Exmouth is homes ‘dumping ground’
PUBLISHED: 11:18 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:18 16 March 2015
Exmouth has become a ‘dumping ground for new homes’ according to one councillor after a report showed the town could have to shoulder almost 100 new homes a year for the next 16 years.
Councillor Maddie Chapman has also said she would fight any development if there is no infrastructure or it creates flooding elsewhere.
This week, an independent report, commissioned by Devon’s planning authorities called the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), has been revealed.
It says that the total number of new homes East Devon District Council (EDDC) should provide between 2013 and 2031 is 17,100 - or 950 homes a year. And up to 10 per cent of those are set for Exmouth to help protect villages from development.
The report is important as it provides vital evidence to back up the blueprint for new homes.
Since 2008, EDDC has struggled to draw up its Local Plan - last year its ‘draft’ was scrutinised by a Whitehall planning inspector and rejected.
He said there was a lack of evidence to back up the housing numbers. This new report provides that evidence – but EDDC’s original projection of 750 homes a year has been raised by a quarter.
This could mean the total number of homes to be built in Exmouth could rise from around 950 homes to between 1,200 and 1,700.
The new homes will include sites that have planning permission, but which have not yet been built. Anything built prior to 2013, is not included.
Councillor Paul Diviani, leader of EDDC, said: “Although I recognise that the new homes figure of 950 dwellings is higher than our original projection of 750 homes, the increase is, in fact, relatively modest. One of our biggest priorities has been to head off unnecessary development in the villages and to focus on granting planning for sustainable development only.”
Exmouth councillor Maddie Chapman said: “It’s all very well the villages jumping up and down and protecting themselves, but they have to take on some of the burden.
“Exmouth has become a dumping ground for new homes, and we have taken on our fair share of development. If you have more homes you need more infrastructure, doctors, schools and we don’t even have any playing fields.
“The sites have to be safe; you can’t build on the Maer Valley - it’s a flood plain and we have seen if you build where there are underground springs the water gets diverted to the main drains, and floods the town.”
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