Residents in Mid Devon are celebrating after controversial plans that could have seen thousands of lorry-loads of landfill dumped on fields at Greenway have been recommended for refusal by Devon County Council.

The proposal to infill void space across a greenfield site north of Halberton near Uplowman with approximately 330,000 m3 of inert soil and stones was opposed by Liberal Democrat councillors on Mid Devon District Council.

Led by Cllr Gwen Duchesne MBE, they initiated a campaign in September 2023 along with Karl Wiseman, a Braid Park resident. The group ‘Residents Against Greenway Landfill’ comprising people from Braid Park and the three other affected parishes was formed.

A series of public meetings were chaired by Cllr Rachel Gilmour, who is also the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for the new Tiverton & Minehead constituency. She said: “I am delighted to hear that Devon County Council has finally seen sense and this dangerous and inappropriate landfill site will not go ahead. It will come as a great relief to the residents of Halberton, Lowman and Uplowman as well the students and parents of Blundell’s.”

“I am grateful to my Liberal Democrat MDDC colleagues, particularly Cllr Gwen Duchesne who has worked tirelessly to see this result come about, often in very difficult circumstances. We are all indebted to Janine Banks from SW Planning Consultants, whose experience and advice has been exemplary”.

The proposal at Greenway was to be operated by Decharge Ltd, but objectors believed that the site would bring an unsustainable amount of heavy vehicle traffic from across Devon to the site.

The recommendation from the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport on behalf of Devon County Council was that permission be refused and stated:

  1. The proposal does not include Safe and Suitable of the access including the routing and there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety, and the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe, contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework
  2. The proposed development is likely to result in a conflict between residential and commercial traffic which would be harmful to highway safety.
    Contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework and policy W17 2 (a) of the Devon Waste Plan 2011-2031.

Cllr Gwen Duchesne said: “The ‘Residents Against Greenway Landfill’ were motivated to come together to not just talk but raise funds and fight together as a community – to save this beautiful part of Devon.”  

A report by transport and highway consultant John Pearson FIHE in May, and commissioned by the community, recommended that planning be refused. He concluded that “there are major highway safety concerns regarding the increase in HGV traffic in the local area to all highway users and in particular to pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians and motorcyclists within the narrow country lanes.”

Mr Pearson’s report stated there would be an average of at least one additional HGV movement every 30 minutes, increasing the likelihood of road collisions, and that routing these vehicles via Putson Lane or via Blundell’s Road, through Blundell School, were not suitable or safe. He described the applicant’s proposed passing places as “clearly unworkable” and stated that the “severe impact on congestion, air quality and most importantly highway safety, specifically non-motorised users, through the surrounding rural road network is contrary to National Policies.”

The landowner, Stephen Dibble, and CB Plant Hire were prosecuted in 2019 for exceeding U1 exemption limits when they placed 721 loads of material from nine different sites amounting to 23,500 tonnes of soil on the site in 2016.


Promoted by David Wulff on behalf of Rachel Gilmour (Liberal Democrats) both at 8-9 Mountbatten Road, Tiverton, EX16 6SW.

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