Planners oppose 32-home scheme for former Halse of Honiton site
PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:43 13 November 2017
Honiton Town Council's planning committee unanimously voted to oppose the plans after highlighting several key issues with the development.
A proposed regeneration scheme for a major brownfield site in Honiton has been opposed by town planners.
As revealed by the Herald, Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) lodged an outline planning application to build up to 32 homes on Foundry Yard, recently vacated by farming machinery company Halse of Honiton.
On Tuesday evening, Honiton Town Council’s planning committee unanimously voted to oppose the plans after highlighting several key issues with the development.
Cllr John Zarczynksi said the site, which is close to High Street, would be better used as a public car park.
He said while Honiton’s Lace Walk car park is ‘adequate’ during the winter months, it gets ‘chocker’ in the tourist season.
Cllr McNally said she wants the site’s heritage to be ‘recognised and protected’ because ‘once it’s gone, it’s gone.’
She said: “It’s our town and our history and we are watching it disappear under concrete – and I don’t like it.”
Cllr McNally also raised concerns about the flood risk posed to the site, stating it was ‘worrying’ that the developer has proposed to build the homes with raised floor levels.
The plans propose two access routes to the new development via High Street and King Street.
Cllr Roy Coombs, chair of the committee, said the application provided the committee with a ‘one-off opportunity’ to get a relief road for Mill Street, which would enable pedestrianisation and one-way system in the town in the future.
He said: “They have always founded King Street and New Street to be just wide enough - but Mill Street isn’t.
“To have all the one-way traffic going up the steep hill of Millhead Road is not practical.”
Cllr Coombs told the committee it is ‘crucial’ to decide whether or not pedestrianisation or a one-way system is wanted before the site is developed.
Cllr McNally said there were a ‘lot of issues’ with the application, adding: “There are a lot of things they [HCA] need to address and I am not sure they have addressed them yet.”
The planning committee unanimously voted to oppose the application.
Its fate will be determined by East Devon District Council at a later date.