The adopted East Devon Local Plan identifies land to the east of Axminster for a development of around 650 homes with associated employment land, open space, community facilities and a primary school as well as land for the delivery of a north/south relief road. Following the Council’s successful bid for £10 million of government money from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to help deliver the Axminster Relief Road the Council has now appointed consultants to produce a masterplan for the development of the relief road and the associated development. The masterplan consultants (HYAS Associates Ltd) are working closely with Persimmon Homes and The Crown Estate who control the majority of the allocated site to produce a masterplan that shows how the relief road will be delivered including covering the remaining cost of the road which is estimated to be £16.7 million in total. One of the main challenges will be enabling delivery of the relief road alongside the homes, primary school, employment space, community facilities, and open space required in the Local Plan. The masterplan will also detail how these various uses are distributed across the site and how key vehicle and pedestrian routes ensure that the development is integrated with the existing town. Work has started on understanding the opportunities and issues with the site and producing options for its development. To inform this work two related engagement events were held on the 11 July in the Axminster Heritage Centre. The first event involved a technical workshop session with invited key stakeholders including the town council and ward members in the morning. The second was a public drop-in event in the afternoon and early evening (2.00pm till 7.00pm) for residents of the town to view the work to date and to provide important local knowledge, information and views on the approach to the development. The consultants are now considering all of the information and views that they have gathered to produce a draft masterplan for the development over the summer with a further consultation event for residents to comment on the proposals planned for September. The masterplan will provide a template for the development of the site which will provide guide for planning applications for the site which are expected to be made later this year by Persimmon Homes and The Crown Estate.

Display boards from recent consultation event.