An 83-year-old traffic order has been revoked in order to allow 2,500 new homes on the edge of Exeter to be built.

Development plans for Exeter and Teignbridge include 2,500 homes to be built in South West Exeter, but the development is ‘impacted by ‘building lines’ still allocated in the area.

Back in 1936, a traffic order was made under the 1925 Roads Improvement Act, to protect land next to the A379 betwee the Devon Hotel and the Chudleigh Road turning from being built on in case it was eventually needed for road widening.

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That order has never been revoked, and outline planning applications for South West Exeter that have been approved include land impacted by the building and improvement lines.

 

Councillors on the Teignbridge Highways and Traffic Order Committee on Thursday unanimously agreed to revoke the 83-year-old order.

At their previous meeting in February they deferred a decision to establish more detail as to what the impact of removing the lines would be.

Highway officer Tony Matthews told councillors that between the Devon Hotel and the A30 overbridge on the A379, there are building lines in place where there were plans initially to widen to the road to a high speed dual carriageway.

Plan of Building Lines at South West Exeter

 

His report added: “Retaining the building lines would necessitate a re-design of the proposed development, which is well advanced. This would delay the delivery of the development. Furthermore, given that the building lines would not be able to be used for development, they have the potential to impact on the quality of the development being delivered, particularly if not maintained.

“As reserved matters applications for the development have not yet been submitted, the impact of the building lines on the number of dwellings delivered cannot be quantified, but given the area covered, the impact on the number of dwellings may be considered small.

“The impact on the delivery of the proposed new all-through school at South West Exeter has also been considered. The school is critical for both the development at South West Exeter and the wider Exeter area. There is a risk that any impact on the delivery of the housing at South West Exeter, could have a consequential impact on the delivery of the new school and removal of the building lines would help to address this.”

 

He added that the development proposed in the area, including highway improvements, can be accommodated within the land available without the need to retain the building lines and that even if the building lines were retained and the road in the location widened as initially envisaged in the 1930s, the rest of the network would not have the capacity to accommodate increases in capacity on the A379 in this location.

Cllr Alan Connett, who represents the Exminster and Haldon division, had initially said he couldn’t support the request without knowing more about the impact the building lines have. But following the deferral, the meeting was told that he understood the reasons for the revocation and offered no objection to it.

Land south of the Devon Hotel near Exeter has been allocated for housing (Image: Google, free for use by all LDRS partners_

 

Councillors unanimously agreed that as there was no purpose to retaining the building lines anymore that they should be revoked.

It comes as reserved matters planning applications relating to the details of part of the South West Exeter expansion have been submitted to Teignbridge District Council.

Plans for 220 new homes and associated infrastructure and public space for land at Matford Home Park – between the Bridge Road and Devon Hotel roundabouts – have been outlined, with a separate application for a further 20 homes under consideration.

Details of a bid to build 162 new homes off Chudleigh Road, and a separate scheme for 17 new homes, has also been submitted to Teignbridge District Council, who will determine the fate of the applications at a later date.

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