‘No more homes until flooding issue sorted’

PUBLISHED: 12:48 20 December 2012 | UPDATED: 16:45 20 December 2012

Feniton Parish Council unanimously oppose applications for proposed housing developments.

Feniton Parish Council has unanimously opposed three applications for proposed housing developments in the village.

Residents turned out in force at an extraordinary meeting held on Monday night at Feniton CoE Primary School to discuss the applications following recent flooding in the village - 158 residents were in attendance.

Developments discussed included an application from Strategic Land Partnerships (SLP) for outline planning permission for up to 120 homes in Ottery Road including associated employment and community floorspace, public open space. play space, allotments and infrastructure.

Concerns raised by residents centred on flooding and drainage problems, infrastructure and the impact of increased traffic and the affect on schools and community services such as doctors.

Resident Sue Collins said she had been flooded fives times since July. She said: “I don’t want development but I want something done before we get flooded.

“Something has got to be done. I don’t want to get flooded anymore – I’ve had it up to here.”

The chairman of governors at Feniton Primary School, Mark Maries, explained that an additional influx of children from the 120 homes would add to the 217 pupils already at the school. He said: “That would cause the school terrible problems.”

He felt it was not possible to grow the school on the existing site.

The impact of services was echoed by Dr Tim Cox, a partner at the Coleridge Medical Centre in Ottery St Mary. He said: “We are under increasing pressure from increasing numbers to the practice.”

The meeting heard that patients had risen significantly and the centre had to have four extensions to the building because it had run out of room.

“We are really worried – how are we going to provide services if there are going to be more of them?”

There was also concerns over the loss of agriuclutral land and the safety of pedestrians in Feniton.

Devon County Councillor for Feniton Roger Giles said there should not be a single extra house in Feniton until the flooding problems are sorted.

He explained that flood defences could take up to a year or possibly longer.

Councillor Giles added: “I really can’t understand how a whole lot of housing is not going to make flooding worse.”

East Devon District Councillor Claire Wright told the meeting the draft local plan for the village had only allocated 35 homes but with the new developments there could possibly be more than 150 homes plus 50 from Wain Homes. She said: “This is a crazy number of houses and I don’t think it would stop there either.”

The meeting heard South West Water is going to be carry out inspections of the drains.

Parish councillor Nick Spence felt the development did not offer anything to the village and agreed with concerns raised by residents.

An alternative application from SLP for 59 homes on the same site and proposals by Feniton Park Ltd to demolish existing farm buildings and re-develop 32 dwellings on land north of Acland Park were also unanimously opposed by the parish council.

The chairman of the parish council Councillor Martyn Smith added: “The situation of flooding is getting worse every time they put in a small development.”

He added: “What we do need is for everybody here, if they are objecting to these developments, to do it formally. The more people that object the more power there is to object going forward to East Devon District Council.”

Objections to the proposals must be submitted to East Devon District Council before January 9.

Residents were also encouraged to write to MP Neil Parish and the Prime Minister David Cameron.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald