Exmouth infrastructure will not support 120 new homes says town council

“Exmouth’s infrastructure cannot support new 120 home development, town council claims.

The town council’s planning committee has refused to support a full application made by Taylor Wimpey for land at Pankhurst Close, Littleham.

At the meeting, councillors raised concerns about the impact the development could have on ‘already busy’ roads surrounding the site.

Councillors voted to object to the proposal which includes the associated demolition of a disused industrial building.

They argued there was inadequate infrastructure to support it and that it would represent a loss of employment land.

Councillor Fred Caygill, who is the deputy chairman of the committee, said the developer would be ‘better served’ combining this project with its nearby Plumb Park site where more than 260 homes are currently being built.

He added: “If this development was to go ahead, I feel it would be better served if it joined up with Plumb Park so you had a continuous through-route so at least you’ve got access for emergency vehicles .

“You’ve got a traffic flow system rather than bottle necks.

“A lot of people who buy houses these days are both working with two cars and as we know a lot of employment is into Exeter and surrounding industrial estates.

“We’ve got lots of industry in terms of estates so there is a considerable amount of people moving into the area.

“The traffic system is going to get worse and also the parking within that estate.

“I feel a through-road will be better.”

Cllr Brian Toye said this development would only put more ‘stress’ on the area’s existing infrastructure.

“This does nothing to address the problem with traffic we have in Littleham Road,” he said.

“The problem is people are going to find rat-runs through the estates to get up to the new Dinan Way extension.”

Cllr Maddie Chapman also raised concerns about the impact of removing asbestos from the site.

She said it should be moved especially during the day.

“It should be at a quiet time, late evening, and take it off site,” she said.

A final decision on the application will be made at a later date, yet to be confirmed by the planning authority, East Devon District Council.”

http://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/council-opposes-plan-for-120-homes-in-pankhurst-close-1-5766553

Otterton residents worried about holiday park expansion take note

“Plans to expand a holiday park near Ashford have been refused by North Devon councillors.

Park Holidays UK’s plan to accommodate as many as 116 caravans and build a clubhouse complete with a swimming pool, amusement arcade, shop and entertainment room at Tarka Holiday Park was discussed by North Devon Council’s planning committee on Wednesday.

Councillors unanimously refused the application, which would have included a new roundabout to serve the entrance at Braunton Road, and the decision was met by a round of applause from a group of around 30 Ashford residents who attended the meeting at Barnstaple Rugby Club.

They cited an adverse impact on the landscape and countryside, the scale of development and the impact on the village of Ashford and other amenities as reasons for refusal.

Councillor Joe Tucker said: “I’ve had quite big concerns about this site in many ways, and we have got grave concerns as a planning committee with the site.

“We are driven so much by national planning policy guidelines made by people sitting in London, it’s a different kettle of fish for people in North Devon.

There are so many fundamental issues with this site. I think it’s dangerous for us as a planning committee to pass through an application with so many issues.”

The committee heard from six village residents, who expressed concerns about the level of noise, the generation of traffic and the impact on a nearby supported living accommodation.

Parish Councillor John Bleech said it was ‘hard to overstate’ the level opposition to the application, noting 138 letters of objection sent to the council.

Ashford resident Dale Hall said: “Ashford strongly objects to the application and all residents fear for their life in the village. The development is too large, too commercial and too close.

“The change from a quiet caravan site into a large entertainment complex should bring noise.

“Tarka say this is a tranquil site but they threaten that tranquility with that application. Ashford will feel betrayed by the local authority if the application is approved.”

The Gazette has approached Park Holidays UK for a response.

A statement from Park Holidays UK said: “Park Holidays UK will be studying the reasons for the council’s decision with a view to determining the best course of action which will enable us to take the matter forward.”

https://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/tarka-holiday-park-expansion-1-5694176

Clyst St Mary and the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan – the EDDC position

This was the addendum to the post below – the East Devon District Council case for the extra 57,000 homes it has been agreed must be built around Exeter. Do note that government funding is NOT guaranteed by any current budgetary measures nor are there any major job creation schemes in the pipeline.

ALSO NOTE: these are paragraphs from the report, not the full report, chosen to reflect the particular issues for Clyst St Mary:

“The purpose of this report to Strategic Planning Committee is not intended to pre-judge any Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) detailed assessment and evidence gathering but simply to start the debate to establish broad principles and locations for growth.

