Greater Exeter: MAJOR development plan for region – The GESP legacy nightmare

A nightmare legacy for East Devon’s new administration – The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP). (Thought by some to have been postponed last year because of possible electoral consequences – but Owl thinks these consequences will linger for decades).

Owl understands that on 25th June 2020 EDDC councillors were finally given a whole council briefing and report by Ed Freeman – Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management on GESP. But the whole process is shrouded in secrecy (“commercial sensitivity” – you bet it is – because local landowners have been “called” to submit parcels of land for consideration to develop with the well known windfall financial gain for those finally approved of up to 100%).

The GESP seeks to determine where residential and business development will take place in East Devon in the period 2020 – 2040. GESP concerns itself with housing sites of 500 houses or more. The government calculator states East Devon must build approximately 844 new houses per year (this figures can be averaged out across years), but due to complexities of the calculator EDDC should actually be building more than this to keep ‘on a trajectory’ (the old argument Owl has heard many times before).

In comparison Mid Devon only has to build 363 new houses per year in the GESP plan according to the government calculator. In total 57,200 homes are to be built in the GESP area by 2040.

Something like 700 sites were put forward and as there are no large scale brown field strategic sites in East Devon vast swathes of agricultural land will be under more concrete. 

Mid Devon, Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge Councils are all considering whether to begin the next round of consultation on their Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP).

A series of meetings will ask Councillors to agree the ‘draft policies and site options’ document and a public consultation to begin in September. Exeter City Council will be first to decide at their Executive meeting on 7 July, followed by Teignbridge on 21 July, Mid Devon on 6 August and East Devon on 18 August.

The Councils have been asked to carry out the consultation (which was originally planned in for June) from September, following Government advice that planning authorities should continue despite Covid-19. The consultation will ask for the public to have their say on the draft policies and site options, which will influence the next stage.

As background Owl would draw attention to the CPRE Devon “Devon Housing Needs Evidence” September 2018. This study is the only strategic study of Devon’s housing needs and delivery. The only one to have assembled and reviewed all the extant (and one draft) Local Plans for authorities in Devon on a comparable basis. It concludes that 35% more houses are planned over the next 10 years than are required for anticipated population growth and inward migration. Most of these will be built on green field sites (agricultural land). New-build homes, on average, cost more than existing homes. The average priced new build is 18%, and a lower quartile new build is 27% more expensive than an existing home. There is now a significant proportion of second homes in the county. And, frankly, all the assumptions must now be re-considered in a post Covid-19 environment.

 

Greater Exeter: MAJOR development plan for region

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.
41-52 minutes

 

A ‘second Cranbrook’, relocating Exeter and Cullompton’s motorway service stations, and a regional sports hub are among the proposals for major development in the Greater Exeter Area.

Further development around the edge of Newton Abbot, Honiton, Feniton, Axminster, Tiverton, Cullompton, Crediton, and the area around Exeter are also proposed in the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan, for which a draft policies and site options document has been produced.

It will provide the overall spatial strategy and level of housing and employment land required across Exeter, East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge in the period to 2040.

A minimum target of 2,663 homes per year, or 53,260 homes over the 20 year period of the plan, is required to be built, with the overall need for development sites equating to 63,912 homes.

Existing planning commitments – either unbuilt homes with planning permission or sites in local plans – amount to about 33,390 homes, with the GESP proposing that about 18,500 of the homes are provided on strategic scale GESP allocations, with 12,000 to be allocated on smaller sites via local plan reviews and also potentially in neighbourhood development plans.

The document takes forward a scenario of allocating the majority of the 18,500 new homes in the region near to public transport infrastructure corridors and hubs to maximise opportunities to encourage more sustainable forms of travel by giving the highest proportion of residents a choice of transport mode to the key service and job locations.

A total of 39 strategic site options are considered to have potential for allocation in the GESP, although following consultation to inform the final version of the GESP, not all sites will be taken forward for development.

GESP allocations for the Exeter area

GESP allocations for the Exeter area

Among the proposals in the GESP include relocating the J30 motorway services in Exeter and the J28 Cullompton services to a ‘super service station’ near Poltimore in order to unlock the land at both sites for development.

Other proposals could see a large area of 660 hectares of rolling farmland extending from the A30 to the A3052 across Clyst Honiton, Sowton, Farringdon, Aylesbeare be concreted over to see 10,000 homes built, with a further 1,300 homes allocated around Greendale, with a new link road to connect the A30 and the A3052 provided.

The Hill Barton site could also house a regional sports hub, with the Culm Garden Village expansion also having the same possibility.

GESP allocations for the area around Newton Abbot

GESP allocations for the area around Newton Abbot

Newton Abbot could see further expansion of the Houghton Barton site to the west of the town with an additional 1,750 homes, while a further 500 homes could be built on land to the south of the NA3 allocation.

