Pretty soon, the Exeter suburbs will stretch in one long ribbon development from Pinhoe and Cranbrook to Ottery and Honiton and fron Clyst St Mary to Newton Poppleford – without the infrastructure to support it. And, if there is another major economic turndown or an increase in interest rates, without the jobs to support the mortgages. And little or no truly affordable housing, of course.
A new outline planning application, submitted to East Devon District Council (EDDC) for the construction of up to 53 homes on a greenfield site next to Sidmouth Road, has been met with anger and dismay from many.
If accepted, the development – which includes open market homes and provision for 40 per cent ‘affordable housing’ – could push the total number of new houses in the pipeline to more than 600.
Concerned householders say this represents a 30 per cent population growth that Ottery’s infrastructure cannot cope with.
Councillor Roger Giles called the application from Gerway Landowners Consortium ‘unnecessary, unwanted and damaging’.
He said: “The East Devon Local Plan, reflecting the views of local people, said that Ottery should have an additional 300 homes. Already, more than 500 have been approved.”
Katie Corbin, who lives near Sidmouth Road, is one of the residents joining forces to fight the proposed development. She said: “Five hundred homes have been agreed, but only around 100 have been built. What’s going to happen when the rest are built? They have no idea of the repercussions of the affect of 500 houses. Why risk more?”
Gerway Lane resident Rachel Kirk said: “This is the third proposed development within sight of Gerway Lane and it is soul-destroying for all existing residents.”
In a letter of objection submitted to EDDC’s planning department, Martin Kirby said: “The local facilities are way behind this general house building frenzy.”
Dr Margaret Hall confirmed she will be objecting on behalf of the East Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
She told the Herald: “It is more houses than we need and it is outside of the built-up area boundary. The infrastructure in Ottery cannot cope with it.”
Nigel Machin, of Knightstone Lane, is putting the onus on EDDC to ‘see through the spin, understand the strain the town is already going through and protect Ottery from this continuing onslaught’.
Agents of the application, Ian Jewson Planning Ltd, said: “The proposals will provide much-needed market and affordable housing in a sustainable location adjacent to existing development and close to local facilities.”