Planning Inspector to decide fate of Newton Poppleford homes bid

Plans for King Alfred Way

Plans for King Alfred Way - Credit: Archant

A government official will decide the fate of plans to build 40 homes and a doctors’ surgery in Newton Poppleford.

Cavanna Homes and Pencleave 2 lodged an appeal after East Devon District Council (EDDC) refused their detailed application for land south of King Alfred Way.

The site was granted outline permission in 2012, but a dispute over the ‘pepper-potting’ of 16 ‘affordable’ homes – a policy to promote social inclusion – has seen planning inspector Andrew Dawe be brought in.

He met with both sides at a public hearing in Newton Poppleford’s village hall on Tuesday.

Cavanna Homes and Pencleave 2 argued EDDC’s refusal was ‘unreasonable and unfounded’, adding: “The proposed development represents a reasonable and well-designed scheme which would provide a high quality form of development and notably an acceptable disposition and mix of affordable housing.

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“The appeal scheme is now at the limits of its economic viability and it is incapable of accepting any further dispersal of the affordable housing without its deliverability being jeopardised.

“This risks preventing the delivery of the much-needed affordable housing in Newton Poppleford.”

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The appellants said they had ‘gone beyond what is strictly required’ by including one-bedroom ‘affordable’ properties in the scheme, at EDDC’s request.

But the authority argued the dispersal of the ‘affordable’ homes did not go far enough and the locations of 12 of the properties were ‘essentially unchanged’ from the original appeal scheme.

‘Pepper-potting’ is a policy in EDDC’s Local Plan to promote inclusion between the ‘affordable’ and market-rate properties.

A lack of ‘pepper-potting’ was also why the appellant’s previous application was refused - a decision upheld on appeal by a planning inspector. EDDC said the appellents ‘failed to adequately demonstrate’ why dispersing the ‘affordable’ homes would make the scheme unviable.

A council spokeswoman said an inspector will usually take four to six weeks to deliver a decision following a hearing.

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