Town planners back 85 homes scheme for Honiton and Gittisham

PUBLISHED: 13:07 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 12 May 2017

An artist's impression of the new Honiton homes

An artist's impression of the new Honiton homes

Archant

Baker Estates, a new housebuilder based in Devon, has submitted plans for the first phase of the development on land between the town and Gittisham.

The proposed designs of the homes on land between Honiton and Gittisham.The proposed designs of the homes on land between Honiton and Gittisham.

The first phase of a 300-home development on land between Honiton and Gittisham has been backed by town planners.

Baker Estates, a new housebuilder based in Devon, has submitted plans for the first phase of the development on land between the town and Gittisham.

The initial 85 homes will include a range of sensitively designed two to four-bedroom terraced, semi-detached and detached open market properties. Also included in the plans are 22 affordable homes.

The company says the homes have been sensitively designed to complement the existing surroundings, and public spaces will be landscaped to create an attractive living environment, alongside an equipped play area and allotments.

Members of Honiton Town Council’s planning committee viewed the detailed plans at a meeting last week before giving their support to the project.

Cllr Jill McNally said she would like to see the affordable homes include a mix of shared ownership and rented properties, which was agreed by fellow planners.

Cllr John Zarczynski said: “We have to look at this from the perspective that there is a desperate need for affordable homes in the areas.

“If this development provides this kind of housing to keep some of the Gittisham and Honiton youngsters and not force them to move away because they cant keep a roof over their heads, we should take this into consideration.”

Councillors also debated opening up Old Elm Road up to help relieve congestion pressures the new development could cause.

Cllr Roy Coombs, chairing the committee, said: “To have two Gittisham housing estates a stone’s throw from each other with no direct vehicular access to me seems extremely poor planning.

“I feel it is a missed opportunity not to open up Old Elm Road.”

Baker Estates says it has engaged positively with the local community to understand their aspirations for the site, and the submitted proposals follow extensive public consultation.

Subject to planning permission, the construction period for the first phase is estimated to be 12 months, with a sales launch planned before the end of the year.

The town council made the following comments:

Type of housing

• The council would like to see the affordable homes being built being a mixture of rented and shared ownership properties

Highways

• The Hayne Lane railway bridge proposal is supported; it is essential that there is adequate signage as the train service might have to be temporarily withdrawn pending an inspection if there is a vehicle collision with the bridge.

• The Old Elm Road junction with Hayne Lane should be opened to all traffic. This is a matter for Devon County Council and East Devon District Council and not the applicant that should be addressed at this time.

• Concerns regarding excessive use of Honiton’s residential distributor road of which Old Elm road is the western part could be met by installing traffic calming along the entire length of the road to the A35 at Copper Castle.

• The council believes opening this junction would make the proposed development more sustainable for traffic using the local Tesco store and it may also reduce traffic using other routes in the town.

Possible pedestrian route to Gittisham

• The council is concerned that the layout of the proposed development to the west in Gittisham (not the subject of this planning application) does not protect the line of old Hodges Lane from the skew arch through the railway embankment (shown on the cover of Phase 1 Statement of Compliance) and then through the estate which could become the first part of a pedestrian and bicycle route to Gittisham Village.

• The skew arch could provide an important link to the land to the north scheduled as employment land and where a railway station has been proposed.

Buses

• The council suggests that the town bus route be extended to run onto the new estate at the first opportunity.

Trees

• There should be as many planted as possible on the site as it adjoins the East Devon AONB and is visible from the Blackdown Hills AONB.

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