Council demands assurances over Axminster extension

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:19 12 December 2018

An impression of what the centre of the new Axminster housing development could look like. Picture: EDDC

An impression of what the centre of the new Axminster housing development could look like. Picture: EDDC

Archant

Members are concerned over an increase in the number of homes planned and the final cost of the relief road.

The route of the proposed releif road shown in red and white. Picture: EDDCThe route of the proposed releif road shown in red and white. Picture: EDDC

Axminster councillors are demanding assurances on a range of key issues before backing plans for a massive housing development and relief road on the town’s north-eastern flank.

They are concerned that the number of potential houses to be built has increased from the 650 originally allocated to up to 850.

And at their meeting on Monday members resolved: “This town council will not support any expansion of the number of houses beyond the 650 specified in the Local Plan without detailed financial evidence to justify the need for such expansion and any such change must be the subject of further public consultation nor will it support any adverse change in the density of housing proposed.

Councillors also want evidence to show that the £16.7million allocated to build the north-south bypass, to the east of the town, from Weycroft to the A35, is sufficient to deliver the road as proposed.

They have also called for: “A comprehensive traffic modelling exercise to demonstrate that the relief road as shown – in conjunction with measures previously requested such as a ban on non-essential heavy goods vehicles from the town centre – will work for users such as heavy goods vehicle drivers and will not have an adverse impact on other parts of the town.”

Members were discussing a draft masterplan for the extension of Axminster before it is adopted by East Devon District Council in January.

Cllr Sue Spiller said unless the problem of the Weycroft Bridge bottleneck and the junction with the A35 at the other end were sorted out there was little point in building the new relief road.

“You might as well not have bothered,” she said. ”You will only be shifting the problems.

“And there is talk now of up to 850 homes being built with no guarantees that further down the line developers will not go back to the planning authority and say we have to build more houses.”

Cllr Paul Hayward said the developers should pay for a traffic modelling exercise to show how many heavy goods vehicle drivers would use the new relief road with its junctions at Weycroft and the A35 - and what effects the new road would have on the town centre.”

To see the draft masterplan for the relief road, its associated housing and commercial development, and to comment upon it visit the district council website at http://eastdevon.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/axminster-masterplan/

To comment on it contact a local district councillor:

ihall@eastdevon.gov.uk

AMoulding@eastdevon.gov.uk

DHull@eastdevon.gov.uk

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