Devon landowner lobbies for planning rule changes

Plans for King Alfred Way in 2015

Plans for King Alfred Way in 2015 - Credit: Archant

A landowner is using its drawn-out application to build 40 homes and a doctors’ surgery in Newton Poppleford as a case study to lobby for changes to planning rules.

Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) was awarded outline permission to develop a field south of King Alfred Way in 2012, but its detailed, reserved-matters, plans have failed to win over decision-makers.

It initially expected that construction would have finished by the end of February 2017, but now it is unlikely before 2019.

CDE is appealing the refusal – but is also calling for it to be made easier to develop in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), harsher sanctions for ‘poor’ decisions, and for the potential for legal challenges to be reduced.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has told CDE that the 16 ‘affordable’ houses should be ‘pepper-potted’ throughout the King Alfred Way development, as this is a policy in its Local Plan.

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The landowner, now in a joint venture with developers Cavanna Homes and Pencleave 2, has also faced opposition from residents, who voiced fears about flooding and that the doctors’ surgery would not be delivered.

A CDE spokesperson said the report is an early draft of a case study that was submitted in its final form to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in May. It was also copied – for information only – to EDDC and a Cabinet Office representative.

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The spokesperson said: “It is interesting to note that since the paper was submitted to RICS six months ago, the planning application is no closer to determination. A series of legal arguments and appeals have stalled the progress and a hearing date has still not been set for the latest appeal.

“It is disappointing that, five years after a housing needs survey in Newton Poppleford identified the pressing need for 18 affordable new homes in the community, that they are no closer to being delivered.

“Even if the appeal is heard early in 2017 and the development is given the go-ahead, it is unlikely that the first homes and the surgery will be available before 2019.”

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