This is what the Parish Council said in July 2014:
Whether or not Chillaton is capable of further development, because of its lack of facilities and the impact that has on private car usage, has not been determined. That study should be done before any application to develop a particular site is encouraged.
Chillaton already has a good mix of housing stock, including lower-cost homes that are either for rent or purchase. Generally, there are always houses for sale or rent in the village. However, new development should not be discouraged if it makes a contribution to the viability of the village. Examples include; housing that meets the needs of local residents who require affordable housing, enables younger families to remain in the village or allows older residents to move to more easily managed properties. The aim should be to encourage a balanced, mixed village community in Chillaton.
Land west of 1 Springfield Cottages [Ref: WD 42 07 08/13] The site was not considered by WDBC as suitable for development at this time. Although the point made by their technical officers group about additional traffic on the narrow access lane is understood, its impact depends on the scale of the development proposed. At this time, the views of the technical officers group are endorsed, but it might be that some small scale development here would be viable.
Land east of Marlow Crescent [Ref: WD 42 08 13] The views of the technical officers group that the site was not considered by as suitable for development at this time, ‘due to significant constraints relating to the character of the village’ are endorsed, with the additional comment that if this site and the adjoining one [see below] were developed, there would be a significant increase in the village’s housing stock, far in excess of what may be required for any local needs.
Land between Sunwaye and Marlow Crescent [Ref: WD 42 09 13] This would represent a significant extension of the village boundary, because it would create a ribbon of development from the new garage site to the village centre. The site is described by the technical officer’s group as flat but unsuitable for wholesale development, because of its impact on the character of the landscape. In fact, the site is not flat; it descends considerably from road level, which makes it difficult to see how the technical officer group’s idea of a development along the frontage of the site could be achieved.
Furthermore, there are two streams that cross the site in culverts. One is a substantial watercourse in winter and both play a significant part in the drainage of the hillside opposite. The additional cost of accommodating those streams underneath any development of the site suggests that the only area that would be economically viable lies to the side and the rear of Sunwaye. That would create the same objections on grounds of amenity and non-typical village development as the technical officer’s group found would apply to the land at the rear of Marlow Crescent.
As far as Chillaton is concerned, the Parish Council has no objection to the creation of a small number of new homes, if they are needed to respond to the changing requirements of local residents and they contribute to maintaining the viability of the village community.
None of the sites identified is entirely suitable; all have factors that would either affect their viability or have a significant adverse environmental impact, or both. Given the lack of village amenities and the identified need for further study of the impact of any new development, it is not recommended that any of these sites are taken further at this time.
However, it is very likely that a brownfield site in Chillaton will become available [the site of the existing Chillaton garage] and this should be developed with housing that contributes to meeting needs identified in a future housing needs assessment.
The Parish Council has agreed to the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan that will include Chillaton and will identify any additional sites needed to respond to demand for housing in excess of that which could be met on the Chillaton garage site.
Although the views of West Devon do not seem to have changed, they have added the statement 'There will be further opportunity through the Neighbourhood Plan or an allocations process to explore the potential for development on this site’ to their comments on the potential sites west of 1 Springfield Cottages and east of Marlow Crescent. As the circumstances that lead the Borough Council to conclude that neither site was suitable for development at that time have not changed, it is hard to see why the Neighbourhood Plan would be able to explore the potential for development on these sites.
As far as the land between Sunwaye and Marlow Crescent is concerned, this site is considered by West Devon to have some potential for development. The Parish Council previously stated that a development of 10 houses along the road frontage was excessive, represented a significant extension of the village boundary and the topography and drainage of the site created substantial practical constraints.
Other than a sales and service garage and infrequent Post office and bus services, Chillaton has no local facilities and it is therefore difficult to reconcile the idea of development on this scale with the statement in ‘Thriving Towns and Villages’ that development in smaller villages ‘would only be allowed in sustainable locations which have reasonable access to services and…avoid reliance on the private car.’