West Hill homes plan: 455 object

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 50 new homes in West Hill have attracted more than 400 objections as a residents’ campaign against the bid gathers pace.

Eastfield homeowners say they are “standing on the front line” in a battle to stop developer Blue Cedar Homes building the dwellings on land near their properties – a move they fear will see a “200 per cent expansion”.

Planning authority East Devon District Council has received 445 objections to the blueprints and will decide their fate in the coming weeks.

Villagers fear the project’s scale, have labelled designs “alien” to nearby properties, and are worried adverse impacts will include traffic and road safety problems.

Eastfield Action Group spokesman David Evans said: “We in Eastfield take pride in the appearance of our properties ...and many of us actively look after the interest of our neighbours. We have evolved over time to get to know each other and have, in effect, become a cohesive community that has quickly responded in the face of real adversity.

“We did so in the hope of defending our road from what could be a major disruption created by wider external policies, responses to insensitive development and a threat of 200 per cent mass expansion at a stroke.

“In just 12 days, we were able to get from residents their overwhelming and outright objection to the scheme. Many also raised their own written concerns, added issues and commented widely on the many and various failures of this development, but primarily questioned its unsuitable location.”

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Protesters picked up 218 signed notes with comments opposing the development after an exercise outside the village’s McColl’s shop.

The developer has offered land, and a building on it, for primary and pre-school use if granted planning permission.

Ottery town councillors last month recommended the bid for refusal.