Anger over Honiton expansion

GITTISHAM residents were out in force at a public meeting to discuss the future development of land in Hayne Lane.

More than 70 villagers attended a public meeting on Tuesday, October 26, in the village hall, with many opposed to development on the land.

The bottom of Hayne Lane has been identified in the Local Development Framework as a possible site to build a development of 300 new houses and an industrial estate.

The chairman of Gittisham Parish Council David Fallows said: “The parish council has consistently opposed development west of Hayne Lane.”

“This stance was reasserted after the consultation of parishioners, conducted to produce the Parish Plan, determined that more than 80 per cent of respondents were against any extension of Heath Park or Gittisham Vale to the west of Hayne Lane. Many of those expressed strong disagreement.”

Hayne Lane and the proposed development lie within the Gittisham Parish.

He added: “Honiton councillors have always been aware of this position, as have any district councillors who have attended meetings where the matter has been discussed.

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“The council expressed this position in its response to the original consultation.

“Gittisham Parish Council has not been invited to any meetings where Honiton Town Council and EDDC have discussed the options for Honiton, despite the fact that the proposed housing development could have a serious, negative impact on over half of those that live in Gittisham Vale.

“There appears to be sufficient unused housing and employment land available within the existing Honiton development boundary for the next five to 10 years.

“Past 2020, development of Honiton to the east (and within its parish boundary) together with a possible eastern by-pass to the Kings Road/Monkton Road route of the A35 would appear to offer the town the best development opportunities.

“The possible impact on Gittisham Vale arises because of the access difficulties of the proposed housing, which is sandwiched between Hayne Lane, the railway line and the AONB.

“Either the access to 300 homes is via Hayne Lane, a single track road, North through a narrow bridge under the railway, or by opening up the West end of Old Elm Road, the Heathfield/Gittisham Vale estate spine road.

“Since the planners at EDDC were very concerned about the possible increase in traffic through the railway bridge when they considered the farm shop at Hayne Farm, it is hard to see them approving the northern route.

“Also the dwellings west of Hayne Lane would be cut off from the rest of the Heathfield/Vale estate, and Honiton itself, unless Old Elm Road is opened up.

“Of course, estate spine roads are not supposed to be through routes, either, and this is what concerns the residents of the Heathfield estate and the Gittisham parishioners.”

The parish council will be considering the Hayne Lane development and will formulate a response to the proposals at a meeting today (Wednesday) at 7.30pm.