More than 1,000 homes could be built to the East of Honiton, with 540 homes in Axminster, 2,800 homes around Feniton, and 2,500 homes around Whimple also sites to be consulted on.

GESP allocations for East Devon

GESP allocations for East Devon

To the north of Exeter, 750 homes in Crediton, 500 homes in Cowley and 1,200 homes in Newton St Cyres are proposed, while to the south, 1,100 homes around Shillingford and 1,500 homes at Peamore could be built.

Redevelopment of land around Marsh Barton, Exeter St Davids, Topsham, Sowton. Pinhoe, and within the city centre allocate around 12,000 new homes within the boundary of Exeter

New rail stations at Marsh Barton, Monkerton, Cullompton, and Cranbrook East are proposed, as would 15 minute bus frequency on the routes on the A3052 to M5 J30, Heavitree Road, the A379 South West Exeter and around. Exe Bridges / Alphington Road.

Park-and-ride sites will be allocated around Exeter, with one on the Pinhoe Road B3181, Heavitree Road, Clyst St Mary, A379 Matford, A377/A30 Alphington Road and A377 Cowley Bridge corridors planned.

Land will be safeguarded for improvements around the Strategic Highway areas of junctions J27 and J28 of the M5, enhancements of local routes to improved capacity and resilience between M5 J29 to M5 J31, and the relocation of M5 J30 and J28 motorway services to one new “on-line” site.

A30/A303 improvements between Honiton and Marsh are called for, while a new link road between the A30 at Clyst Honiton and the A3052 could be built to allow movement without the need to use the motorway junctions.

A comprehensive pedestrian and cycle network within Exeter is also proposed, with City Centre streets, including South Street, Fore Street, Paris Street, Queen Street, Heavitree Road and Cowick Street to have more priority given to active travel over the car.

GESP allocation for the North of Exeter

GESP allocation for the North of Exeter

A comprehensive pedestrian and cycle network within identified towns, including in Newton Abbot, Cranbrook, Crediton, Cullompton, Dawlish, Exmouth, Honiton, Teignmouth, Tiverton and the GESP allocations, will come forward at a later date.

Each council will be holding meetings to ask councillors to agree to the ‘draft policies and site options’ document and that a public consultation should begin in September. Exeter City Council will be first to decide at its Executive meeting on 7 July. Teignbridge’s Executive will consider the proposals and decide on 21 July followed by East Devon on 23 July and Mid-Devon on 6 August.

Councillors will be asked to approve the document for consultation and will not at this stage be making any decisions over which sites are taking forward for development within the final GESP document.

THE 39 SITES and their pros and cons, as outlined in the GESP

ATTWELLS FARM

DESCRIPTION

The area consists of a bowl of mainly steep agricultural land on the north west fringe of Exeter, beyond the built-up area of Exwick. The area is bounded by Rowthorn Road and Redhills to the west. Exwick Lane crosses the site east to west. The 44 hectare site covers land both in Teignbridge and Exeter, in the Whitestone and Exwick parishes. 400 homes could be located on the site

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development, with homes 3km from the centre of Exeter, within cycling distance and with potential for improvements, and local facilities nearby.

CONS

The local road network and road access is poor and there is limited scope for upgrading. A large proportion of the site is high grade agricultural land and the site is likely to be too small for a new primary school or GP services, so will rely on off-site provision. Improved road access, particularly to Redhills, would be required.

COWLEY

DESCRIPTION

The area consists of 27 hectares of predominantly agricultural land surrounding and to the west of the hamlet of Cowley. Up to 500 homes could be built in the parish than comes under East Devon District Council.

PROS

It is close to significant job opportunities in Exeter city centre and the University, it has the potential to accommodate a Park and Ride/Change, and it could potentially deliver part of the Boniface Trail cycle route

CONS

It may impact upon the Exe Estuary which is a Natura 2000 protected wildlife site sensitive to an increase in the number of visitors, while a small area of the site is affected by flooding St. Andrew’s Road and the existing junction with A377 would be an unsuitable access, Cowley Bridge and roundabout junction with Stoke Road/Wreford’s Drive are at capacity, and there are no schools within safe walking distance of the site.

CREDITON SOUTH

DESCRIPTION

This 90 hectare agricultural site adjoins the southern boundary of the historic market town of Crediton, and could accommodate up to 750 homes

PROS

There is a possible relationship with site at Newton St Cyres and Cowley to collectively deliver transport infrastructure, including rail, bus and cycle improvements, is within walking distance of the services and facilities within Crediton, and the nearby train station offers the potential for residents to travel by rail, with a 10 minute journey time, into Exeter (with also the potential to travel north. The potential Cowley site option also considers provision of a Park and Ride, which would be an alternative means of accessing Exeter

CONS

A large proportion of the site is identified as a monument of local importance – ‘Manor of Crediton Parks’ (an undesignated medieval deer park), and the site may contain bats, otters and other protected species. A large proportion of the site is high grade agricultural land and a package of improvements to upgrade highway access and level crossing upgrade would be needed.