The continued growth of the district and the future incentives form a vital element in the mitigation of the future financial pressures anticipated in East Devon from 2020/21.

GESP gives an opportunity for councils to negotiate deals with the government to fund additional infrastructure in association with growth.

Much infrastructure funding comes from development, central government grants and the Councils themselves. Other Councils have worked with the Government to agree ‘infrastructure deals’ to provide more and higher quality homes in return for infrastructure investment e.g. Oxfordshire have agreed a deal where the Government provides up to £215 million towards infrastructure and housing in return for a commitment to a specific number of homes being built. We realise that new development, transport and infrastructure need to be thought about together and more detail on those issues will be identified and consulted on in the draft GESP in the summer of 2019.

Up to 2040, extra large-scale infrastructure is likely to cost more than £1 Billion. This will be determined to a large extent by future development sites in the plan but these sites are not yet determined. The infrastructure we may need to provide up to 2040 in the GESP area are:

New primary and secondary schools; Relief to major junctions on the M5; Improvements to the A30/A303; A number of new Park and Ride sites on the main roads into Exeter; Walking and cycling routes in and between towns and Exeter; Improvements to rail and bus routes and buses; Low carbon energy generation and a smart grid; New, accessible green space; Healthcare facilities; Community facilities; Internet connectivity and mobile communications and this is likely to cost around £700m.

Projects are funded in part but there is still a large ‘funding gap’.

Providing more, better and a wider variety of new homes is the main way to improve the present unbalanced housing situation. New NPPF policies require a baseline of a minimum of 844 homes per year to be accommodated in East Devon although this is less than the 950 new homes per year already agreed in the East Devon Local Plan to 2031. However, the baseline of 844 homes does not account for any additional need that the Council may agree to accommodate with neighbouring authorities in GESP which may lead to an increase in the overall number.

Therefore, if Councils deliver more than the minimum total provision of 2,600 housing per year for the combined GESP areas, then the Government will provide more funding for infrastructure. Prompt housing delivery could also be Government funded for affordable housing lost through right to buy sales in our high value housing Districts which continues to be problematic. Additionally, East Devon’s aspiration of one job per home will also need to deliver enough employment space to accommodate a minimum of 844 jobs per year with Councils in the South West agreeing that they will also try to double the size of the local economy by 2036 to increase local prosperity. Evidence suggests that the area has a high number of entrepreneurs and small businesses and encouraging these businesses and providing suitable accommodation for them to expand and grow will be an important factor for accommodating growth.

The NPPF recommends the effective use of previously developed or ‘brownfield’ land for meeting development needs but avoiding low density to make optimal use of sites with allocated sites and those with outline permissions being commenced within five years.

The government intend that viability assessment work is primarily undertaken at the plan making stage. The onus is on local authorities to undertake robust viability assessments which are open and transparent and publically available. The revised NPPF addresses the importance of good design (“Paragraph 124. The creation of high quality buildings and places is fundamental to what the planning and development process should achieve. Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, creates better places in which to live and work and helps make development acceptable to communities”).

However, decision making in relation to flood risk and heritage assets remains unchanged in the revised NPPF with one of the Key Issues in the Report to Committee stating

· Flood zones – Clearly we should not be planning for new homes in areas at high risk of flooding and so areas within flood zones 2 and 3 should be excluded from any search for locations to accommodate growth.
Two of the main principles for growth are to
· Accommodate growth outside of areas within flood zones 2 and 3 and ensure that sustainable drainage systems are incorporated to ensure that surface water is wherever possible dealt with on site.
· Locate growth in locations well served by jobs and services to minimise the need to travel and encourage the use of walking, cycling and public transport to promote sustainable travel.

Suitable locations for accommodating growth recommend the west end of the district as it is less constrained. There may be some scope for further growth at Cranbrook but it is not likely to be close to the scale of growth accommodated in the last two local plans in this area.

9. Options for growth in the North West quadrant of the district
The western most quadrant of the district to the north of Exmouth and west of Ottery St Mary is the least constrained part of the district for accommodating growth. The land is relatively flat with no landscape designations. It is well served by main roads with good vehicle access via the M5, A30, A3052 and A376 and has good existing public transport links with the railway line and existing bus routes. The main constraints in this area of the district are the airport safeguarding and noise zones but these cover a relatively small part of the area and development could readily be accommodated outside of these zones.

