Axminster trade leader’s homes plan rejected

Planners say the lack of pavements in busy Musbury Road would put pedestrians at risk

THE Chairman of Axminster Chamber of Commerce has lost his bid for a controversial housing development off busy Musbury Road.

Shane Morgan applied to build two detached houses and a detached garage in the grounds of Browhill House.

But despite including improved vehicular access in the plan his application has been turned down on road safety grounds.

The decision follows strong objections from Axminster Town Council which said: “The proposed houses lack any architectural merit and detracts from the setting of the existing house.

“In addition the so-called improved vehicular access is considered to be anything but this and will create significant new hazards on an already dangerous stretch of road. Vehicles waiting to turn right into the proposed new entrance would not be visible to traffic coming into town from Musbury/Abbeygate because of the fall of the land. Councillors were vehement in their objections.”

Two letters of objection were also received from members of the public.

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Now, under delegated powers, planning officers at East Devon District Council have refused the application – although they did not agree with the town council’s reasons for turning it down.

In their report they said: “The objections that have been received from the town council and neighbouring residents have been considered but in terms of principle, density, layout, design and amenity impact the proposal is considered to be acceptable.

“Furthermore no objections have been raised by the highway officer in respect of the revised access which could accommodate the additional traffic safely.

“Highway objections have, however, been raised in respect of pedestrian traffic to and from the site due to the absence of pavements from the site into the town and the prevailing road characteristics.

“The lack of a suitable footway provisions on the A358, a narrow heavily trafficked county primary route, will prejudice pedestrian safety and also be likely to lead to increased reliance on the car.

“For this reason the application is not considered to be acceptable.”