paul Vachon said: ‘I saw this building from Simmons Park in the winter and it is quite prominent and it is the steepness of the slope which concerns me more than anything. It does drop off quite rapidly down to the river. It changes the whole character of the landscape. It is a beautiful Victorian park and this changes the character of a beautiful area.’

Cllr Diana Moyse said she also opposed the application. ‘It is a holiday camp situation developing in a residential area and I will be voting against it,’ she said.

With a number of councillors, supporting the application ‘reluctantly’ as it was already in situ, it was approved six in favour to four against.