9.1 Centre growth around one or more existing villages ​

This scenario would identify a number of key villages with scope for significant expansion based on factors such as access to public transport, road infrastructure and the services and facilities available within the village. This option has the benefits of helping to support existing businesses and services potentially helping to secure the future of existing village shops, schools, pubs, churches etc. It could also encourage new services and facilities to be provided which are then beneficial to existing residents as well as new residents. This is something that the new NPPF encourages, however these issues would require further consideration on a village by village basis as in most cases growth would have to be quite substantial (in the region of 400 – 500 homes) to make it viable to deliver the required services and facilities to make the settlement suitably sustainable for growth and in the process could harm the character of the village and the existing community.

9.3 Establish a further new town – This scenario would involve the creation of a new community similar to Cranbrook within the western part of the district. Cranbrook has been successful in delivering a high number of new homes in a relatively short space of time and has delivered some significant infrastructure alongside such as schools, a community centre and the railway station. There is however still much to be delivered at Cranbrook and the creation of a similar new town in the district could harm delivery at Cranbrook. Cranbrook benefited from substantial government investment to get development started and there is no guarantee that such resources would be made available again. It has also been a private sector led development and there is some uncertainty whether the private sector would commit to a further new town delivered on a similar basis in the district. Cranbrook has also been criticised for delivering one type of housing which has successfully met the needs of young families but it has not to date provided a wide range of choice to meet the broad range of housing needs that exist in the district. The delivery of a town centre and some other key facilities at Cranbrook is still pending with the town needing to reach a critical mass to support these things. This in itself illustrates the scale a new community needs to achieve before such facilities can economically be provided.

9.5 Establish a number of new villages – This scenario would involve the creation of a series of modern Devon villages that could reflect to some degree the form of existing villages within the district. This option would potentially be the most sensitive option in landscape terms. If the villages were designed so that they had different characters and form then there would be the greatest potential to broaden the choice of housing in the district and maximise delivery rates by having several developers delivering different types of housing simultaneously across the area and is favoured in terms of delivery as there would be scope to have several builders delivering simultaneously with each village providing opportunities to develop their own form and character. A significant concern with this option is the ability of new villages to deliver the required service and facilities as well as jobs alongside the housing. Existing villages are struggling to maintain such facilities and providing new within a new village is likely to be even more difficult unless the villages are quite large and facilities are somehow shared with neighbouring settlements and good transport links provided between them.

Exmouth – Options for growth at Exmouth include sites that are locally sensitive and would potentially involve incursions into the Maer Valley or expansion of the town out into the Lympstone ward.

9.7 Each of these options raises issues but the new NPPF acknowledges that “The supply of large numbers of new homes can often be best achieved through planning for larger scale development, such as new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns, provided they are well located and designed, and supported by the necessary infrastructure and facilities. By working with the support of their communities, and with other authorities if appropriate, strategic policymaking authorities should identify suitable locations for such development where this can help to meet identified needs in a sustainable way.”

9.8 The assessment of each of the options is at an early stage but Members views are sought on these options and any clear preferences that Members may have.

Recommendations:

· A significant proportion of growth to be accommodated within the western part of the district.
· Accommodate growth in the existing towns focusing strategic growth around Axminster, Exmouth, Honiton and Ottery St Mary with the remaining towns taking more modest growth to meet the needs of those settlements.
· Villages to bring forward modest levels of growth to meet their own needs through neighbourhood plans.
· Focus development around main transport corridors where possible.

11. Conclusion

It is early days in terms of understanding how growth could be accommodated in the district and this report is not intended to pre-empt this work which will establish an evidence base to inform detailed consultation and discussion in the future. The principles included in this report are proposed as a baseline position to inform strategy development and work only but hopefully help to aid understanding of the issues and start the debate.

Greater Exeter Strategic Plan – Update and Vision

Since the previous consultation the GESP team has been busy analysing the consultation responses, the sites suggested and exploring issues for preparing the Draft Plan. A consultation will be held between 5 October and 30 November 2018 on a new vision for the plan, separated into three sections covering ‘the plan, ‘the place’ and ‘the priorities’ and includes the key areas of housing, a potential transport strategy and required infrastructure but no details about specific proposals will be published until the summer of 2019 (after the Local Elections in May 2019).”