EAST GATE

DESCRIPTION

Currently is a mixed use area on the eastern side of Exeter city centre. Includes homes, business, leisure and institutional uses, a bus station and public car parks. The 16.4 hectare site is identified for future redevelopment in Exeter City Council’s Liveable Exeter Programme and could accommodate 1,160 homes.

PROS

It provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of a brownfield site, HAS excellent access to public transport and is close to a wide range of job opportunities and facilities, giving the potential for car-free residential development. A proportion of the site is in public sector ownership, enabling additional influence over design and delivery and the opportunity to reinvest proceeds into city improvements and part of the site has been put forward landowners for development

CONS

The site currently includes homes, businesses, institutional uses, public car parks and transport infrastructure and is affected by air and noise pollution from nearby roads and city-centre uses and may be contaminated

EXETER ST DAVIDS

DESCRIPTION

The mixed-use site in Exeter includes surface car parks, storage and industrial uses, student accommodation and retail, with Exeter St Davids station to the west. The 5.3 hectare site could accommodate 660 homes

PROS

The site is identified for future redevelopment in Exeter City Council’s Liveable Exeter Programme and it provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of a brownfield site. It has excellent access to public transport and is close to a wide range of job opportunities and facilities, giving the potential for car-free residential development and gives an opportunity to create an attractive gateway to Exeter

CONS

It includes a number of existing student homes, businesses and public car parking which would need to be taken into account, is close to listed and locally listed buildings and within St David’s Conservation Area, and is affected by the operational requirements of Network Rail

EXMINSTER WEST

DESCRIPTION

The 16 hectare site is on western edge of Exminster with the M5 to north. The site is less than 1km from South West Exeter (SWE1) urban extension in the Teignbridge Local Plan and could accommodate 200 homes

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development, is adjacent to Exminster which has a range of shops, services and facilities and an existing regular bus service into Exeter, and the site is marginally within cycling distance of Exeter

CONS

There is no potential to increase existing primary school capacity as the existing site is significantly undersized and the school has already been expanded and the development would not support viable new primary school provision. A large proportion of the site is high grade agricultural land and there may be noise from the M5 Motorway

HIGHER GREENDALE

DESCRIPTION

The 107 hectares of land is adjacent to the A3052. It adjoins Crealy Adventure Park to the west and Greendale Business Park to the south. A total of 1,300 homes plus employment use could be accommodated

PROS

It could deliver a significant amount of employment as an extension to Greendale Business Park and/or smaller scale employment uses to support housing development. There are approximately 30,000 jobs located within 5km of the site including at Skypark, Science FPark, Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks, and it could utilise nearby Clyst Valley Regional Park and proposed Clyst Valley Trail and existing bus services that run along the A3052

CONS

Windmill Hill is the likely location of a major battle during the 16th century Prayerbook Rebellion and has far reaching views. It is a long distance from existing services and facilities and on its own may not be large enough to deliver a wide range of services and facilities, and development could increase traffic on the Clyst St Mary roundabout and Junction 30 of the M5 which is at or nearing capacity. Improvements to the bus network along the A3052 including park and ride and bus priority and a new primary school would be required.

HILL BARTON

DESCRIPTION

A large area of 660 hectares largely comprised of rolling farmland extending from the A30 to the A3052, before adjoining the Hill Barton industrial area to the south. It covers the parishes of Clyst Honiton, Sowton, Farringdon, Aylesbeare and could see 10,000 homes built, as well as employment land

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development and it comprises predominantly level land with limited landscape or historic sensitivity. There are approximately 30,000 jobs located within 5km of the site including at Skypark, Science Park, Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks, and it could deliver a new route connecting the A30 to the A3052. It has the capacity to deliver a self-sufficient, mixed-use garden community and it could deliver a regional hub for sports

CONS

It is not located in close proximity to an existing Railway route and development here could increase traffic on the Clyst St Mary Roundabout and Junctions 29 and 30 of the M5 which are at or nearing capacity. A large proportion of the site is high grade agricultural land and a small area of the site is affected by flooding along the Aylesbeare stream / Holbrook. Considerable improvements to the bus network including provision of new park and ride facilities along both the A30 and A3052 corridors and bus priority on the A30 would be needed.

