About the topic
Application for 255 homes west of Higher Exeter Road.
CPRE regrets the decision of Teignbridge District Council on 29th July 2014 to approve this application. This follows concerns raised by us about the impact on the landscape, ecology and traffic. In particular we argued that the developers had included land in this application which is outside the designated TE3 in the Local Plan. TE3 has been allocated for residential development including “on-site provision of formal and informal recreation areas”. In this application 2 play and recreational areas have been proposed outside the north-west and south-west boundaries of the site. Members were misled by the Business Development Manager, Nick Davies, who told them that there would be no residential development on the land outside the TE3 boundary. He did not concede that TE3 policy states that all the residential and recreational facilities should be contained within the TE3 boundary.
CPRE also argued that the Ecological Impact Assessment is fundamentally flawed. The studies were only undertaken in April and November and it has excluded invertebrates. Parts of this site are marshy near the streams and are undisturbed, being on private land. Residents in the area have noted the presence of a large range of butterflies, moths and dragonflies. CPRE quoted the Government Circular on Biodiversity and Geological Conservation, which states where there is a “reasonable likelihood of a protected species being present a survey should be undertaken.” A survey of invertebrates should have been undertaken in May/June to identify whether there are protected and priority species present. Further, CPRE argued that this planning application failed to satisfy Policy 118 of the NPPF and Policy EN9 in the Local Plan due to inadequate mitigation and compensation. This was also the view of the Devon Wildlife Trust. Consideration is being given by some objectors to lodging a Judicial Review.
CPRE initially objected to this application on the following grounds –
* The building of 255 houses in this elevated site would be overbearing and dominant in the landscape and have a major detrimental effect on the Teign Estuary Landscape Character Area. At present, the views across the estuary from Shaldon present Teignmouth in its rural setting. There is a green crest to the hills above Teignmouth which enhance the attractive character of the town and mirror the green hills above Shaldon and Ringmore.
* This site has rising springs and streams. It is very damp and provides a facility for absorbing water. We believe that the amount of water running off this site has been underestimated, particularly in the light of climate change. The impact of this run-off will cause a high flood risk for homes downhill.
* We are very concerned about the access for traffic on/off the B3192. We believe that the volume of vehicle movements has been considerably underestimated. The future residents on this site are likely to have between 500 – 600 cars. The vast majority of them will be using the access onto the B3192. This junction is on a bend and we feel that there will be a high risk of accidents at this junction with such a large increase in vehicle movements there.
* We acknowledge that this site is identified for housing development as TE3 in the draft Teignbridg Strategic Plan. However, CPRE believes that draft Policy EN2 should be given greater weight in this case. Policy EN2 states that “development which would have a detrimental effect on the character of the undeveloped coast and estuaries will not be permitted.” We have argued that the District Council does not need this development as it gained an extra 550 houses through 2 lost Planning Appeals before the Local Plan was adopted last week.
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