Green light for Seabrook development

Up to 700 new homes will be built in Topsham, after outline planning permission was granted by Exeter City Council.

The Seabrook Orchards development, to be built on a site between Topsham Town Football Club and Exeter Golf and Country Club, was unanimously approved by the council’s planning committee.

Along with the homes, 25 per cent of which have been earmarked for affordable housing, the development is also set to include a new primary school, doctors’ surgery, at least one care home, a community hall, two new sports pitches, allotments, orchards and a market square.

The development will be accessed by two road junctions from Topsham Road, with an additional access point from the neighbouring Newcourt development expected at a later date.

As part of the scheme, developers Dart Properties have agreed to commit money to nearby projects, including a new rail halt and improved provision for buses along Topsham Road.

Councillors approved the plans after the Highways Agency, which had previously recommended refusal, announced that it was now happy with submitted traffic figures and could recommend approval, pending an agreed travel plan.

Approval was also conditional on the developers reaching an agreement with Exeter Golf and Country Club, whose members had submitted more than 300 objections to the plan, about how to avoid the development affecting the golf course.

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Topsham councillor Rob Newby told the meeting: “It think this is an excellent concept – we’re going to get quality as opposed to quantity.

“The school will be of real benefit for the area, because we’re really stretched, and the community centre and medical centre will have massive benefits.”

Council leader Peter Edwards said: “I’m excited by this. If it ends up like [the plans], it will be like a new village.

“[The developers] spent a lot of time and money consulting on it, and I wish them the best of luck that it does come together in the end.”