Plans for up to 80 homes refused

Exeter City has refused plans for significant development just outside the built up area of Exwick. This is a site on the other side of the Exe, on the western boundary of the city. The reasons for refusal are the harmful impact they would have on the landscape character of the area. However, Exeter doesn’t have a five year land supply, the pressure is on to find land. 

The EDDC “New Guard’s” bold decision last year to pull out of GESP (Greater Exeter Strategic Plan) has removed the soft option of simply expanding east of the Exe.

Think how Topsham has now effectively become an Exeter suburb and how much Grade I agricultural land was sacrificed for Cranbrook.

Exeter will have to confront the implications of their expansionary plans – Owl

Plans to build homes on the edge of Exeter have been refused because of the harmful impact they would have on the landscape character of the area they were built in.

Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporter

The proposals would’ve seen the dwellings located beyond the built-up area of Exwick on the land to the east of Redhills. 

The application included 80 homes, with 35% being affordable housing, as well as two play areas.

Officers’ planning assessment concluded that the benefits of the proposed housing do not outweigh the harmful impact the development would have on the landscape character of the area, and councillors agreed with that at Thursday night’s planning committee meeting.

There had been 281 objections from local residents to the plans, on the grounds of the impact on landscape character, the impact on wildlife and biodiversity, concerns about flooding, the need to follow Liveable Exeter’s vision and build on brownfield sites, and that with the plans for development on the Teignbridge site, it would be overdevelopment of the area.

Cllr Rachel Sutton said that the scheme on the site would have a detrimental impact and that it will be visually intrusive, adding: “We need to be looking at brownfield sites for development before green field sites. We are keen to encourage people to walk and cycle but looking at that footpath, the idea that anyone with a shopping trolley or a small child will go up or down the hill is frankly ludicrous, and the bus stops are miles away.”

Cllr Rob Hannaford added: “This is a huge concern given the location and the challenging topography of the site. At our last meeting, we were discussing a car-free development, but this is the opposite to that, and the way it has been developed with sustainability, this would be a car essential development if you are not careful. It would be isolating if you didn’t have your own transport.”

The report read: “The fact that housing on-site is visible within an area of land does not necessarily make a development unacceptable and as the application is in outline and therefore the appearance of the proposed dwellings is not for consideration. However, it is the impact the built development would have on the overall landscape character of the area, which remains the fundamental consideration as to whether the scheme is acceptable.

“The fundamental consideration, therefore, is whether the provision of 80 dwellings (including 28 affordable units), provision of onsite open space/play areas and the associated highway improvement and mitigation measures put forward in support of the application take precedence against the detrimental impact the development would have on the landscape character of the area both locally and from a wider landscape setting.

“The assessment is clearly a balanced one, however, it is considered that the landscape quality of this valued site and the harmful visual impact intrusive created by the housing development should be afforded greater weight, in this instance.

“It is considered that the adverse impacts of granting planning permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal, and accordingly the application is recommended for refusal.”