Another new town for East Devon? Residents are urged to make their views known on future district development as consultation starts

Building another new town in East Devon can be found in a council consultation of proposals launched this week to determine future development across the district.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has launched a 10-week consultation, closing on January 15, 2024, inviting public views on its new draft Local Plan – the blueprint that sets out what can be built locally and where; it covers housing, employment, shops, green spaces, the environment and transport.

A series of public exhibitions begins at the end of November to give residents the chance to view the proposals, ask questions, and make their views known.

Included in the consultation for consideration is a proposal to build another new town – in addition to Cranbrook – that will address the future growth and development on the western side of East Devon – with the preferred location identified near Farringdon and neighbouring Clyst Honiton.

The alternative site includes land near the village of Clyst St George, and neighbouring closely with Ebford and Woodbury Salterton.

The proposal states: “In order to provide for the significant levels of housing growth identified for East Devon the local plan is allocating land to accommodate a new town (this is a second new town in addition to Cranbrook).

“This new town will be on the western side of East Devon close to the border of the District with Exeter city.

“Through extensive research and assessment three broad areas of search were identified for the new town and these have now been honed down to identify a preferred proposed land allocation for the new town development.”

East Devon

The preferred site is shown in green, and the alternative areas are identified in yellow.
Image: EDDC.

The proposal for the new town includes:

Up to the year 2040

  • Around 2,500 new homes to be built
  • At least one site with up to 15 gypsy and traveller pitches
  • Around 17.5 hectares of land (equivalent to 43 acres, or 32 football pitches) for office, industrial, warehouse use.
  • Some 15 hectares of land for a town centre with shops

Beyond the year 2040:

  • Around 5,500 additional new homes on allocated land
  • At least one site with up to 15 gypsy and traveller pitches
  • Around 38.5 hectares of land (equivalent to 72 football pitches) for office, industrial and warehouse
  • Completion of additional town centre development, up to 15 hectares of land in total

In addition, the proposed new town will include at least 254 hectares of land for ‘green infrastructure provision’.

When drawing up new town plans, the council will address the need for improved transport links and road improvements, district heating connections, new education provision, high speed broadband and other services and facilities ‘to ensure sustainable development is delivered’.

East Devon

The site of the proposed new town for East Devon.
Image: EDDC.

East Devon

Option two – an alternative choice to site the proposed new town.
Image: EDDC.

town

Option three – an alternative area for the proposed new town in East Devon.
Image: EDDC.

The 10-week consultation for residents’ views on specific sites for development – including the proposed new town – was launched on Monday, November 7.

Public exhibitions will be held in Exmouth, Honiton, Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Whimple, Axminster, Clyst St Mary, Feniton and Seaton.

EDDC said the document sets out how it plans to meet future housing needs, address climate change, protect heritage and the environment, support employment and town centres.

The 2022 public consultation exhibitions are:

  • November 29, Victory Hall, Whimple, 4.30pm-8.30pm
  • November 30, The Institute, Ottery, 3pm-7pm
  • December 1, Guildhall, Axminster, 3pm-7pm
  • December 2, Clyst St Mary village hall, 2pm-6pm
  • December 6, Kennaway House, Sidmouth, 3pm-7pm
  • December 7, The Beehive, Honiton, 3pm-7pm
  • December 8, Ocean, Exmouth, 3pm-7pm
  • December 13, Feniton youth centre, 3pm-7pm
  • December 15, Seaton Gateway, 3pm-7pm

EDDC urged anyone living, working or spending time in East Devon to make their views known, saying it was ‘vital’ people had their say now on the proposals.

The council said waiting for a planning application to be submitted could be too late to change the outcome.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “It is so important that people look at this consultation and tell us what they think.

“The future planning of East Devon is something that will really impact on all our lives for years to come.

“Unfortunately, people often only get interested in planning issues when a specific development directly affects them, but this plan will affect us all and how we as a community respond to key issues like climate change and housing our residents.

“This is a key consultation and your chance to tell us how we should shape communities up and down East Devon, please use it.”

  • See the consultation here

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