A veteran campaigner, living in Darlington, who fought for many years to protect the English countryside in the South West and North East of England has passed away after a fall at his home, aged 76.

Bob Barfoot, a former long-serving chair of the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Devon branch where he successfully fought a string of giant windfarm applications had been living in Darlington since 2015, having moved to the North East with wife Sheena, to be nearer family members.

Upon his arrival in the region, Bob immediately became an active member of the charity’s CPRE Darlington, CPRE Durham and CPRE North East branches and continued efforts to preserve green spaces for future generations.

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Councillor Catherine Gilsenan of Middleton St George, said: “Bob was well thought of, and was a great help to Middleton St George Parish Council in our efforts to stop developers.

"Bob provided significant assistance regarding a number of major development applications and appeals. 

“Most notably of these, with Richard Cowen, the Chair of CPRE North East, he put together very substantive and evidenced written representations to appeals.

“I will always be very appreciative for what Bob did for us. He fought the good fight, and will be sadly missed."

The Northern Echo: Bob Barfoot campaigned to protect England's countryside from developmentBob Barfoot campaigned to protect England's countryside from development

Alan Macnab, formerly Clerk to Whessoe Parish Council, said: “Bob gave very helpful advice and guidance to the Parish Council in the preparation of its case against two major housing developments for 750 houses in the Parish outside the development limits in open countryside."

“He also made a representation to the planning committee on a housing development outside the development limits in Hurworth Parish at the same time as the Whessoe developments.

“Bob pointed out the East Staffordshire ruling which prevented major housing developments outside the development limits. 

“Sadly, the committee did not listen to Bob and passed both planning applications but subsequently, Darlington Borough Council then stopped any further planning applications outside their development limits. 

“Bob will be sorely missed as there are still battles to be fought against housing developments in the countryside in the North East of Darlington especially.”

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Richard Cowen, Chair of CPRE North East, said he always valued Bob's knowledge and experience since he moved to Darlington and always sought his comments when responding to planning applications.

Penny Mills, current director of Devon CPRE, said: “Bob was a member of CPRE for almost 30 years and was a great mentor and friend to me.

“There are swathes of the stunning and iconic Devonshire countryside that are windfarm-free today because of his, and his legal support’s efforts to protect ancient and beautiful landscapes.

"That will be his legacy.”

Bob leaves his wife of 30 years, Sheena, three children from his first marriage, two stepchildren, 12 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

His funeral will take place at 11am on Tuesday, October 26th at Carmel Road North Crematorium, Darlington.