HOWELL ROAD

DESCRIPTION

The site is 0.9 hectares and is currently a car park. It could deliver 106 new homes

PROS

It provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of a brownfield site and it has excellent access to public transport and is close to a wide range of job opportunities and facilities, giving the potential for car-free residential development.

CONS

It includes a public car park and is affected by air and noise pollution from nearby roads and the railway and may be contaminated, as well as by flood risk

MARKHAM LANE

DESCRIPTION

This site is a series of agricultural fields on a steep hill on the south-western fringe of Exeter, within the landscape setting of the city, but located within the Ide and Shillingford St George parishes in Teignbridge. The 62 hectare site could deliver 1,100 homes.

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development. The site is close to Exeter and 1km from Alphington which has a good bus service, and is within cycling distance of Exeter. A proportion is in public sector ownership, providing potential influence over delivery and the opportunity to reinvest proceeds into infrastructure

CONS

It will impacts on existing villages of Ide and Shillingford Abbot and will have a landscape impact, particularly on the green setting of Exeter. There is potential for relatively high development costs and infrastructure costs, and creating a suitable access to the Ide A30 Junction may be unfeasible and requires further investigation

MARSH BARTON

DESCRIPTION

The site consists of a large area of older employment, retail, quasi retail and car showroom uses in the south of the city, largely bounded by the mainline railway, Alphington Road, residential areas and the Alphin Brook. A total of 5,544 homes could be delivered in the 85 hectare site

PROS

Various employment and commercial permissions across the trading estate area and planning consent has been granted for a new train station off Alphin Brook Road. It provides a substantial, flat brownfield redevelopment opportunity, is within cycling distance of the city centre and within walking distance of Exeter St Thomas and the proposed Marsh Barton railway stations, the Alphington Road bus route and St Thomas local shops and therefore has the potential to provide largely car-free residential development

CONS

The could loss of, or disturbance to, many local businesses providing about 4,000 – 5,000 jobs, and all of the site is affected by flooding

NEWTON ST CYRES

DESCRIPTION

The site is around 8km from Exeter and comprises predominantly gently undulating agricultural land. The hamlet of Sweetham is located in the centre of the site with the larger village of Newton St Cyres on the south-west boundary. The site includes farms and isolated dwellings, with a golf course near Higher Rewe. 1,200 homes and employment land could be accommodated in the 303 hectare site

PROS

The site is reasonably close to Exeter, with the potential to access high quality jobs in the city, and the train station offers the potential for residents to travel by rail, with less than 10 minute journey time, into Exeter (or beyond), and residents could cycle to Exeter or Crediton. The characteristics of the site provides the opportunity to deliver a new sensitively designed rural settlement based on garden village principles

CONS

A large area of the site is affected by flooding along the River Creedy and includes sections of Langford Road and Station Road. The highway network in the area is restricted and is likely to require significant investment to provide increased capacity and flood resilient access to the site, and the site is segregated by the Tarka Line railway, with access points to Sweetham over railway bridges on Langford Road and Station Road

NORTH GATE

DESCRIPTION

Mixed-use site within Exeter’s urban area, including part of the Guildhall and all of the Harlequins Shopping Centres (developed in the 1980/90s), alongside the Guildhall and Mary Arches public car parks, a large listed Bingo Hall, smaller scale commercial uses and homes. 310 new homes could be accommodated

PROS

The site is identified for future redevelopment in Exeter City Council’s Liveable Exeter Programme, provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of a brownfield site, and additional residents in this area could boost city centre viability

CONS

The site includes existing businesses, homes and public car parks, and may contain important archaeological remains

OIL MILL LANE

DESCRIPTION

A large area in East Devon largely comprising rolling farmland extending from the A3052 to Woodbury Road, and adjoins Crealy Adventure Park to the north-east. It stretches through 380 hectares across Sowton, Clyst St Mary, Clyst St George, Woodbury and could accommodate 4,000 homes and employment

PROS

There are approximately 30,000 jobs located within 5km of the site including at Skypark, Science Park, Greendale and Hill Barton Business Parks. It could deliver a link road connecting the A376 and A3052 which could relieve pressure from local traffic on the Clyst St Mary Roundabout and has the capacity to deliver a self-sufficient, mixed-use garden community

CONS

It is not located in close proximity to an existing railway line and development could increase traffic on the Clyst St Mary roundabout and Junction 30 of the M5 which is at or nearing capacity with a potential traffic impact on Topsham. It is located near to historic settlements of Clyst St George, Clyst St Mary and Woodbury Salterton, with possible difficulty in accessing the site over a floodplain and in the availability of land for development

PEAMORE

DESCRIPTION

The site is south west of Exeter, 4-5km from the centre. This area is agricultural in use and residential properties scatter the site, with a concentration at Little Silver. Towards the south of the site is an industrial estate, which has planning permission for an extension. 1500 homes could be provided on the 146 hectare site in Teignbridge

