Save Pitt Lane

by The Appledore Residents Association (ARA)

Save Pitt Lane

by The Appledore Residents Association (ARA)
The Appledore Residents Association (ARA)
Case Owner
The ARA aims to enhance and optimise the quality of life for Appledore residents, and our local community, as well as to protect the wider environment.
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pledged of £10,000 stretch target from 74 pledges
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The Appledore Residents Association (ARA)
Case Owner
The ARA aims to enhance and optimise the quality of life for Appledore residents, and our local community, as well as to protect the wider environment.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Sept. 2, 2021

Let's make it 3 out of 3!

This is Baker Estate's third attempt to close Pitt Lane - Appledore's ancient Roman Highway.

Don't let Baker Estates delete our history.

We've beaten them twice, let's make it 3 out…

Read more

Appledore in North Devon is a historic fishing village with winding narrow streets, colourful houses, and a rich maritime history.

The village has a tradition of fishing and boat building which continues today. For centuries, Appledore was an important shipbuilding centre for the region and the large indoor shipyard continues to be a source of employment for many of the residents today.

Appledore is a favourite location with locals and visitors alike, having been a popular destination since Victorian times.

It lies within the North Devon Biosphere Reserve, one of 668 Reserves in 122 countries designated by UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme and the first of 6 to be designated in the UK. The designation secures a better future by linking people and nature today.

Part of the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Appledore is located on the Taw Torridge Estuary, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) notified under Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, with RSPB reserve status.

The below video shows you why Appledore and the surrounding countryside is so precious to residents, visitors, wildlife, and the wider environment.

And yet we are under siege by property developers, desecrating our landscape, destroying wildlife, and hedgerows, and permanently damaging the environment in the pursuit of profit. The below photograph shows the extent of our challenge. Swift action is needed to protect Appledore and the wider North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, before it’s too late.

As part of this fight, we urgently need funds to save Pitt Lane from closure by property developers.

Pitt Lane is an ancient Roman Highway, bordered on both sides by green fields and flanked by high Devon Bank hedges, which are home to a multitude of birdlife and wildlife. The lane gives access to a Public Right of Way, leading to the South West Coast Path.

Pitt Lane connects 239 homes to the centre of Appledore village, leading into Pitt Hill, which is lined by Grade II Listed cottages, and runs directly past a main entrance to the village Primary School.

Pitt Lane is a single car width carriageway, with no natural turning points or passing places. The lane is used by existing residents to access their homes and businesses, by walkers, dog walkers, cyclists, and horse riders as a community amenity. Parents and grandparents walk children to school along the lane.

Now developers, led by Baker Estates Limited, are not only concreting over our precious countryside, but they are also trying to hijack our lane, to make their development more profitable. They want to close Pitt Lane under a ‘temporary' Traffic Order granted by Devon County Council, for up to 18 months, thereafter, the closure becoming permanent. The only people who will have access to the lane are the developers and their construction traffic, using it as a short cut from one building site to another, to make their life easier and increase their profits, to the detriment of the local community, the wildlife, and the hedgerows.

We believe that the Temporary Traffic Order granted to Baker Estates is unlawful, that it did not follow due process and that it is not necessary to close the lane at all.

In their pursuit of profit, the developers intend to rip out vast swathes of the hedgerow, destroying trees and wildlife habitat in their wake. 

At the same time, the closure of the lane will trap elderly and vulnerable residents in their homes, by proposing a diversion of traffic and pedestrians via Pitt Hill, a narrow, steep incline, not suitable for older people or for those with disabilities, nor for HGVs, delivery vehicles, or indeed any vehicles during the winter months in snow and ice. 

Emergency services, including Ambulances and Fire Engines, will not be able to access homes at the top of the lane, putting lives in danger.

The additional traffic on Pitt Hill will increase pollution and mean that the current waste collection and re-cycling services will no longer be viable, as the vehicles are too big to navigate up or down the narrow hill, which measures only 2.33 metres wide at once crucial point. Vehicles that do manage to squeeze past the Grade II Listed cottages, will have nowhere to turn at the top of the lane. 

The below photgraphs show a section of the proposed diversion route on Pitt Hill, as agreed by Matt Collins at Devon County Council, for two-way traffic.

