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Anger over Dawlish homes proposal

Tuesday, 17 October 2023 15:26

By Guy Henderson, local democracy reporter

Teignbridge District Council's HQ (Image: Daniel Clark)

Councillors delete it from potential sites list

The people of Dawlish have had enough of development on their doorsteps, councillors have been told.

The latest version of Teignbridge Council’s masterplan for the next 20 years has earmarked land at Holcombe for 160 houses, sparking an angry reaction from a local councillor.

Cllr Rosie Dawson (Lib Dem, Dawlish NE) told a meeting of the full council: “The people of Dawlish have had enough.

“This would reduce the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. This isn’t nimby-ism. I’m not alone in feeling that enough is enough.”

And council leader Martin Wrigley (Lib Dem, Dawlish NE) agreed, saying the draft local plan would stand up to the government’s scrutiny even without the land at Holcombe – between Dawlish and Teignmouth – in it. 

He added: “In Dawlish, the facilities are already full. Our sewage processing plant is overloaded and our roads are flooded.

“The local plan will help us stand up to developers and we need it, but these additional sites are not what we want.”

Councillors were discussing amendments to the draft plan, which is going out for six more weeks of consultation after unprecedented levels of public response to an original phase.

The amendments added the land for houses off Teignmouth Road at Holcombe, as well as other plots at Ipplepen and Kenton.

Cllr Wrigley said while he backed the other amendments he could not agree to the inclusion of the three pieces of land.

But Conservative group leader Phil Bullivant (Bradley) warned: “If we’re not careful, if we don’t get a plan accepted, the right for us to control what happens in our community is handed over to developers, and that would be far, far worse.”

And the council’s principal planning policy officer Michelle Luscombe added: “This isn’t an exercise in popularity. It’s about making really difficult decisions.”

The draft local plan will eventually go to the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove, for approval.

Around a thousand comments were received during the consultation. As a result, the council has taken Newfoundland Way Car Park in Newton Abbot and Le Molay Littry Way in Bovey Tracey out of its list of potential housing development sites.

Development land at Holcombe, Kenton and Ipplepen has been removed from the amended plan. A second consultation will now be held.

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