Anger at 200 homes

THE battlelines were drawn this week after plans for up to 200 new homes renewed fears that Lympstone is destined to be absorbed by Exmouth s urban sprawl.

THE battlelines were drawn this week after plans for up to 200 new homes renewed fears that Lympstone is destined to be absorbed by Exmouth's urban sprawl.

Strategic Land Partnerships announced on Tuesday it intends to lodge the application, which will also include a 50-room care home and an office park on an area the size of 20 football pitches at Courtlands Cross on the A376.

The houses will be a mix of open market and affordable family homes for rent and sale and will include a 'community hub' and, potentially, a shop, cafe and nursery.

Developers say the 9.9 hectare development, if it gets approval, would generate 30,000 square feet of new employment land, providing 'significant new' job opportunities for local people.

The developers are holding a public exhibition on November 3 at Exmouth Swimming Pool for the scheme, which they have dubbed as a 'sustainable extension to Exmouth'.

But Lympstone parish councillor Rob Longhurst was incensed the developers had not made a single reference to Lympstone in their advertising literature being put through villagers' doors.

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"I'm absolutely fuming. This huge development is within our parish boundaries- and they hold the exhibition in Exmouth.

"It's arrogance in the extreme."

The scheme, he said, was against the parish plan and on an area designated as an Area of Great Landscape Value.

He said: "They have gone about this as though it's nothing to do with us. Before, we may have listened and given the proposal a chance, but now they will be met with open hostility.

"If I wanted to live in Exmouth, I would have moved there. We have never been part of Exmouth, are not part of Exmouth and never intend to be. We will fight it tooth and nail. We are opposed to any development on the 'green wedge'.

"We want to stop the coalescence of Lympstone with Exmouth."

Gerry Keay of Strategic Land Partnerships, said: "The site is highly sustainable. It is on the urban edge of Exmouth, close to existing community infrastructure and with direct access to key public transport routes that provide regular services to the town centre and towards Exeter.

"We have developed our plans based on the latest guidance for the creation of sustainable communities and in response to the need for more housing, particularly affordable housing, in Exmouth.

"We have actively engaged with the parish council and want to work with them."

He said they want to fully engage with the public, adding: "We are holding the exhibition in Exmouth because of parking and better transport links. We want to bring the public along with us.