Budleigh affordable homes - new sites sought

Major landowner Clinton Devon Estates said it would consider other sites, away from a proposed allotment, as part of its proposal to build affordable homes in Budleigh Salterton.

Greenway Lane allotments could be saved from development if other suitable sites are put forward, Clinton Devon Estates has revealed.

CDE is currently putting together a proposal to build up to 50 homes - some affordable - on the allotments, but this week the major land owner revealed it was open to alternative site suggestions.

Budleigh Salterton’s mayor, Councillor Tom Wright, told Monday’s annual parish meeting other parcels of land had been put forward to the council, but he was not prepared to reveal their locations at this time.

Cllr Wright said: “I cannot divulge confidences. We do know there are other sites being considered for affordable housing further down the road. There is at least one being looked at.

“We do want to find sites for affordable housing in Budleigh Salterton.”

Building is currently restricted to areas of permitted development - and the Greenway Lane allotments fall within such an area. However, residents and allotment holders have expressed concerns over the proposed development.

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“It’s possible that other sites, more acceptable, will be identified,” said Cllr Wright.

One site offered is believed to be a parcel of land between the B3178 and Hooker Close, belonging to Dr David Evans, a retired town doctor and chairman of Budleigh Salterton Health Centre Charity.

In March 2010, Dr Evans wrote to Budleigh Salterton Town Council requesting an informal meeting between his family and the council to discuss an affordable housing proposal to benefit the community.

Although Dr Evans suggested the Hascoe Housing Association and architect Mike O’Connor as the development team, a proposal or application is yet to be submitted.

CDE this week told The Journal it was in the process of putting together a proposal for its land at Greenway Lane in line with a request from the town council in 2009.

A CDE spokeswoman said: “This particular piece of land lies within the area defined in the East Devon Local Plan as suitable for development to meet the local housing need now.

“As a result of our public consultation event earlier in March, other pieces of land have been suggested to us.

“We understand that these will be considered for development under East Devon’s new Local Development Framework.

“If East Devon District Council and Budleigh Salterton Town Council would like CDE to consider a particular site, then we are happy to do so.”

l Cllr Wright has apologised for telling Monday’s meeting the town council had not approached CDE and asked it to consider developing the allotment site.

He said: “It does seem, in 2009, the council asked them to look into the possibility of developing the allotment site.

“This new proposal does not come out of any fresh approach by the council.

“I am very sorry if, from a lack of knowledge, I gave a misleading answer. I have taken the first opportunity to correct it.”