PROS

It is adjacent to existing Teignbridge Local Plan & Exeter Core Strategy allocations in South West Exeter. The site contains an existing substantial employment planning permission, which would enable jobs within walking distance for residents, and Devon County Council has agreed to pursue a park and ride site in this location to provide a link to Exeter, and a potential northbound sliproad onto the A38 could be created

CONS

Peamore House and other listed buildings and features which form part of the historic house estate would need to be considered, and there are wooded areas, including Little Silver Plantation and with Ancient Woodland next to the site. A large proportion of the site is high grade agricultural land with steeper slope areas within the site

PINHOE TRADING ESTATE

DESCRIPTION

The suburban trading estate comprises a range of unit sizes, together Pinbrook Recycling Centre, one home and a supermarket. It could be 278 new homes built

PROS

It provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of a brownfield site and it has good access to public transport, is on a strategic cycle route, and is close to a wide range of job opportunities and facilities, giving the potential for car-free residential development

CONS

The trading estate is protected for employment use by Policy CP4 of the Exeter Core Strategy and is also covered by the waste consultation zone for Pinbrook recycling centre. A phased release of land for employment use would be needed to allow for consideration of supply and demand, as would consideration of the recycling centre to enable continued operation

POLTIMORE EAST

DESCRIPTION

A series of agricultural fields on a shallow ridge which slopes gently down eastwards towards the River Clyst. The land could be used as a Motorway Services Area only

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development and it provides an opportunity to reconsider the existing motorway service station provision at Exeter which could free up the existing site for alternative uses and relieve pressure on Junction 30 of the M5, with limited feasible locations for the proposed use between Junctions 28 and 30. It could provide a link to Poltimore House which is on the Historic England heritage at risk register, increasing the number of potential visitors which may aid in restoration efforts

CONS

The site is largely within the East Devon Local Plan designated Clyst Valley Regional Park, and the new service station could impact on views from Killerton Estate, Poltimore House and Broadclyst Village, which are important heritage assets in the area

SANDY GATE

DESCRIPTION

The split site lies to the west of Junction 30 of the M5 motorway and includes the motorway services, fuel station, retail, surface car parking/park & ride, industrial/ employment units, hotel, restaurants and cafés, and agricultural land. 1,050 homes on the 36 hectares could be delivered

PROS

It would support the relocation of the Motorway Service Area with potential to relieve congestion at Junction 30. It provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of a brownfield site and is within cycling distance of Exeter city centre and has excellent access to public transport (bus services and Digby & Sowton Railway Station) giving the potential for car-free residential development

CONS

There are existing homes, businesses, park and ride site and motorway service station on the sites, and there are concerns over the feasibility and potential high cost of altering the local highway and junctions. A new service station and either the retention of park and ride capacity on site or potential off-site relocation to A376 or A3052 would be required

SOUTH GATE

DESCRIPTION

Includes the Holloway Street/Western Way/South Street/Magdalen Street junction together with land around it, surface car parking and blocks of flats, plus the redevelopment of Magdalen Road Car Park. A potential for a mix of employment uses alongside 300 homes

PROS

The site is identified for future redevelopment in Exeter City Council’s Liveable Exeter Programme. It provides a substantial brownfield redevelopment opportunity and it is within walking distance of the city centre, railway and bus stations, giving the potential for car-free residential development

CONS

The scheduled Exeter City Walls run through the western end of the site and it contains other significant buried archaeological remains. Potential nuisance to new residents from night time economy while the development could result in a reduction in city centre parking

SOUTH STREET

DESCRIPTION

Mixed use area of post-war redevelopment within Exeter city centre next to the Corn Exchange OF South Street, Market Street and Fore Street, currently including shops, offices, homes and two small public car parks. Could accommodate 175 homes

PROS

It provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of a brownfield site and it has excellent access to public transport and is close to a wide range of job opportunities and facilities, giving the potential for car-free residential development

CONS

It includes a number of existing homes and businesses and is part of an Area of Archaeological Importance, with the potential to contain significant remains

SOWTON

DESCRIPTION

An area of land adjoining the A30 and close to Junction 29 of the M5. The 30 hectare site could be used as employment land as an extension to the Science Park

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development and could form an extension to the Exeter Science Park and encourage the provision of high-tech, well paid jobs in a landscaped environment. It could link into existing bus and cycle routes into Exeter and Cranbrook at the Science Park

CONS

The site is within the East Devon Local Plan designated Clyst Valley Regional Park and areas of the site are visually prominent in the landscape. It is currently separated from Exeter by the M5 and the existing Science Park by the A30 and development could increase pressure on Junction 29 of the M5 which is at or nearing capacity

