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Build elsewhere

07:10 09 February 2013


Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) have, by now, submitted their planning request to build 350 homes in the Maer Valley with East Devon District Council (EDDC).

The proposal is to build houses around a 30-metre-high hill and leave the top free of buildings. Consultation has taken place recently with local residents and, despite what CDE has stated on their website, there is considerable and fierce opposition to their plans for very good reasons.

1. The area floods with run off water accumulating in the far north east corner. This is why the Railway Cottages in Littleham Road adjacent to the area currently flood. Even during “drier” months the hill is soggy and damp.

2. CDE has informed me that the density for the development will be 44-plus houses per hectare. A hectare is 100 metres by 100 metres, roughly the size of a football pitch. To fit more than 44 houses, space for parking vehicles, gardens and roads in an area the size of a football pitch will be incredible.

3. There is only one access into the proposed site via Buckingham Close. The Close is narrow with Davey Court, an old folks’ home, accommodating frail and visually impaired people. With 350 houses having at least one vehicle per household, which is common these days, at peak times up to 500 vehicles will be attempting to leave or enter the estate. The additional traffic going through Littleham Cross will make the current situation even worse particularly in the summer when Sandy Bay is in full swing.

4. To the east of Plumb Park there is a South West Water sewerage plant which, especially in the summer months, generates an obnoxious odour across Maer Valley.

5. We are informed as a result of a recent survey that the sewerage system is currently running at maximum capacity. Adding up to another 1,000 people into the local area would be inadvisable. How would this problem manifest itself with sewerage ?

Estate agents have a reputation for accentuating even the most dubious positives when attempting to sell houses. They would have a real challenge to sell properties on Plumb Park or, should it be referred to as Plumb Park Ghetto.

CDE has come up with the usual “corporate bribery”, if they are successful with their proposal to EDDC. A kids’ play area here, a few trees and a cycle path there. We are told this will be good for employment with a couple of units built on Liverton Business Park. How many?, not significant I’m sure. CDE will benefit from the rent of course as they own the park.

They even maintain it will be good for agriculture. We are expected to believe that by them building on a beautiful part of the county, CDE will release funds for further agricultural improvement. What impact will it have on wildlife ? It will be too late to release further funds when animals, fauna and insects have disappeared thanks to the removal of their habitat .

To solve and address all the above points and questions is simple - don’t build in the Maer Valley at all. Build somewhere else.

Philip Smith

Littleham Road



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