Lympstone residents' vow to fight development plans

PUBLISHED: 09:34 23 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:21 10 June 2010

ANGRY Lymstone residents have been brainstorming ideas about how they can put a stop to plans for a new 200-home development at Courtlands Cross. Staff from developers, Strategic Land Partnerships, delivered a presentation at a parish council meeting two

ANGRY Lymstone residents have been brainstorming ideas about how they can put a stop to plans for a new 200-home development at Courtlands Cross.

Staff from developers, Strategic Land Partnerships, delivered a presentation at a parish council meeting two weeks ago to persuade objectors about the benefits of the proposed site.

But unconvinced, and similar to the scores of villagers at the presentation, people again flocked to the village hall - this time for a private meeting last Thursday, November 19, to discuss ways of stopping the plans.

Rob Longhurst, chairman of Lympstone Parish Council, said because no planning application had been submitted for the development yet, it was important at this stage not to be prejudicial to the plans and pre-judge.

Mr Longhurst, however, added: "Having said that, we know it is coming and the strength of feeling about it in the area, which is they don't want it.

"When the application comes in we will hold a village meeting which will be an occasion for the people to say formally, what they feel about it to us.

"The council, in the intervening time, will be canvassing views from the parish and that will culminate with a village meeting where we will take a formal stance, one way or another, on the plans.

"The big problem at the moment is, until they actually lodge the application, it is very difficult to comment."

Mr Longhurst, speaking about last Thursday's private meeting, said the issue of what action the village should take once the application is submitted, was discussed.

The meeting was also used as an opportunity to justify why there was nothing other than direct questions from members of the public to staff from Strategic Land Partnerships at the presentation.

Mr Longhurst said: "There were two reasons for that: we didn't want any antagonism and secondly, we don't want to communicate with them (SLP) about what we're thinking of doing."

Strategic Land Partnerships propose to build 200 new homes at Courtlands Cross, featuring a mix of open market and affordable homes, a 50-room care home, community hub, an office park and, potentially, a cafe and nursery.

It believes if nearby Exmouth is to grow to accommodate its affordable housing needs, the town should develop in a northerly direction and provide new employment opportunities, Courtlands represented the best prospect.

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