STOKE HILL

DESCRIPTION

Located to the north of Exeter’s built-up area, 768 homes could be accommodate on the 58 hectare site

PROS

Homes would be 3km from the City centre, with potential for improved walking and cycling routes and bus services and it could include new opportunities for publicly accessible green infrastructure

CONS

It is allocated as Valley Park and/or landscape setting in the Exeter Core Strategy and Exeter Local Plan First Review. It includes part of Savoy Hill Valley Park and is of high landscape value, with a number of steep slopes that are unsuited to residential development, while road access is constrained

TOPSHAM

DESCRIPTION

A stretch of land between the M5 and Topsham and approximately 5 km from Exeter city centre. Contains a range of existing uses including residential, sports facilities and agriculture, with 1,500 homes accommodated on the 95 hectares of land in East Devon and Exeter

PROS

There are already multiple applications for piecemeal residential development within the site are at various stages, from submitted to approval granted at appeal. It provides a sustainable location for development, being close to Topsham and Topsham Road which host a range of facilities and services including schools and public transport., and is well located in relation to existing employment areas including Sowton and Exeter city centre, and has excellent access to public transport, both bus services and proximity to Newcourt and Topsham Railway Stations

CONS

A large proportion of the site is high grade agricultural land and there are issues of cost and feasibility of improving the local highway and junctions, particularly Old Rydon Lane and the Clyst Road junction with the A379. A new primary school with early years to serve the site and contributions to additional secondary school provision and a new multi-purpose community facility and neighbourhood hub to host local events and work space for small businesses etc would be needed

WATER LANE

DESCRIPTION

A Predominantly industrial site between the Exe Canal and a mainline railway, 1,570 homes could be built on the 26 hectare site

PROS

It provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of a brownfield site and has excellent access to public transport and is close to a wide range of job opportunities and facilities, giving the potential for car-free residential development. 800 homes are already committed in the Exeter Core Strategy

CONS

Previous planning applications for piecemeal residential development within the site have been refused, because the infrastructure and environment needed to create sustainable development will only be delivered if the site is redeveloped comprehensively. Most of the site is affected by flooding

WEST GATE

DESCRIPTION

A Predominantly brownfield site around Exe Bridges, and 620 could be built on the nine hectare site

PROS

The site is identified for future redevelopment in Exeter City Council’s Liveable Exeter Programme, it is within walking distance of the city centre and has excellent access to public transport, jobs and services with potential for car-free residential development and could deliver sustainable transport improvements including improved pedestrian and cycle connectivity across the rive

CONS

Policy CP10 of the Exeter Core Strategy protects facilities that meet the city’s community, social, health, leisure and recreational needs and the site includes key river crossings and roads, which are key features of the city’s highway network and bus corridors. The northern half of the site is within Riverside Conservation Area and a large area of the site is affected by flooding

WESTCLYST AND MOSSHAYNE

DESCRIPTION

The site consists of 117 hectares of predominantly agricultural land and marshland surrounded by the M5 motorway, railway and the River Clyst. Sites immediately to the west of the site and the M5 and south of the site and the railway have been allocated by the East Devon Local Plan and Exeter Core Strategy and are now under construction and 1,600 homes could be built

PROS

The site is in close proximity to significant numbers of jobs proposed on allocated sites in East Devon’s West End. It is close to Pinhoe train station and it is well located to attract strategic employment development as part of a mix of uses. It could easily link in to the Monkerton/Tithebarn heat network

CONS

A large area of the site is affected by flooding and the southern-most part of the site contains potentially important archaeological assets. The M5 and railway could act as barriers to movement causing issues of severance and the noise from the M5 and railway could reduce capacity and need mitigation. Local primary schools in Pinhoe are at/approaching capacity and the potential for Clyst Vale Community College to expand would need consideration. Langaton Lane would currently be unsuitable and lacks resilience as sole point of access while there are highway constraints in Pinhoe Village

CULM GARDEN VILLAGE

DESCRIPTION

A large area of predominantly flat agricultural land east of the M5 at Cullompton. The site includes the emerging East Cullompton allocation within the Mid Devon Local Plan Review and includes the Culm Garden Village area. It includes dispersed farms and isolated dwellings. 5,000 homes, to reflects the scale of Garden Village proposal, are planned

PROS

The East of Cullompton has been designated as a Garden Village by the Government and a first phase of the site is an allocation in the Mid Devon Local Plan Review. It is close to the M5 and the Great Western Mainline providing good links to Exeter and beyond and its large scale would enable comprehensive masterplanning, significant infrastructure provision and high quality design. It offers the potential for a mixture of uses including residential, employment and community infrastructure, helping to reduce the need to travel , and it could deliver a regional hub for sports

