Friday, February 16, 2024

Friends of Lee Bay

Phil Johncock - Lee Bay 2016
Prize-winning photo in the Beaford Arts competition (Copyright Phil Johncock)

UPDATE 6th JUNE 2020

Draft Policy Design Brief, Lee Bay Hotel – message from Paul Scarrott, Lee and Lincombe Residents’ Association (LLRA) Secretary

A draft design brief is now available for consultation. The brief is a requirement following the refused planning application in April 2019. It sets out the parameters for any future development. It can be viewed HERE, together with a copy of the Lee & Lincombe News article on the subject which contains a summary HERE. The draft design brief seems to encompass the requirements of the Conservation Area character appraisal, planning regulations, and the grounds for the refusal.

The council and the association are keen to hear the views of residents, homeowners, and members. The association would like to put forward, if possible, a unified response.

So, any comments will be gratefully received by Paul Scarrott ( or tel: 864723) or Eric Couling ( or tel: 871545) or any committee member. Thank you.


At last, after more than 2 years of continuous campaigning by Lee & Lincombe Residents Association & Friends of Lee Bay, the Planning Committee took notice of our very strong objections to the developers, Acorn Blue’s ,completely inappropriate Plans for development of the derelict Lee Bay Hotel site…..& they REFUSED their Application.

Acorn Blue’s plans, for 21 houses plus their car parking areas, were their standard building plans for the majority of their developments & certainly not tailored to the rural character of Lee Bay, our Jewel on the North Devon Coast.

Absolutely no concessions to the needs of our community or that of our visitors, many of which return year after year, some for generations,  because they love this place as much as we do.

A Better Way for the Future of Lee Bay

At that memorable Planning Meeting, the Head of Place in North Devon Planning, Mike Titchford, suggested that our community get together with the Planning Councillors, to formulate a Supplementary Planning Guide (SPG).

This would be legal binding when considering future Planning Applications & incorporate all the requirements of the relevant legal designations already in place covering Lee Bay.

Essential in this consideration is the rural character of our area which must not be dominated by a large inappropriate development.

Mr Titchford is of the opinion that the Hotel HAS been abandoned for several years, despite Acorn Blue’s protests that they have not. “It’s poor state of repair indicates it has not been maintained to a satisfactory standard over many, many years”.

This means that whoever develops must either supply, or pay for, the provision of AFFORDABLE HOUSING which is a proven needs for the sons, daughters, & older relatives of residents.

Now we are asking for SUGGESTIONS for desirable items to be included in the S.P.Guide  from Residents, Second-home Owners, & visitors.
Please send them to Friends of Lee Bay – click here to email us.

Lee Bay - 1937
Lee Bay – 1937

Suggestions already received include:-

  • a boutique hotel, to be built on the site of the old Manor House when the last gable end of that building faced south, not across the Bay. This 1937 photo shows it with additional extensions
  • a maximum of 15 houses no more than 2 storeys high to be built to the east of that new hotel.
  • the majority of the 5 acre site open to our community with a footpath through to the Bay.
  • existing car park re-surfaced & extended towards the east.
  • a community workshop in that area. Before Wrinklewood was built in 1969, the old stone barn shown in this photo, right on the sea front, was a community centre where the village women came to do their spinning.
  • public toilets in that area, open all year.
  • keeping the existing open paved area right on the sea front for visitors & their children to have a safe place to sit & admire the beautiful sea scape.
  • a camping barn for organised groups such as Guides & Scouts, & walkers of the coastal path.

MORE SUGGESTIONS PLEASE! We want your input. Please do get in touch as soon as you like – click here to email us.

Lee Bay Hotel
To be consigned to the green bin!

Lee Bay in the wider picture

Lee Bay is a beautiful and interesting place in its own right but it is also within the following national and international designations:

  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Coastal Preservation Area
  • Marine Conservation Zone
  • North Devon Biosphere