Councillors to vote again on major new development on edge of town

By Ollie Heptinstall   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Thursday 10th February 2022 5:12 pm
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Housing plans for Higher Exeter Road Site in Teignmouth. (Image: Planning website)

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MORE than 250 new homes on the edge of Teignmouth could get final approval next week when councillors vote again on the plans.

Outline permission has already been agreed for the land at Higher Exeter Road, but the upcoming planning meeting will be the second time the detailed ‘reserve matters’ application for the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the properties is considered.

Developers are planning 242 homes, including 10 flats – while 13 custom-build plots will also be provided at the site, which is set aside for housing in the neighbourhood plan.

A quarter of the homes (64) will be designated as ‘affordable’ (typically 80 per cent of market rate) and include a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership. They would be offered first to local residents, those in housing need, or those with strong connections to Teignmouth.

The proposed development includes wildlife areas and open space, a community orchard, grassland, and hedge and tree planting. A formal play area is planned, along with two other ‘informal’ spaces for play.

At a previous sitting of the Teignbridge District Council planning committee in November, members agreed to defer the application to allow more time to consider the details and conduct a further site visit.

But concerns were raised over a number of issues, including about drainage on the steep site, potential traffic problems and a lack of information about the ecological impacts of the homes.

Hundreds of objections from the public have been received, with more than 100 separate concerns listed, including that the development is too large, potential traffic and parking problems, and its impact on the countryside, Teignmouth and Teign Estuary.

Of the few letters in favour, residents mention how the new homes would help tackle the ‘lack of affordable housing in [the town]’ and would ‘create local jobs and increase tourism.’

Teignmouth Town Council previously submitted a letter of objection, which stated: “Key issues currently affecting Teignmouth include congestion and poor air quality in Bitton Park Road, inadequate primary healthcare … and schools at or exceeding reasonable capacity.

‘None of these will be mitigated by a development which will see an increase in excess of 300 cars, a population increase of around 700 (about 4 per cent) and four classrooms of school age children.’

However, ahead of next week’s meeting, officers recommend approval subject to a number of conditions. They say there is sufficient school capacity and are requesting the development has electric vehicle charging points, air source heat pumps and solar panels.

Their planning report concludes: “Taking into account the outline planning permission and the revisions made to the details submitted, the benefits of granting reserved matters approval are considered to outweigh the impacts,” subject to the conditions.

The site in Teignmouth has been allocated for housing in the neighbourhood plan, along with land around New Road.

In March last year the document said: ‘At the current time, the population of the town looks likely to increase in the long-term.’

The planning committee will decide on the application on Tuesday, February 15.

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