Controversial Axminster homes plan rejected

Angry neighbours win battle to halt housing scheme

PROTESTERS have won their battle to halt a controversial six homes development in the centre of Axminster.

Justin Werb, of Shute-based Berkley Park, Cedar Ltd, sparked outrage when he applied to put up a terrace of four houses and two flats at the front of the Cedar Gardens site, on Musbury Road.

Axminster town council lodged a lengthy list of objections and nearby elderly residents complained the site was being turned into a “third world ghetto”, amid accusations that work had already taken place to remove important landscape features.

Now, under delegated powers, East Devon District Council planning officers, have rejected this second attempt to build on the site.

They ruled that the proposed new homes would constitute overdevelopment of the street frontage to Cedar Gardens, reducing its open character, setting and original design concept.

They said it would be “seriously detrimental” to the character of Musbury Road which relies on both elements of openness and built frontages for its inherent character.

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They added that the proposed development would appear “cramped” and would result in loss of privacy and have an overbearing and oppressive impact on neighbours.

They also rejected the design of the proposed new homes which would be out of keeping in the conservation area and in relation to the neighbouring listed building.

Mary Lewis, of neighbouring Cedar Close, was amongst those campaigning to halt the housing scheme.

She said that since an earlier application for a larger development was refused, Cedar Gardens and adjoining Cedar Close had been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.

“The residents of Cedar Gardens must feel the same because they now, effectively, live in a third world- style ghetto,” She told The Herald.

This week she said residents were “delighted” the application had been rejected.

She added: “I am sorry it came to this but obviously everyone here is pleased – especially the elderly residents in Cedar Gardens.”