Exmouth: Council delays decision over bid to build 44 new homes in Douglas Avenue

The fate of proposals for 44 new homes in Exmouth is hanging in the balance after councillors decided they need to visit the site before deciding on the scheme.

Developer Littleham 2010 Ltd wants to build the dwellings – 11 of which would be ‘affordable’ – in Douglas Avenue, writes Local Democracy Reporter Rob Kershaw.

Members of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Planning Committee delayed making a decision on the bid at their March meeting.

They unanimously voted to take a closer look at the plot.

Council officers had recommended the scheme for approval.

Previous plans for the site was rejected on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate eight years ago due to the deemed adverse visual impact of the mooted housing.

And residents who attended last week’s meeting slammed the ‘inappropriate’ effect on the landscape of the fresh application.

They also blasted ‘unacceptable’ pressure on NHS services and voiced concerns over an increased danger on nearby roads.

Part of the proposed scheme involved demolishing a home to provide easier access for vehicles to access the site.

Councillor Bruce de Saram said this was ‘not acceptable’ while Cllr Steve Gazzard branded it ‘crazy’.

The meeting heard this was due to the narrow nature of the road, and residents warned of crashes nearby if approval was given.

The developer promised to provide funding to mitigate the additional pressure on NHS services as a result of an increased number of residents.

It also vowed to pay for the planting of hedgerows and trees.

An agent on behalf of Littleham 2010 Ltd told members that concerns had been appropriately addressed and the development that would provide ‘much-needed’ housing for the district.

Cllr Mike Howe raised worries over continued sewage issues in the area.

Cllr Olly Davey questioned the lack of transport links to the development which could cause an increase in traffic.

Highways authority Devon County Council made no objection that the nearby roads are unsuitable for further development.

Cllr Philip Skinner said it is ‘not a given’ that the Planning Inspectorate would not rule in favour of the application on appeal if the committee decided to refuse it.

It was recommended that the application be deferred so that the committee can take a closer look at the site before making its decision.

The fate of the plans will be decided at a later date.

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