New estate in St Johns Road not backed by town hall

PROPOSALS for 66 homes in St Johns Road have not been supported by the town hall for the second time.

Developers have filed two amended plans for a total of 66 homes on a 10 acre site at the former Hillcrest School in St Johns Road.

Fifty seven of those homes will be new builds while the remaining nine will be conversions from a crumbling grade two listed mid-Victorian gothic villa, a wartime school building and gym and a group of coach houses.

The plans also include a new access road and a new footpath link to Gibson Close. Both plans were again recommended for refusal after previously recommended for refusal at the end of last year.

Cllr Malcolm Mitchell said the plans would prevent the provision of a continuous cycle way: “These plans go against the strategy for cycle routes for Exmouth in 2007.

“And it will fence off an area …used as a safe route to the Community College for students.”

Cllr Trevor Cope said the development was near to the school run for several schools including Bassetts Farm and Brixington Primary: “I am surprised that a development of this size has not received comments from county highways.

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“One entrance (near Bassetts Farm) in and out will cause traffic problems.

“We have a severe problem and this development will have a detrimental impact on the environment.”

Resident Keith Maunder of Willmott Close said: “Our concern is what access will there be for this new housing?

“No mention of Willmott Close on the planning proposal. Where is this footpath link to Gibson close going to be?

“Come and visit Gibson and Willmott Close and St Johns Road during the morning and afternoon of the Bassets Farm School run. It is very busy now what on earth will it be like if this plan goes ahead?”

Resident Jennifer Norris said: “Our main concern is with the additional volume of traffic such a development would put on the already overstretched St John’s Road.

“The point of access to Hillcrest in St John’s Road is within the recently installed traffic calming humps and is a 20 mph restricted zone.

“This has been introduced for the safety of the children who attend Bassett’s Farm School which is adjacent to the Hillcrest site.”

The plans will now be considered by district planners.

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