Withycombe homes plan supported by planning officers

New homes

New homes - Credit: Archant

Plans to build 52 homes by Withycombe Brook have been recommended for approval by district planning officers.

The plan for the homes, between St Johns Road, Holland Road and Hadrians Way, will be decided on by members of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee next week.

However, in advance of the meeting, planning officers have prepared a report for councillors, in which they recommend approval.

The plan has been formally opposed by Exmouth Town Council, and by local residents, because they say it will be overdevelopment, will affect wildlife, and will increase the risk of flooding of Withycombe Brook.

They also say that under the East Devon Local Plan, the space is earmarked for outdoor recreation, and therefore should not be built on.

However, EDDC’s planning officers argue that, because of a lack of cash and ‘land assembly’ problems, using the site for recreation is not currently feasible and, as the homes plan includes a cycle track and some open space, it represents the best deal for the site.

They therefore recommend approval, on condition that £289,979.20 is paid by the developers towards local school, to offset the impact of the new residents, along with cash for wildlife and play equipment.

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However, it is councillors who will have the final say, when they meet at the Knowle in Sidmouth on Tuesday, February 5, at 2pm.