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. 

The council, with consultants (HYAS Associates Ltd), worked closely with Persimmon Homes and The Crown Estate who control the majority of the allocated site to produce a masterplan that shows how development including the relief road will be delivered.

The masterplan provides a template for the development of the site which will guide planning applications for the site. Following two rounds of public consultation in 2018 the masterplan was endorsed by the council’s Strategic Planning Committee on the 29th January 2019. The masterplan can be viewed using the link below:

Axminster Masterplan Document

The masterplan was prepared on the understanding that £10million of grant funding would be made available by the government to help to deliver the relief road. Even then, the substantial cost of the relief road (estimated to be around £16.7million) meant that an additional 200 homes located to the east of the local plan allocation were included to help to make the development viable.

The government funding was withdrawn in late 2019 after it became clear that the grant funding that had been successfully applied for had turned into a loan that the development could never afford to repay.

The council’s Strategic Planning Committee at their meeting of the 9th December 2019 resolved to revisit the masterplan to seek alternative ways to deliver it. This work has been delayed due to the pandemic but is on-going.

Planning applications submitted by The Crown Estate and Persimmon Homes for the development of the masterplan area in 2019 are still under consideration.