City council agrees to development proposal

PUBLISHED: 02:01 09 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:06 10 June 2010

PLANS to build hundreds of extra houses off Topsham Road have been conditionally approved by Exeter City Council. Councillors at the planning meeting gave permission for the building of the homes on land on Rydon Lane, east off Newcourt House and the low

PLANS to build hundreds of extra houses off Topsham Road have been conditionally approved by Exeter City Council.Councillors at the planning meeting gave permission for the building of the homes on land on Rydon Lane, east off Newcourt House and the lower part of the Royal Navy Store Depot (RNSD), but with many conditions.The property developers, Dukeminster and the Pratt Group, were granted permission but, because the proposal departs from the Adopted Local Plan, it has been sent to the Secretary of State for Environment to first approve of the plan.Richard Short, head of planning services at Exeter City Council, said: "There is a need for housing in the area. While the housing market may go through busts, we continue to approve schemes. We consulted the public quite early and very late in the process."The unanimous decision to conditionally approve the site has been met with mixed reaction and follows the concerns aired at the meeting on traffic congestion and the added strain on local services. Jim Kingston, owner of Topsham Wines, in High Street, said: "The real traffic issues are nothing to do with the houses. It is the people who work in Exeter and come through here, that's the issue."Topsham is a town troubled with traffic flow and parking, which involves everyone including local councillors, the neighbourhood watch and the police. The site neighbours another area of property development, owned by Persimmon Homes, which was approved earlier this year.The building of the 395 affordable-homes was stopped until the new link road between Topsham Road and the A379 is built, which should relieve traffic pressure.Mr Short confirmed that Persimmon Homes have also put aside a pocket of land for Network Rail to build a new railway station on the Exmouth line. He said: "This is a long-term proposal but they would still need it and Network Rail might provide it in the future." Network Rail could not confirm if they would build the station and provide the tracks or when this proposed station would be built.

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