Newton Poppleford residents voice anger at developers

Newton Poppleford villagers protest at an area of land which is planned for the development of up to

Newton Poppleford villagers protest at an area of land which is planned for the development of up to 42 homes. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shv 9472-16-13AW - Credit: Archant

Residents in Newton Poppleford confronted representatives of a controversial housing development at a heated public meeting this week.

Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) has been granted permission to build 40 houses and a doctors’ surgery on land to the south of King Alfred Way, despite strong opposition.

The company, now in partnership with Devon-based Cavana Homes, displayed amended plans, which have lowered the maximum ridge height to minimise the visual impact of the scheme.

It has been set lower than the current tallest building, but one architect admitted that the existing house ‘sticks out like a sore thumb’.

“So [the new development] will stick out no more than the sore thumb that is already there,” responded one attendee.

Ottery’s Coleridge Medical Centre has not confirmed it will take on the surgery as proposed. Other medical centres have also expressed an interest, but campaigners fear there is no guarantee the surgery will definitely go ahead – so some do not want it at all.

“Given that you are here to give the public what they want, it is not too late to give us 20 houses and no doctors’ surgery and do the right thing,” said one resident.

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A King Alfred Way homeowner said: “With three rows of houses, how will you guarantee my garden won’t flood every time we have heavy rain?”

“What is the redress for those poor people who live above that estate and are flooded or cannot sell their houses after the developers have taken their money and run away?” another speaker added.

Iestyn John, acting on behalf of CDE, said the developers would be consulting with experts on the matter.

As part of its plans, CDE has allocated £25,000 to upgrade a footpath to give children safe access to the primary school, but villagers expressed doubts as to when this would happen and whether the figure would be enough.

Representatives at the meeting confirmed that 16 homes (40 per cent) will be allocated for affordable housing, with local people getting priority in the eligibility criteria.