A judge has blocked the development of the Magpie Bridge caravan park into a new residential village.

Her decision means the plan to fill the site with chalets and sell them for year-round occupation can go no further for the time being and the Dartmoor National Park Authority will be taking a look at the changes already made since the park was sold more than two years ago.

However, there could still be more legal argument before the plan is abandoned or modified.

Barton Park Estates, a company specialising in trailer parks for the over-50s, applied in 2018 for a Certificate Of Lawfulness for an accumulation of changes at Magpie over the past 40 years, which would have cleared the way for the new village – already given the new address Devon Oaks.

The DNPA refused it and the Barton family, of Plymouth, appealed on the grounds the authority was being unreasonable.

Mrs Jessica Graham was appointed by HM Planning Inspectorate to hear the case over two days in February, at DNPA headquarters in Bovey Tracey.

This week, she published her conclusions – turning down the appeal and rejecting an application for the cost of the hearing to be met from public funds.

Meanwhile, the developers have poured quite a lot of concrete in anticipation of success and they can expect the DNPA to call back for another look.

They have won a small victory. After the February hearing, the DNPA dropped its opposition to a house near the bridge, known as The Barn, becoming a permanent private residence rather than accommodation for a site manager during holiday months.

No comment from Barton so far but it looks like  they will have to go back to court, or back to the DNPA with a changed plan, before adding 80-plus new homes along the riverside.

Government-appointed inspector Jessica Graham at Magpie this February.



Latest list of planning decisions by the DNPA includes rejection of the application to build a compact house on Station Road, opposite the bench at the junction with Graybridge Road. Artist’s impression below …

The planning officer’s report said the benefit to affordable housing stock was not great enough to over-ride the objections to more infill in a conservation area.

For the full judgement, search for planning app 0091/20 on the DNPA website.



Topic of the moment in the forces community must be the announcement of plans for a big re-organisation of the Royal Marines. If you missed it, find the Telegraph’s report HERE



London Inn taking the plunge back into normal business, after a fashion, this Saturday (July 4). List of rules HERE

On the tricky subject of whether or not to allow dogs, The London says ok if kept on a lead.

Leaping Salmon still holding back because of all the difficulties involved in running a pub under national coronavirus rules.

Walkhampton Inn doing its best to re-open but building work still being mopped up. Rock Inn staying closed.

Wildwood Arts on Chapel Lane nearly back to normal, Wednesdays to Saturdays 10-4, although closed for art classes Wednesday mornings. Closed all day Sunday-Monday and Tuesdays are still for appointments only – for the benefit of those still shielding seriously.

Horrabridge Stores back to normal all-day opening on top of new delivery service.

Tavistock Minor Injuries Clinic has resumed daily opening but with shorter hours than before it ran into staffing problems end of 2019 – 8.30 am to 5.30 pm from here on.

St John’s Church to open Tuesday mornings, from next Tuesday, for private prayer, and arrangements can be made for funerals, subject to a risk assessment taking place now and restrictions on numbers etcetera which will be clarified next week. Still no plans to restore live Sunday worship yet. The decisions were taken at a Zoom meeting of the church council.

Horrabridge Market back on this Saturday at the youth club, 10-11.30, although only for food purchases – no drinks being served.



Monday evening, July 6, from 7 pm, Horrabridge Rangers Sports Association will hold an open-air meeting in Fillace Park, to deal with annual general meeting business and answer questions from anyone interested in helping develop the football club … “Bring your own chairs, sanitizer, face covering & keep to the social distancing guidelines”.

Contact club sec Ian Mulholland on 0776 498 3441 or


allfornow …

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.