Homes numbers cut - town hall still says ‘no’

Property prices have risen in North Devon and Torridge. Picture: Submitted

Property prices have risen in North Devon and Torridge. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Property developers have failed for the second time to win town hall backing for a new Brixington estate, despite slashing the number of homes by a third.

At the recent town council planning meeting, councillors rejected amended proposals for the principle of 98 homes on fields roughly the size of 10 football pitches, near Higher Marley Road.

In February, town planners refused to endorse 150 homes on the fields, approximately the size of 15 football pitches.

On Monday, the town hall’s public gallery was packed by concerned residents and two community groups, The Exmouth Civic Society and The Marley Planning Group.

The latest plan follows a public consultation at Brixington Community Church last September. However, the consultation appears not have won over many local people, as around 200 objections have been filed, ranging from concerns about increased traffic and overdevelopment to a lack of schools, doctors’ surgeries, footpaths and bus services, as well as flooding.

There are also concerns about wildlife, trees and building on an area of ‘great landscape value.’

Councillor Cherry Nicholas said: “All these houses have been built (in Brixington over 25 years) without any thought about infrastructure.

Most Read

“It seems they (developers) are relying on the closest doctors’ surgery.

“Our objections should stand.”

Councillor Jeff Trail said: “The number of trees that would be affected, if not cut down, would be unacceptable

“Any loss of woodland, wetlands or individual mature trees would be a travesty.”

Councillor Brain Bailey said: “The bottom line is, that these plans are outside the existing plans (the Built Up Area Boundary and Local Plan).

“There are too many people trying their luck – what is the point of having a designated planning area if people ignore it?

“We have more than enough houses in Exmouth if you include the ones with permission that will be built over the next three to five years.

“There is no need to build more.”

Ian Cann, of the Exmouth Civic Society, said the plans would still result in 500 cars a day along High Marley Road. “It is already a rat-run,” he said. “The police have carried out two traffic speed assessments, having found that, in this designated 20mph zone, speeds in excess of 40mph were regularly recorded.”

Resident Jaques Rooyen said: “East Devon District Council now has a five-year land supply based on a list of allocated sites.

“This site is not among the list of allocated sites in the Local Plan.

“This application should be rejected out of hand as it is not needed to meet the demand for housing in the district.”

The district council will decide.