Is YOUR village on the EDDC list for expansion? And another east/west divide

East Devon District Council Strategic Planning Committee are going to discuss:

“Principles for accommodating the future growth needs of East Devon”

on 4 September 2018.

The Committee are being asked to endorse

“The proposed principles for growth” as the basis for future discussion and consultation on accommodating extra growth in the district.”

The document is described as the “start of the debate” for future East Devon growth points for both the GESP (The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan) and the East Devon Local Plan review, which is required to be updated within the next two years.

For the last few years East Devon District Council have achieved their own Local Plan agreed target of 950 dwellings per year. (EDDC Target is 17,100 dwellings between the years of 2013 to 2031).

Recently Central Government decided to calculate each District`s housing requirement targets on a set matrix. East Devon’s build out figure has been set to be 844 homes per year. However, the report suggests that rather than achieve the Government target of 844 new houses per year there is a proposal to build out much higher levels of growth.

The report explains that the objective of higher growth could be achieved by what is called a “Growth Deal” with Central Government where a group of Councils agree to build more housing in return for infrastructure investment from central funds.

This proposed “Growth Deal” is being prepared by the Councils of East Devon, Exeter, Teignbridge and Mid Devon through the “GESP” Greater Exeter Strategic Plan.

It is recognised that Exeter is unable to provide the housing land required to sustain the expected growth of the city, and the rural areas and towns in the rest of the combined area will be required to increase their housing requirements in exchange for the infrastructure improvements for access to and from the city of Exeter.

Improvements to the motorway junctions, new roads, extra park and rides, rail improvements, new stations and an integrated transport system are all identified as priority improvements to overcome the already chronic delays on Exeter`s transport network. There are also aspirations for a “sports hub and concert venue” for Greater Exeter to be included in the GESP infrastructure needs.

The report gives a brief synopsis of the towns in East Devon and concludes that other than the new town of Cranbrook there is limited scope for growth due to the various towns’ proximity to the AONB designated areas, or they are bordering on the coast or close to flood plains.

The conclusion from the report is that the existing towns will only accommodate minimal growth, and with two-thirds of East Devon being included in the AONB of the Pebblebed Heaths or the Blackdown Hills the only area that can accommodate substantial growth is within the North West part of the district.

The report describes this area as the Western most quadrant of this district to the North of Exmouth and West of Ottery St Mary. The land is described to benefit from being relatively flat with no landscape designations. It is also well served by main roads with good vehicle access via the M5, A30, A3052 and A376 and has good existing public transport links with the railway line and existing bus routes.

There are 3 possible ways described as to how development could be achieved in this area.

1. Establish a further new town. Basically, create another Cranbrook. However, the report considers that the creation of another new town in the area could harm the delivery of Cranbrook.

2. Establish a number of new villages. Create a series of modern Devon villages but the report considers that this option would be most damaging in landscape terms.

3. Centre Growth around Existing Villages.

Growth would be required to be substantial with around 400 to 500 extra homes to be added to a number of existing villages (The report does not state how many villages will be required within this area). However, this could harm the character of the village and the existing community.

The new NPPF acknowledges that:

“The supply of a large number of new homes can often be best achieved through planning for larger scale development such as new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns, provided they are well located and designed, and supported by necessary infrastructure and facilities.”

A list of the Parishes within the expansion area for extra housing area

By referring to a map of the area these are the Parishes(villages) which are within the West of the district which could have development of between 400 to 500 extra dwellings, parishes identified could be:

Nether Exe
Rewe
Brampford Speke
Upton Pyne.
Stoke Canon ​

All these Villages are North of Exeter and access is by way of the A377 – which is not listed as one of the featured roads, so it is unlikely these will be included.

Broadclyst
Clyst Honiton
Sowton
Rockbeare
Wimple.​

These Villages are close to Cranbrook and therefore unlikely to be selected to avoid the villages and town merging.

Clyst Hydon
Clyst St Lawrence
Aylesbeare
Marsh Green

These Parishes are remote from a main road or railway station which probably eliminates them because of their unsustainable location.

Lympstone

This Village is already designated in the report to provide growth for Exmouth.

