Lois, 11, launches campaign against 141 homes proposal

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 July 2015 | UPDATED: 10:22 15 July 2015

Eleven year old Lois Roulson is setting up a children's only campaign to fight against a proposed housing development in Honiton. Ref mhh 2249-23-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Eleven year old Lois Roulson is setting up a children's only campaign to fight against a proposed housing development in Honiton. Ref mhh 2249-23-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

The young wildlife enthusiast has a wealth of concerns over the proposed development between Sidmouth Road and Hayne Lane.

An 11-year-old girl has launched a campaign to fight plans for 141 homes in Honiton - which she says will destroy wildlife and pose a danger to children walking to school.

Lois Roulson, of Snowdrop Close, has a wealth of concerns over the proposed development between Sidmouth Road and Hayne Lane.

She told the Herald that her bedroom window overlooks the fields which the houses would be built on.

“Sidmouth Road is really clammed up with cars,” said Lois, who will be joining Honiton Community College in September. “It’s a nightmare to cross when I am walking to school. If other children are trying to walk to school when there are lots of extra cars because of the houses, it would take so long. It could make people later for school. All of the extra houses would make it even harder.”

The new proposal, by Gleeson Developments, was made following a previous application in 2013 for a similar development of 147 homes on the site.

The plans, which drew more than 180 objections, were refused because of the scheme’s impact on the character and appearance of the landscape.

In its new plans, the developer states that the application will provide ‘much-needed additional family houses in a high quality setting’ to meet the housing requirements for Honiton and East Devon. It added that the proposal will bring ‘affordable’ dwellings to the area, as well as mixed range of properties for sale.

The new proposals have also come under fire, with 170 people so far voicing their objections.

Lois has decided to call her campaign ‘Children’s Voices for Honiton’ - and is urging other like-minded youngsters to write to East Devon District Council (EDDC) to voice their concerns.

Her parents, Helen and Kev, have backed Lois’s campaign. They hope that other residents will step forward to lend their support.

Helen said: “Lois was horrified when she heard about the plans. I asked her ‘why not do something about it?’ Ever since, she has got stuck into it.”

Lois, who has written to EDDC about her concerns, said: “If someone needs to get to the doctors quickly and there are a lot more houses, it could mean that doctors would not be available.

“And the tarmac that the developers are planning to use? Water will run straight off and to the lowest point - which happens to be in Sidmouth Road. It is not permeable. It could cause serious flooding problems and we already deal with that in heavy downpours. On the verge where the fields start, I can see rabbits living there. When we visited last, we saw more rabbits in fields and different kinds of birds.

“If homes are being built for people, we should at least leave some for all the birds and rabbits.”

An EDDC spokesperson said it has consulted with the usual statutory and technical consultees and relevant health authority.

They added that issues and concerns relating to the environment, wildlife, highways and traffic, education and health care provisions will be assessed.

Once all the responses have been received and considered, EDDC will look to determine the fate of application.

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