Huge development backed by town planners

PUBLISHED: 12:20 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:06 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH S largest single housing project since the war, at Rolle College s former halls of residence, has been backed by town planners - at the second time of asking.

EXMOUTH'S largest single housing project since the war, at Rolle College's former halls of residence, has been backed by town planners - at the second time of asking.

But there are fears that the Hasledene development of 30 houses and 10 flats - 40 per cent of which will be 'affordable' - facing Cyprus Road and backing on to Limekiln Lane, could affect a historic bridleway.

In May the town planners recommended refusal for 33 houses and a 22-flats because it would 'overbear' neighbours and the designs would lead to 'ghettoisation.'

However the new plans was broadly backed - despite a hefty list of caveats.

But two of Exmouth's historic building watchdogs are concerned about the housing density, the proximity of homes to a historic path and bank and the differences in design between 'social' and 'regular' housing.

Ian Cann of the Exmouth Society recommended refusal: "...our view (is because) of the close proximity of dwellings to the ancient hedgerow and boundary of Limekiln Lane which is a centuries old track way which still has tremendous character and is heavily used by pedestrian traffic.

"Its importance is recognised by its presence on the Historic Monuments Register and the award of the Exmouth Heritage Blue Plaque outlining its historic significance."

SAD (Save Avenues from Despoliation) was set up in 2003 to protect The Avenues from inappropriate development.

Chairman Pat Attard said: "Our main concern is the discrepancy between the thoughtful quality of the dwellings to the front of the site and those at the back abutting Limekiln Lane.

"We would like to see...that the social housing placed on the Eastern boundary is of higher quality and does not encroach on the historic lane in any way."

Cllr Sandy Sutton, said: "All of our objections to the previous plans have been considered...

"The flats have been changed to housing (as the town council suggested) and the plans are a great improvement."

"We believe there should not be an opening onto Limekiln Lane."

Cllr Ken Harper agreed and said that the entrance to Limekiln Lane could lead to 'security' problems, could be used as a turning area for cars and the front of the social housing was too near to a bank that lined the footpath.

Cllr Ian Stewart said: "I think that everything should be done to protect that ancient bank.

"The social housing is far to close to the bank and that bank has been there for a long time."

The council supported the plans but want the entrance to Limekiln Lane removed, 'clarification' on tree landscaping, the hedgerow safeguarded and moves to make both sets of housing look similar.

The plans will be considered by the district council.

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