Plans for up to 71 homes on the edge of Exeter – half of which will be affordable – have been approved.
East Devon District Council’s planning committee on Monday morning unanimously backed the Johnstone Land (South West) Ltd scheme for land north of Moonhill Copse in West Clyst.
Their outline application was recommended for approval, despite being a departure from the local plan, as officers said the housing development was in a highly sustainable area and the 50 per cent affordable housing outweighed any harm caused.
The plans were due to be discussed last Wednesday but were deferred following a request from Devon County Council’s highways team to a contribution of £3,250 to alleviate some of the traffic issues the development could cause.
Councillors on Monday morning heard the developer had agreed to the request that would first go towards putting a toucan crossing on the main B3181 and unanimously backed the plans.
Cllr Steve Gazzard added: “This seems a well thought out application,” while Cllr Olly Davey added: “It makes a lot of sense to bring the land into use and this seems a well-designed plan in a sustainable location with good provision for cycling and walking.”
Cllr Geoff Pook added: “So often we see applications on a larger scale skinning down the affordable housing to single digits, so this developer has shown a responsible way to deliver it and address all the concerns. This is a good and responsible development.”
Recommending approval, Chris Rose, East Devon District Council’s development manager, said: “The site has very good public transport links to the city of Exeter and further afield settlements including train and bus connection to the rest of the country. A recently constructed primary school lies within easy walking distance of the site and a convenience shop has recently opened on the opposite side of the B3181.
Considerations when considering the location of development to seek to minimise the use of the private motor vehicle and weigh significantly in favour on the proposed development. On the basis that houses have been consented surrounding the site having been found to be sustainably located, the same conclusion should be reached in relation to this site.
“The benefits of the proposal through providing housing development in a highly sustainable area with good linkages and nearby infrastructure to support daily living without reliance on the private motor vehicle, and provision of a high proportion of affordable housing to address the needs of the district, are considered to outweigh any harm caused by the proposal and outweighs the fact that the proposal represents a departure from local plan policy.”