Jobs before houses or houses before jobs on Honiton brownfield site?

“Plans to demolish the former Halse of Honiton site and convert it into a 32-home development are set to be rejected.

The Homes and Communities Agency submitted plans last year to build the new homes at Foundry Yard on a brownfield site that was recently vacated by Halse of Honiton, who have moved to a new site in Ottery St Mary. …

But East Devon District Council’s development management committee are being recommended to refuse the application when they meet on Tuesday, May 1.

The report says: “The site is considered to be an employment site and in assessing the proposal, it has not been demonstrated that a continued use employment use would significantly harm the quality of a locality whether through traffic, amenity, environmental or other associated problems.

“Furthermore, options for retention of the site or premises for its current or similar use have not been robustly explored, the site having been subject of a flawed marketing exercise that ruled out any such uses before marketing began.

Evidence from the Economic Development also indicates a strong demand for employment generating sites in Honiton coupled with a shortage in the supply of such sites. The release of the site for housing would therefore not comply with Strategy 32 of the Local Plan and the development would not be sustainable development as it would contribute to imbalances in the provision of housing and jobs in Honiton.”

The application submitted by the HCA had said: “The proposed development of the site creates an opportunity to provide a high quality residential development that integrates well with adjacent areas of Honiton.

“The development will be sustainable, providing much needed open market and affordable homes in a town centre location, with good connectivity.” …

The developer is also proposing ten of the proposed homes – or 30 per cent – to be affordable, five per cent more than the required provision of 25 per cent. …”