350 Littleham homes approved by council

Land in Littleham, viewed here from Douglas Avenue which is earmarked for development. Photo by Simo

Land in Littleham, viewed here from Douglas Avenue which is earmarked for development. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 6740-04-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24. - Credit: Archant

Plans to build 350 homes on Donkey Hill in Littleham have been narrowly approved by district planners.

The plan, put forward by Clinton Devon Estates for a development to be known as Plumb Park, is for the homes, 40 per cent of which will be ‘affordable’, to be built in the Maer Valley between Douglas Avenue and Pankhurst Close, with a single vehicle access through Buckingham Close.

The application had been supported by East Devon District Council planning officers, who had said it would provide much-needed housing.

However, the access plan led to strong objections when EDDC looked at the plan this week, with Littleham councillors and residents united in their fears about gridlock which would ensue in Buckingham Close and at Littleham Cross.

Despite this, with Devon County Council highways officers raising no objection, many councillors on the development management committee felt they had no choice but to approve the scheme, and it was passed by an eight to six vote.

Littleham councillor Tim Wood had previously told the committee: “I’m saddened that Devon County Highways officers took the view that there is no problem in terms of traffic movements.

“[Littleham Cross is] a shambles, and that’s regarded as satisfactory – it’s a joke to regard it as satisfactory.

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“If this committee doesn’t recognise this problem it would be very foolish indeed.”

Committee member Mark Williamson then added: “If you look at the location you can see that any application of this nature would have access problems, locked in as it were by residential development.”

Councillor Williamson added that he felt the application could be refused on environmental health grounds, because of the effect of pollution from traffic on Buckingham Close residents.

However, this was rejected by a majority of councillors, who voted to approve the scheme, also rejecting other fears raised by residents about sewerage, wildlife, and the effect on the countryside, in favour of affordable housing.

Councillor Ken Potter said: “In this committee we spend a great deal of time talking about affordable housing. Here’s an opportunity for up to 140 which is of great benefit to Exmouth.”

Councillor Geoff Pook said: “I think we should recognise this is an area we have accepted for development within Exmouth [in the draft Local Plan].”

Cllr Pook then suggested that planning conditions should be imposed to make the developers add a second access, but after officers said this would not be possible the plan was voted through unaltered.