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plumb park development plans

Councillors say ‘No’ to plans for 350 new homes at Littleham

Monday, February 25, 2013
9.40 AM

Proposals to build 350 homes on green space next to Buckingham Close in Littleham have not won the support of town planners.

Last week Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) filed an “outline” planning application – seeking permission in principle – for the development, which has been named Plumb Park.

The homes, if built, would make up some of the homes needed and identified in the draft local plan for the Maer Valley.

The proposals include up 40 per cent affordable homes, new public open spaces and woodland, as well as scope for pedestrian and cycle paths linking the development with Littleham.

But despite this, town councillors at the planning meeting on Monday said that proposals for new infrastructure were inadequate.

Deputy mayor Bill Nash agreed that more affordable housing was needed.

But he called for an “evidence based assessment” to be carried out to better understand the area’s ability to cope with future flooding when combined with what he called “inadequate sewerage capacity”.

He said: “Because of existing sewerage disposal problems cited by many Exmouth residents, if upgrading works are required to accommodate an additional 800-plus people, then this must be included at the beginning of the infrastructure phase, not after the completion of the development.”

He added that a development of this scale would make the current congestion problems at Littleham Cross even worse.

“It would require measures to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety. These would be a prerequisite for this and any similar development being acceptable.”

He said that the single access point suggested for Buckingham Close was “insufficient”, would only add to the problems, and would lead to traffic gridlock and the worsening of both air quality and levels of pedestrian safety.

He also criticised the goal of “up to 40 per cent” affordable homes, saying: “This must be designated as a minimum of 40 per cent affordable homes.”

Mayor John Humphreys said: “Littleham councillors are united in this.

“It is a must that Clinton Devon Estates, Devon County Council and even Sandy Bay work on the infrastructure of the roads.”

Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “Whatever happens in Littleham will affect [in terms of pressures on infrastructure, schools and the sewerage system] the town ward [and the rest of the town].”

He said that until the plans allowed for more infrastructure he thought that the council should “say no”.

District planners will now consider the application.