Outline planning application to go before committee on Tuesday 3rd July

An outline planning application which includes proposals for up to 350 homes and associated facilities and includes land for a new primary school in Exmouth will be considered by East Devon’s Development Management Committee on Tuesday 3rd July.

The application, on land at Goodmores Farm off Dinan Way, also seeks outline permission for employment, commercial, and community uses, and is recommended for approval by the district council’s planning officers, subject to a legal agreement.

The proposal has generated considerable concerns by Exmouth and Lympstone councils, local ward councillors, Devon County Council and residents.

Some objectors question whether there is a need for future housing and a new primary school in the town. Others accept the principle of the development but question if the primary school is in the best location, and they fear that the development will not provide adequate funding of around £2.5 million toward the school. Some also doubt that it will provide funding towards the extension of Dinan Way - a further £2.5 million - or provide an adequate percentage of affordable housing.

The application from Eagle Investments Ltd has been viability tested after the developer claimed it could not afford to meet the full costs of infrastructure to support the development. The independent assessment concluded that, in addition to a £2 million contribution to infrastructure under the Community Infrastructure Levy only 18 affordable housing units would be viable. Under the council’s policies this should be at least 88 homes.

In addition, the site would be secured for a primary school and/or community use. Although the development in this case would not be able to meet the full costs of infrastructure that would be required under the council’s policies, government policy is clear that the council must compromise in such circumstances to make the development viable. As a result, the proposal is considered to comply with existing planning policies and is recommended for approval.

The application details can be viewed by inserting application reference 14/0330/MOUT

The meeting to discuss the application is being held at East Devon District Council offices at Knowle in Sidmouth and begins at 10am.