CONS

There is potential for significant commuting to Exeter by car while a large area of the site is affected by flooding. There is the wish to maintain physical and visual separation from Kentisbeare

HARTNOLL FARM

DESCRIPTION

A site east of Tiverton and west of Halberton and is bounded to the south and east by the Grand Western Canal. The 101 hectare site could accommodate 950 homes

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development and it would provide a logical extension to Tiverton linked to an existing allocation and planned facilities There is the potential to provide residential development linked to existing employment, reducing the need to travel, the site will have good strategic highway access from a new junction on the A361, and the site provides the potential to improve National Cycle Network Route 3 along the disused railway line

CONS

The Grand Western Canal (Conservation Area, Local Nature Reserve, and County Wildlife Site) which would need careful treatment and landscaping, while there is potential for car-borne out-commuting to Exeter

SAMPFORD PEVERALL SOUTH

DESCRIPTION

The site is predominantly relatively flat agricultural land to the south of Sampford Peverell. The site adjoins the Great Western Canal and Sampford Peverell to the west, with the Great Western Mainline and M5 motorway in close proximity to the eastern boundary. The 167 hectare site could accommodate 2,200 homes

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development and the site is generally relatively level. The site is close to the M5 motorway and Great Western Mainline strategic transport corridor providing access to Exeter and other towns/cities along the corridor while the train station at Tiverton Parkway (adjacent to the site) offers the potential for residents to travel by rail, with an average 15 minute journey time to Exeter. There is potential for investment in strategic cycle routes and highway improvements to the A361 Tiverton Parkway junction and Junction 27 of the M5

CONS

Part of the eastern boundary is next to the Grand Western Canal county wildlife site and local nature reserve and landscape sensitivity is high around the setting of heritage assets – Great Western Canal and Sampford Peverell conservation areas and associated listed buildings. Large areas of the site are affected by flooding associated with the River Lyner along the eastern boundary and with streams/sluices running across the site that may constrain access through the site. There is also a sewage works in the centre of the site and the potential for traffic impacts on B3181 to Tiverton, A361 Tiverton Parkway junction, and congestion at Junction 27 of the M5

FORCHES CROSS

DESCRIPTION

23 hectares of gently undulating fields west of the A382, approximately2.5 km north of Newton Abbot and 1.5 km south of Drumbridges (A38). To be used for employment land

PROS

The adjacent A382 is planned to be improved, widened and a cycle path added. The site is close to the A38 Drumbridges junction and is adjacent to an existing Teignbridge Local Plan employment allocation at Forches Cross

CONS

It is largely within the Bovey Basin Minerals Safeguarding area for Ball Clayidentified in the Devon Minerals Plan and the site is currently separated from the built up area of Newton Abbot and development will alter the character of this location

HOUGHTON BARTON WEST

DESCRIPTION

A 120 hectare site currently in agricultural use, adjacent to Seale Hayne and Teignbridge NA1 allocation for 1,800 homes. The site lies approximately 3.5km from Newton Abbot town centre and could see a further 1,750 homes built.

PROS

It is next to the existing Teignbridge Local Plan Houghton Barton NA1 allocation and the site is within cycling distance of Newton Abbot. The site (combined with NA1) could support a regular bus service into Newton Abbot and an appropriate site layout, use of material, planting and supporting infrastructure could potentially support and enhance the role of Seale Hayne as a community facility

CONS

There is only westbound access from the A383 onto the A38. However, the new link road to Forches Cross has planning permission, while the impact of the elongation of the town will have an ability of residents to make active and sustainable travel choices. Measures to address the risk of flooding including contributions to increase the capacity of flood defence infrastructure at Holbeam dam would be needed

ILFORD PARK

DESCRIPTION

A 46 hectare site of flat land in use as forestry, with some commercial and residential (C2) uses. The site is adjacent to the A38 Drumbridges junction and Trago Mills

PROS

Permission has been granted for a mixed use development comprising of employment development, a restaurant/public house, and residential development. The topography is suitable for employment uses and has potential for a service station to serve the Devon Expressway dual carriageway

CONS

It includes large wooded areas which might host Greater Horseshoe bats, Great Crested Newts, Cirl Buntings and other protected species, while is close to Stover Country Park SSSI. The existing Gaverick Court provides accommodation and specialist care for up to 95 vulnerable elderly World War Two veterans and existing permissions have not been delivered due to significant investment needed in infrastructure including electricity sub-stations and highways

PRIORY ROAD

DESCRIPTION

The site is south of the NA3 allocation in the Teignbridge Local Plan and the area is primarily in agricultural use. 500 homes could be accommodated in the 59 hectare site in Kingskerswell and Abbotskerswell

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development, while the site is adjacent to the existing NA3 allocation which offers some opportunities for shared infrastructure, in particular primary education. The site is within cycling distance of Newton Abbot

