Questions raised over Avenues design statement

PUBLISHED: 10:26 05 March 2018

Plans for four home development in Exmouth opposed

Plans for four home development in Exmouth opposed

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Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of a development vision document after another application for housing in the town.

At a planning committee meeting last week (Monday, February 19), town councillor Brian Toye expressed concerns over how useful The Avenues Design Statement is.

The committee were discussing a planning application to demolish an existing building in Cyprus Road, Littleham, and build four new dwellings and car ports.

Cyprus Road is covered by the 2005 Avenues Design Statement - a supplementary planning guidance document created by The Avenues Residents Association (TARA) which sets out a vision for housing developments in that area of the town.

The document is often referred to by East Devon District Council (EDDC) planners when deciding on applications in The Avenues.

At the meeting, Cllr Toye asked whether the council could still use the document as an argument for objecting to the proposal.

He said: “So many sites in The Avenues have gone over the top with the statement. It does make you wonder if that statement is of any use anymore.”

In response, Paul Gray, of TARA, said: “The EDDC planners and our local councillors are well aware of the TARA design statement and frequently make reference to that document which has the status of supplementary planning guidance.

“However, there are occasions when either the planners or our councillors feel that other factors weigh more heavily and they reach a decision that is not in line with the Design Statement. We do not regard this as a matter of great concern or a failure.”

Exmouth Town Council had previously objected to the application in July 2017.

The proposal was before the planning committee again due to some amendments.

The committee agreed to object to the application again, arguing that it would be overdevelopment of the site and was contrary to The Avenues Design Statement.

Cllr Bill Nash added: “The alterations are so minimal that the prime case remains the same that you’re taking a small bungalow and replacing it with four four-bedroom houses and squeezing them in.

“These properties would constitute up to 40 per cent of the site where as the TARA recommendation was for 25 per cent.”

EDDC planners will make the final decision.

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