A little over 40 new homes are set to be built in Exmouth.

A final decision for the application by developer Littleham 2010 Ltd for the houses on Douglas Avenue, demolishing one home in the process to make room for construction vehicles, has been delayed though.

Councillors on East Devon District Council’s planning committee needed more time to visit the site to check out the viability of the scheme, which had already been denied several years ago – although they they accepted the council’s lack of a five-year housing land supply makes it impossible to reject the development.

Several residents at a meeting on Monday, April 24 complained about the demolition of a home in the upmarket ‘Avenues’ area of the town, as well as what they claim will be pressure on local surgeries, an increase in traffic and lack of affordability.

An agent on behalf of the developer insisted that 11 of the 44 homes will be classed as affordable.

Green councillor Olly Davey warned that the location of the new homes will discourage the use of public transport and bring more cars into Exmouth, while Conservative Cllr Richard Lawrence criticised South West Water (SWW) for not attending the meeting to address sewage concerns.

Ultimately though, decisions to refuse applications need to be made based on breaches of policy, and because none were found by officers, Devon County Council or SWW, not enough valid reasons were presented to turn it down.

Lib Dem Cllr Eileen Wragg said the district council would have received a “hiding to nothing” at an appeal hearing if the committee were to reject the scheme.

Five members of the committee voted in favour of the application, one voted against and three abstained.