CONS

There will be a large cost of improving access into the site from Kingskerswell Road including widening of the road bridge over the railway and potential impact on the Grade 2 listed bridge. The site may contain Greater Horseshoe Bats, Cirl Buntings, Great Crested Newts, Dormouse, Otter and other protected species while a large proportion of the site is high grade agricultural land

AIRPORT BUSINESS PARK

DESCRIPTION

27 hectares of primarily agricultural land sandwiched between the airport and the A30 which could be used for employment land

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development, it is close to homes, jobs and services on sites allocated in the East Devon Local Plan, and is well located to attract strategic employment development. It could make use of and further enhance planned improvements to Long Lane and wider airport access

CONS

Access along Long Lane needs significant improvement, although plans are in progress, and the airport junction on the A30 is nearing capacity. Airport related development could be required on this site and there is the potential for impact upon safe operation of the airport without appropriate safeguarding

AIRPORT NORTH

DESCRIPTION

22 hectares of land within active airfield uses and hosting supporting infrastructure on the north side of the runway at Exeter Airport, south of Skypark and Cranbrook’s proposed southern expansion area

PROS

A large amount of land within the site could be considered as brownfield land, it is close to homes, jobs and services on sites allocated in the East Devon Local Plan and it is well located to attract strategic employment development

CONS

It is dependent upon access through adjacent development sites and the site was previously allocated in the 1995-2011 East Devon Local Plan for airport terminal development

AXMINSTER SOUTH

DESCRIPTION

A rectangular shaped site adjacent to the southeast of the existing built-up area of Axminster. The site is bounded to the south by the A35, the west by the A358 and the north by Woodbury Lane. 540 homes could be built in the 54 hectare site

PROS

It would provide a logical extension to Axminster, has fairly level topography which would enable development, and is located close to the A35 which provides good strategic road access The site could provide land for a junction improvement on the A35 and is located within walking distance of Axminster station which provides sustainable travel options

CONS

A Scheduled Monument sits within the site at Woodbury Farm, together with the considerable likelihood of significant related, Roman archaeology beyond the Monument boundary. There is the potential for an increase in car-borne out-commuting to Exeter while a small area of the site is affected by flooding. A variety of amenity and community facilities including community building, outdoor play space, small local shop and potential contributions to healthcare improvements would be needed.

FENITON

DESCRIPTION

The sites consists of 352 hectares of predominantly agricultural land surrounding the village of Feniton, on both sides of the railway, and could accommodate 2,800 homes

PROS

It is close to Feniton train station and the A30 while Feniton includes a number of essential services already which could be enhanced

CONS

Parts of the site are affected by flooding while the topography could reduce capacity in some parts of the site. Access from the A30 and across the railway insufficient for strategic scale development while the frequency of train and bus services in Feniton is poor and is some distance from Exeter. Limited employment opportunities in close proximity and the local primary provision at/approaching capacity.

HONITON EAST

DESCRIPTION

72 hectares of agricultural land to the east of Honiton situated primarily on land rising towards and surrounded by the Blackdown Hills and East Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Site is sandwiched between the A35, ExeterWaterloo railway line and the A30 and could see 1,100 homes built

PROS

A large proportion of the site has been put forward by landowners for development or was promoted during the previous East Devon Local Plan process, and it is close to Honiton train station and both the A30 and A35. Honiton Community College has some limited scope for expansion

CONS

The site is surrounded by the Blackdown Hills and East Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and would be visible from both. The existing rail infrastructure limits the frequency of train services in Honiton, while there is potential for the achievement of safe site access from the A35 Kings Road to cause detrimental impacts on traffic flow along the strategic road network, and potential severance issues caused by difficulty gaining safe pedestrian and cycle access across the A35 Kings Road

WHIMPLE

DESCRIPTION

337 hectares of predominantly agricultural land to the north and east of the village of Whimple, located on both sides of the railway and could accommodate 2,500 homes

PROS

It is close to Whimple train station, and Whimple includes a number of essential services already which could be enhanced. The planned jobs growth at the West End is reasonably nearby

CONS

Access from the A30 and across the railway insufficient for strategic scale development while frequency of train and bus services in Whimple is poor. As some distance from Exeter it could increase pressure on the already at capacity Junction 29 of the M5, while local primary school provision at/approaching capacity. Clyst Vale Community College lies a significant distance away and the school has limited scope for expansion

One thought on “Greater Exeter: MAJOR development plan for region – The GESP legacy nightmare

  1. Why on earth are there plans to build more industrial parks? The ones close by were already partially derelict before the COVID 19 pandemic. As new ways of working become the new normal, there has been a huge miscalculation on behalf of Freeman and co here with regards to this in particular.

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