Councillors have backed plans for 120 new homes to be built on the edge of Dartington.

The sites – at Broom Park and Sawmills North – cover two green fields with 120 houses planned, and are both allocated for residential development as part of the adopted Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan.

The outlines schemes – put forward by Baker Estates and the Dartington Hall Trust would see 80 homes built at Broom Park and 40 at Sawmills North, and when South Hams District Council’s development management committee considered them on Wednesday, they agreed with the officer recommendations for approval, despite more than 200 objections to the plans.

The officers, in their report, stated that all statutory consultees and specialist advisers have no objections to the proposals and as such, they are recommended to go ahead, and councillors voted by 10 votes to two in favour of the Sawmills North scheme and by 10 votes to one, with one abstention, for the Broom Park plan.

Cllr Rosemary Rowe, proposing approval, said that the sites were allocated in the local plan for development and that there were no objections from the statutory consultees.

She added: “I understand the concerns of the residents but we need to move it on as it is a designated site that needs to be brought forward.”

Cllr Richard Foss added: “We are between a rock and a hard place and I have sympathy with residents but the point is they are in the Local Plan and we have to get the maximum numbers of houses in the best possible way.”

Cllr Jacqi Hodgson, who represents the Dartington ward, said that the proposals were ‘unsound’ and had called for the developers to come back with a better scheme to ensure minimal harm.

She said: “Once the diggers turn up, there is no going back and if that is for less than what was determined in the joint local plan, then we need to recognise the need for compromise. It should be deferred, if not refused. The community are upset about the developments and the cumulative effect which should be taken into consideration.”

But recommending approval, officers told the committee: “The Joint Local Plan identifies Dartington as a settlement that has an extensive range of services and amenities. It is also well connected to other centres, especially the nearby town of Totnes, which extends the range of facilities that can be accessed within a short distance and these sites form part of the allocation of 911 new homes across the smaller towns and key villages.

“Through the local plan consultation, examination and adoption process, the site has been considered to be appropriate for residential development and has been allocated as such.

“The overall principle of residential development on the site is considered to be met and it is therefore necessary to consider areas of detail (that relate to an outline application) and whether they comply with the plan as a whole.”

Of the 120 homes, 30 per cent would be affordable, which accords to the local plan requirement, while a transport assessment that has been considered by the highways authority concludes that while in terms of traffic generation, it can be seen the proposals will have a modest impact on the existing road network, it is not expected that any of the junctions in Dartington will experience future capacity issues as a result of the development.

The officer report added that habitats regulations assessments concluded that provided the mitigation measures are secured, there will be no adverse effect on the integrity of the South Hams SAC alone or in-combination with other proposals or projects, and based on the specialist advice received from Natural England and ecology specialists at Devon County Council, and that the proposals would not result in any significant harm to ecology and that the proposals are acceptable.