This leaves the following Parishes most likely to be included for further expansion in the proposals:

Poltimore
Huxham
Clyst St Mary
Clyst St George (includes the village of Ebford)
West Hill
Woodbury​ (includes the village of Woodbury Salterton and Exton)
Farringdon.

The “Principles for Growth” which the committee are being asked to agree to:

• A significant proportion of growth to be in the Western part of the district by either a new town or extending a number of villages or building new villages.

• Plus, modest growth in existing towns with strategic growth around Axminster, Exmouth (including Lympstone), Honiton and Ottery St Mary.

• All other Villages to be encouraged to provide modest growth through their Neighbourhood Plans.

• Focus development on main transport corridors if possible.

Conclusion:

For the last few years, East Devon has successfully complied with the government`s Housing Strategy, with their current Local Plan and at present build out rates, this will over subscribe the Government Building Target until the year 2031.

The Government is not forcing East Devon to co-operate with Exeter to provide some of their housing needs. This decision is totally at the discretion of the District Council and their leaders.

Yes, Exeter is a thriving growth city, and it is recognised that the road and rail connections are dire, but why destroy the character of a part of East Devon for these improvements?

The very reason people choose to relocate to Exeter, its surrounding towns and villages is the beautiful Devon countryside; the building of a mass of new housing will simply make the area a mirror image of the existing areas the people are wanting to move away from!

So, to satisfy the aspirations and needs of the City of Exeter, the rural west area of East Devon will be required to build many more houses with either another new town or new villages or building an extra 500 houses to a number of existing village communities.

Will the Strategic Planning Committee endorse this proposal or not?

Cranbrook: plans to vastly extend town to be published soon

Just a coincidence that this is announced just after Exeter City Council refuses the first of four large retail development applications close by …..

“Expansion plans for Cranbrook are set to be revealed by the end of the year, revealing proposals to increase the number of households to nearly 8,000 over the next 15 years.

The first houses in the new town were built in 2012 and there are currently 1,700 households living there.

Alongside the residential part of the development, further details are expected for the town centre, to be built on land next to the Cranberry Farm pub.

The proposals include 13 retail units, a town hall with a library and auditorium, a health and well-being centre and a leisure centre.

The Local Plan anticipates Cranbrook will have 7,850 new homes by 2031, equating to a population of about 20,000 people.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-45186923

“Thousands of UK bridges are ‘sub-standard’, at risk of collapse and will cost almost £1billion to repair, experts warn after the tragedy in Genoa”

“The number of ‘sub-standard’ bridges in the UK has soared in recent years and would cost almost £1 billion to repair, according to alarming new findings.

A survey by the RAC Foundation revealed that almost 3,500 British bridges maintained by councils are not considered strong enough to bear 44-ton lorries – the heaviest vehicles permitted on our roads – placing them at risk of collapse if warning signs are ignored.

The figure – an increase of almost 45 per cent from the 2,375 recorded in 2015 – was correlated after the motoring research charity sent out Freedom of Information requests to all local authorities.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6074663/Thousands-UK-bridges-sub-standard-risk-collapse.html

“Former Carillion boss takes reins of UK’s HS2 project”

Owl says: The breath-taking brazenness of it is so shocking.

“Former Carillion boss Mark Davies has been appointed as the managing director for the HS2 joint venture between Balfour Beatty and VINCI.

The project is one of the world’s largest construction projects with billions of pounds-worth of contracts put up for the first phase between West Midlands and London.

Davies joined Carillion in 2008 and rose to managing director of its UK Infrastructure business until the firm went bust in January 2018.

The liquidation cost hundreds of jobs and was the most drastic procedure in UK insolvency law, with liabilities of almost £7 billion.

MPs claimed the demise was down to “recklessness, hubris & greed”, with directors focusing on bonus pay-outs to senior executives even as the firm teetered on the brink of collapse.

But that hasn’t stopped Davies heading up contracts for Lot N1 and N2 of the HS2 project, between the Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel to Delta Junction / Birmingham Spur and from the Delta Junction to the West Coast Main Line tie-in.

Combined, these two contracts are worth approximately £2.5 billion.

The joint venture is also currently bidding for further railways systems packages and Old Oak Common station, together valued at £3.8 billion.”

https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/former-carillion-boss-takes-reins-of-uks-hs2-project/15/08/