Lympstone homes decision delayed

A ruling on plans to build 15 homes on the edge of Lympstone has been delayed, after a row over the amount of land free for housing in the village.

Councillors on East Devon District Council’s development management committee were due to decide on the scheme, to build the homes between Glebelands and Strawberry Hill, this week.

But, instead, their decision has been delayed until January, to allow the parish council to complete a consultation with villagers on where new homes should be built, and to allow district planning officers to consider evidence that there are better sites available for development.

Officers had said that the Glebelands plan, which would include 10 ‘affordable’ homes, was needed to meet the housing need of the village, and was on the best available site.

However, Councillor Ben Ingham and the parish council have objected to the plan, as it is outside the village’s development boundary.

They say they have identified sites inside the village which could provide more than 47 homes, and could be developed within five years, meaning there would be no need to extend the village’s built-up area.

Cllr Ingham said: “The Lympstone neighbourhood plan documents the 100 per cent viability of providing in excess of 47 homes within the existing development boundary.

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“I’ve personally contacted all the landowners to make sure they want to build within five years, and all of them do.

“There is no need to develop land outside the boundary to meet Lympstone’s housing needs.”

In response to Cllr Ingham’s claims, planning officer Ed Freeman told councillors many of these proposed sites could have potential problems. Despite this, councillors agreed to delay their decision.

The controversial Glebelands scheme has drawn complaints from residents, who say it would affect their privacy and create an unsafe road junction.

They also say the site is not suited to new homes as it is too far from facilities in the centre of the village.

The parish council is holding its village meetings on the village development plan at the village hall tonight at 7pm, and tomorrow at 10am.