Scheme for ten homes on former allotment site in Honiton slammed by town planners

PUBLISHED: 14:30 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:07 24 July 2017

Cllr John Zarczynski (pictured) says Clapper Lane is 'unsuitable' for development.

Cllr John Zarczynski (pictured) says Clapper Lane is 'unsuitable' for development.

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Cllr John Zarczynski said applicant ContainerSpace Ltd's proposed scheme was 'totally unsuitable' and said if approval was granted, the resulting development would cause 'chaos'.

An application to build ten homes on land in Honiton designated for allotments has been criticised by town planners.

London-based company ContainerSpace Ltd wants to build the terraced housing on land in Clapper Lane which was previously allotments.

The houses, which have been described as ‘low-energy’, would be laid out in a horseshoe shape as three terraces - two of three homes and one of four.

The application said: “Together, these three terraces enclose a sheltered open space comprising both open gardens and, beyond them, a landscaped shared car parking area.”

The layout of the homes is horseshoe shaped, which the applicants say will protect them from traffic noise generated by the A30 Honiton bypass.

Each home would provide a car-parking space, together with two disabled spaces and three further spaces for visitors and existing allotments to the south of the development.

The proposals went before Honiton Town Council’s planning committee last night, where they faced a barrage of criticism from members.

Cllr John Zarczynski said the application was ‘totally unsuitable’ and said if approval was granted, the resulting development would cause ‘chaos’.

He added: “I have always been opposed to this development when it first went up for the simple fact that Clapper Lane is already congested.

“It has a nasty little narrow entrance – women are forced to walk with their pushchairs onto the road. There is no safety margin.”

Chairing the meeting, Cllr Roy Coombs referred to a report he had written previous to the meeting.

In his report, Mr Coombs said: “The currently uncultivated allotment gardens site at Clapper Lane is the only site designated for allotments in the parish of Honiton.

“Honiton Town Council was successful with the support of East Devon District Council at the public inquiry at Exmouth in its application for the allotments at Clapper Lane to be designated as allotments on the 2006 Local Plan.”

Speaking at last night’s meeting, Cllr Coombs said: “Even if there was no demand for allotments in Honiton, surely this site could be turned into some form of public open space.

“But, we know there is demand and the land is supposed to be protected for allotments.”

Cllr Zarczynksi said: “To me, the issue is not a question of allotments and open space.

“To put more houses there will increase the traffic. If Clapper Lane had a much better road with much better access, I may be a bit more sympathetic.”

Cllr Ken Hopkins said he was concerned that the development would bring at least ten extra cars into the road, which would increase the traffic going in and out of the development.

Cllr Zarczynski added: “It is overdevelopment in an area that has already struggled with traffic too much for my liking.

“The site is not suitable for housing and development. If the developers provided a pavement all the way to the development to the high street, continuous, I would say ‘I don’t like it but…’

“We already have enough housing in Honiton – it is not like we are absolutely desperate for houses and have no land whatsoever.

“The whole site is just unsuitable for housing.”

The application will be determined by East Devon District Council’s development management committee at a later date.

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