250 more new homes for Honiton

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:50 15 June 2010

A MASSIVE swathe of housing development is secretly being planned for Honiton, your Herald can reveal. Up to 250 new homes could be built on two sites, being touted to selected developers by land agents Savills. The land totals 31 acres and takes in green

A MASSIVE swathe of housing development is secretly being planned for Honiton, your Herald can reveal.Up to 250 new homes could be built on two sites, being touted to selected developers by land agents Savills.The land totals 31 acres and takes in green field sites on both sides of Sidmouth Road.It is understood by the Herald that Savills have been instructed to approach East Devon District Council on behalf of the landowner, Alfie Ford, to ask for an extension of Honiton's development boundary as part of the Local Development Framework.One of the sites is below Roundball Hill and the other is adjacent to the Gittisham Vale estate.Developers have been given until May 30 to put in 'notes of interest'. Offers for the sites are likely to be closed as early as next month.An approach to the district council is to be made before July, we understand.When the Herald contacted Savills' London press office, we were directed to a Savills spokesperson in the South West. That contact referred us to Iona Blackshaw, who was unwilling to discuss the matter in detail. She expressed concern that the Herald was aware of Savills' approaches to selected developers and was worried about client confidentiality.Ms Blackshaw was moved to pass the Herald's enquiry onto another Savills' spokesperson, Holly Howe, who promised to call us back. At 2.10pm on Monday Ms Howe responded by email, saying: "I can't provide you with any information on your queries, particularly with a deadline of 4pm."Shortly afterwards, Mark Chugg, of Savills, contacted us and confirmed: "A select list of national, regional and local developers and promoters have been contacted, who may be interested in taking this land up through the Local Development Framework. "It is not supposed to be in the public domain and our client may be one of many landowners to be coming forward."I think it would be stretching it to put a figure on the number of new homes."A strategic review of housing for the South West has suggested that Honiton needs to provide up to 900 new homes to keep up with demand - at a time when the number of lone pensioner households is causing concern among social care providers. The number of elderly residents is predicted to rise to more than a quarter of the population.Honiton is being earmarked for further expansion even though schools in the town are said to be bursting at the seams and Honiton Surgery, which is currently being extended to meet previous growth, has no further development space to accommodate another large expansion of the town.

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