Heathpark has more potential

Residents say housing and the under-use of the industrial estate are areas for concern in the town’s local plan.

Honiton residents have voiced concerns over housing and the under-use of Heathpark Industrial Estate during a consultation over the draft local plan.

The main concerns expressed during an open session at last Monday’s Honiton Town Council meeting centred on the omission of plans for the community complex, the under-use of the industrial estate and location of a proposed 150 homes development in Ottery Moor Lane.

As it stands, the draft plan proposes to build 450 homes in Honiton over the next 25 years with sites identified for 300 homes and an additional 150 homes as part of a redevelopment site in Ottery Moor Lane.

It also proposes to address problems centred on infrastructure, particularly at the Turk’s Head junction, and social and community facilities.

Councillor Vivienne Ash said: “The town council’s view is that the local plan for Honiton should rectify inconsistencies in the infrastructure, community and leisure facilities.”

During the open discussion, resident Peter Hayward, said that he believed the plan omitted to include the community centre complex as part of the town council’s submission and did not put forward solutions to deal with the current infrastructure problems in High Street and congestion in the town.

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Councillor Ash said that a lack of investment and money available was making it difficult to rectify infrastructure problems.

Another resident said: “I am a little concerned where the 150 homes are going to go and how it is going to affect small businesses already there (on the site).”

In addition, concerns were raised over the long-term future of Mount Batten Park, with one resident saying that the town needed sports facilities.

Councillor Ash said that the council did not support development at Mount Batten Park and the plan should ensure Honiton continues to be a “thriving market town”.

A 15 hectare site has been allocated for employment west of Honiton.

East Devon district councillor Phil Twiss said the proposed 15 hectare development, west of Hayne Lane, was a maximum, but Councillor Ash pointed out that the full allocation would be essential to develop the infrastructure and should not be regarded as only a maximum.

East Devon District Council is currently holding a consultation period over the local plan.

Any representations must be made before January 30.