The driver of the above concrete mixer recently found himself mistakenly on Pitt Hill due to his SatNav device. Luckily for him he met no vehicles coming in the oppposite direction and fortunately, the primary school children were all safely in class, not entering or leaving school. That won't always be the case. 

Soon all traffic in both directions, will be re-diverted by order of Matt Collins at Devon Highways along this route, unless we can stop the lane closure order and make common sense prevail.

The closure of the lane and the proposed diversion route discriminates against existing residents, the elderly and vulnerable and infringes the human rights of existing residents trying to go about their normal business. It will endanger lives and create a safety risk to school children, who already walk in the road, as the pavements leading to the school are less than 60 cm wide.

It will destroy ancient hedgerow and wildlife and will take away the residential amenity of Pitt Lane, which has provided invaluable support to the mental and physical wellbeing of residents and visitors for generations, even more so throughout the Covid pandemic.

To impose a Traffic Regulation Order with no public consultation and with no consideration for other less detrimental alternatives, demonstrates the high handed manner and contempt with which Devon County Council treat their existing taxpayers, and their total disregard for the environment.



Call to action - We are raising £10,000 to take legal action against Devon County Council. We appeal to all of you who love Appledore and its beautiful landscape to help us. Please donate whatever you can afford and share this with anybody you know who cares about the area of outstanding natural beauty that is Appledore. Together we can protect the environment.

What are we trying to achieve? - Developers are running rough shod over communities and the countryside, in pursuit of profit, with no regard for the quality of life of existing residents, for wildlife, or for the environment. Local authorities are allowing this to happen. We must make a stand against these bully boy tactics, for our neighbours, for our children’s and grandchildren’s futures and for the environment.

What is the next step in the case? - We are challenging the Traffic Regulation Order to close the lane, which has been granted by Devon County Council.

How much we are raising and why? - Legal action does not come cheap and Lisa Foster (Richard Buxton Environmental, Planning & Public Law Solicitors), is instructed to take this matter forward with Devon County Council and to a judicial review if necessary. We need £10,000 for legal fees to support this action. Further funds may also be required in the future, as we continue to fight for our community, the environment, and our democracy.

This is not something which we can do on our own, but it is something we can do if we pull together as a community. That includes not just Appledore, the immediate locality and North Devon but also the wider community of people who know and love this area.

Thank you!

The Appledore Residents Association

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Update 3

The Appledore Residents Association (ARA)

Sept. 2, 2021

Let's make it 3 out of 3!

This is Baker Estate's third attempt to close Pitt Lane - Appledore's ancient Roman Highway.

Don't let Baker Estates delete our history.

We've beaten them twice, let's make it 3 out of 3!

Our campaign has received a massive boost today from an anonymous benefactor who has donated £2000 to our cause - THANK YOU!

We have also received donations by cheque from John R, Rosina, and Margaret, all still to be added.

And we have had our first donations via Twitter - please keep tweeting and keep giving!

Update 2

The Appledore Residents Association (ARA)

Aug. 24, 2021


WE ARE CHALLENGING THIS AND NEED YOUR SUPPORT. Please act and help us to save our lane from closure by Baker Estates:

  • Email five of your friends asking them to pledge to our case
  • Post a link on Facebook asking your friends to pledge
  • Tweet in support
  • Pledge again


Update 1

The Appledore Residents Association (ARA)

Aug. 13, 2021


The latest Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to close Pitt Lane has been revoked.

On behalf of DCC, Joanne Young, Devon County Solicitor says:

“DCC will revoke the latest TTRO and will take no action on it. In particular, no road closures under that TTRO will take place. However, we have now been advised by Baker that they propose to apply for a new TTRO”.                                                   

This is the second time we have managed to stop the closure of the lane and is small victory for democracy, brought about by engaging the services of leading environmental lawyers, at Richard Buxton, paid for in part by your generous donations.

Unfortunately, this is only a temporary reprieve and as you can see from the DCC statement, Baker Estates will be re-applying for the closure of the lane, for a third time.

We must therefore continue with the battle to keep this ancient lane open, as a residential amenity for all to enjoy. But to do this, we will need further funds to cover our legal bills.

Please donate whatever you can afford and please share our Crowd Justice page with as many people as you can, both in the area and further afield.

Many thanks for your help so far.

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