Axminster Carpets: ‘Don’t make us a scapegoat’

Company issues statement after winning outline planning permission to build 400 homes at Cloakham Lawns.

AXMINSTER Carpets Limited has been granted outline planning permission to build 400 homes on land at Cloakham Lawns - and says it hopes it is not made a scapegoat for residents’ frustrations over the lack of a relief road.

East Devon District Council’s Development Control Committee granted the application subject to a Section 106 agreement on a contribution to the local infrastructure. But a relief road has been put on hold by councillors and may not materialise until 2026.

A rival application, for more homes on another site, had promised a relief road.

In a statement,Axminster Carpets Limited said: “It is hoped that the company is not made the ‘scapegoat’ of frustration that a relief road has not been agreed as the decision making process for the bypass is different and independent, with the current view from East Devon District Council/Highways Agency that the road is unaffordable/not warranted at present. “Axminster Carpets Limited hopes that key stakeholders involved with the relief road can work in unison rather than individually to achieve this goal.

“The town and the company share the same great name, Axminster. We hope to add to this legacy further whilst investing in the business, continuing to be one of the world’s leading carpet manufactures based in Axminster.”

The statement added: “This approval will further strengthen the company assets which, therefore, gives the opportunity to accelerate investment plans at Axminster for key plant items and the like,

Most Read

“Allowing Axminster Carpets Limited to compete at the highest level, whilst injecting an estimated �11.3m in the local economy by 2012 through supporting local suppliers, employee salaries and wages, charity contributions and continuing support at Cloakham Lawns Sports Centre, to name a few areas.

“The company acquired the land in 1975 and, in 2002, started the planning process. This has been a long journey for the company and we would hope that the Section 106 agreement can be confirmed shortly, which will include large monies given to local stakeholders (such as schools) and infrastructure (sewage, drainage, investment).

“The town‘s aim was for affordable homes, enhancement of sports facilities, investment in the town centre and a relief road. This development delivers two of those items.”

More on this story in next week’s Midweek Herald.