Councillor highlights Axminster urban extension fears

PUBLISHED: 15:01 20 December 2018

Axminster town councillor Sue Spiller. Picture: ATC

Axminster town councillor Sue Spiller. Picture: ATC

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Weycroft Ward member Cllr Sue Spiller reveals what residents have been telling her about the Masterplan

The route of the proposed releif road shown in red and white. Picture: EDDCThe route of the proposed releif road shown in red and white. Picture: EDDC

Plans for Axminster’s north-eastern urban extension - with up to 850 new homes and a bypass - have divided opinion.

The large amount of housing earmarked and the planners preferred option to route the north-south relief road to the east of the town has been particularly contentious.

And the arguments look set to continue into the New Year.

One of the chief concerns is that the new road will not solve the Weycroft Bridge bottleneck and some fear its junction with the A35, at its southern end, will also cause hold-ups.

Town councillor Sue Spiller, in whose ward the massive homes and road development will take place, has been putting forward some of the residents’ concerns over the district council’s Masterplan for the urban extension.

Here is some of what she has been reporting to the planners:

“The road and the houses should never have been joined together as a project, but unfortunately, as has been told to me many times, one comes with the other.

“We need written guarantees that the amount of housing will not exceed the current estimates, and will not open up future massive development beyond Weycroft Bridge and out into the area not covered by an AONB.

“Weycroft Bridge must be sorted because as we all know at the present time traffic backs up in both directions and if a relief road is brought onto the Chard Road, on the Axminster side of the bridge as it is, the congestion will increase in that area and not decrease, thus causing more pollution and therefore just move congestion and pollution from the town centre to the Chard Road area!

“The proposed new junction on Lyme Road must take into account the difficulties that will be experienced by traffic entering and exiting onto this road, and a few yards further on joining up with the current bypass. Also is the topography of the land on which it is proposed to build the road, suitable for heavy goods vehicles, and will the drivers of these vehicles use any new road?

“Is this even the correct route for the relief road, and should this be looked at again.

“No account seems to have been taken of the public footpath/rights of way across parts of the proposed route.

“Although the costings have been estimated at £16.7 million, we all know how quickly these can escalate, and if this were to happen how would this affect the outcome in the long run.”

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