Exmouth ‘ghetto’ claim denied

Landowner Clinton Devon Estates has denied claims a ‘ghetto’ would be built in Exmouth if its proposal to create 350 homes was slashed.

Clinton Devon Estates has denied saying a ghetto would be created in Exmouth if it was forced to build 190 homes in Littleham instead of the preferred 350.

Littleham residents recently heard how the land owner could be tied into a binding agreement to provide a number of improvements in the area, if its proposal to create the 350-home Plumb Park development, at Maer Valley, got the green light.

The estate this week revealed it had been in talks with Littleham Primary School, discussing site improvements, to help the school achieve their long-term goals.

A spokesman for the land owner said Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) ‘strongly denies’ any suggestion it would build a ‘ghetto’ in Exmouth.

She said 350 homes would enable CDE to invest a ‘considerable amount of money’ in regeneration projects in the area.

She said Clinton Devon Estates’ projects and investments were ‘of a very high standard’ and with the next generation in mind.

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“This is why we have spent a lot of time talking to local people to find out what they would like for their community,” said the spokesman.

“A smaller scheme would release less capital expenditure for regeneration and fewer affordable homes.

“Our message has always been that 350 homes would enable us to build a community while 190 would only provide a housing estate.

“There have been discussions with Littleham Primary School about how the estates can help them to achieve their long-term objectives.

“During the course of our conversations we have talked about ways in which we can ensure the school playing fields, which frequently become waterlogged, can be made fit for purpose.”

Littleham ward member councillor Mark Williamson, speaking at the recent Littleham Residents’ Association meeting, said: “Clinton Devon Estates argue that 190 homes could create a ghetto, and still do. Five hundred would be unacceptable, 350 would create a community.”

Cllr Williamson said 12 ‘community benefits of promises, in a binding commitment’ would be included in CDE’s planning application for 350 homes.

He said the conditions would serve as ‘damage limitation’ for the area.

Cllr Williamson said: “We want the best for the area. If East Devon District Council accepts 350 homes, we would want certain things to be delivered.

“The first thing is congestion at Littleham Cross and traffic problems - getting across to Salterton Road - resolved. If they don’t do that, it’s not acceptable to us.”