Homes plan rejected after angry protests

Planners unanimously turn down Axminster roadside housing scheme after site meeting

RESIDENTS in Axminster are celebrating victory in the latest round of their on-going battle to halt a town centre housing development.

Revised plans to build on land fronting Cedar Gardens were unanimously rejected by district councillors following a site meeting on Friday.

After using poles to show how high the proposed homes would be they ruled they would harm neighbours’ quality of life.

Axminster ward member Douglas Hull said he was delighted with the verdict.

He had earlier told the development management committee:

“This is over development. The present owners have done nothing to enhance the site which was kept in excellent order by the previous owner.

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“I believe this to be a blot on the area of Musbury Road.”

Cllr Hull said the committee decision had focused on the affect the proposed new homes would have on nearby residents’ lives.

He said: “The brought a metal pole to show how high the buildings would be and even I didn’t realise they would be that tall.

“Although other streets have houses facing opposite each other and have them right on the pavement, in this modern age there is no need to carry on the sins of our fathers.

“I am delighted for the residents down there and pleased the committee agreed to my request for a site meeting because it has shown them exactly where the buildings would be and if there is an appeal they can say everyone came and looked at the area. The decision was not made by remote control.”

The application to put up two houses and two flats on the roadside site came from owner Justin Werb.

His firm, Shute-based Berkley Park, Cedar Ltd, also asked for consent to make alterations to the existing parking and communal areas and convert two existing flats into a single two bed dwelling.

It followed two previous proposals to develop the land – planning chiefs ruling the last one, for six new homes, would be “seriously detrimental” to the character of Musbury Road.

Their decision came after protests from nearby residents who claimed the area had already been turned into “a third world ghetto” – a situation they say is now even worse.

And the town council was equally unimpressed with the new application, saying the development would be out of keeping with Musbury Road, the buildings would be too high and valuable car parking would be lost. The risk of flooding would also be increased.

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