Plans for new town - and THOUSANDS of new homes - in East Devon revealed

The potential locations identified in the plan. Picture - EDDC

The potential locations identified in the plan. Picture - EDDC - Credit: EDDC

Plans for thousands of new homes - including a new town of some 2,500 properties - have been announced.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has unveiled the first draft of its Local Plan, which outlines proposed developments in the district until 2040.

The proposal includes developments at:

  • Axminster – around 335 homes in a series of small scale urban extensions providing a mix of housing and employment sites.
  • Exmouth – around 455 homes within a number of sites focused on the north east of the town with some smaller scale allocations to the south and east.
  • Honiton – around 228 homes with a large allocation to the eastern edge of the town and a series of smaller applications to the other edges of the town.
  • Ottery St Mary – around 250 homes to the western side of the town including an area of employment land.
  • Seaton – around 264 homes largely focused on four sites to the north of the town including a large allocation between Harepath Road and Colyford Road comprising a mix of housing and employment.
  • Sidmouth – around 196 homes comprising a large allocation west of Woolbrook Road and a series of smaller scale allocations to the north and west of the town.
  • Around 400 homes could also be built across a number of ‘local centres’ including Broadclyst, Budleigh Salterton, Colyton, Lympstone and Woodbury. 
  • And a further 500 homes could also be split between the ‘service villages’ including Clyst St Mary, Feniton and Whimple, among others.

The document is the first time in the council’s history it has revealed a ‘work in progress’ draft for a Local Plan, normally waiting until work is further progressed before showing it to the public.

"In the spirit of being open and transparent the draft document, which may change as a result of further consideration and public consultation, will be debated for the first time in public on Tuesday, December 14 by EDDC’s Strategic Planning Committee," said a spokesperson.

"The document, which will help shape East Devon until 2040, builds on the authority’s recently adopted Council Plan and looks at how the district can protect the environment, build employment space and ensure only high quality developments are built."

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They added: "It is appreciated some of the proposals are controversial and will cause concern to communities but the proposals may well change following further work and input from councillors.

"Residents have been asked not to submit comments at this stage and to wait until the final draft plan has been published. 

"A public consultation, including workshops, will then be held next summer based on current timescales."

The Government says EDDC must deliver 918 homes a year, the council said, meaning the new Local Plan has to identify land for more than 6,900 additional homes.

This is in addition to those already planned for, like at Cranbrook and developments expected to come forward by 2040.

"Most of the large scale housing sites will also be expected to provide a range of employments spaces and community facilities and create sustainable communities where walking and cycling are the norm," the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, EDDC’s bold plans to be the ‘leading light in addressing climate change and environmental issues through planning’ have also been revealed, with a number of highly ambitious measures to tackle the climate change emergency.

The plan features plans for all new homes to be zero-carbon, with measures such as better insulation, triple glazing, solar panels and special pumps that extract heat from the air to warm people’s homes as well as district heating systems like the one at Cranbrook, which can be run on renewable energy. 

Policies that minimise the carbon footprint while building developments have also been proposed, along with measures that ensure more is put back to create natural habitats, affected by developments, than is taken away.

Elsewhere, there are major strategic developments planned close to the city of Exeter, including new developments off Clyst Road, North of Topsham and expansions to Exeter Science Park, as well as further employment spaces north of Sowton Village and near the airport.

The working draft of the plan will now be considered by councillors and amended and modified as work progresses over the coming months.