THE April meeting of Sandford Parish Council began with a question and answer session, with Simon Trafford (Mid Devon District Council Planning) and Ian Sorenson (Devon County Council Highways), on the proposal to build 326 homes at Creedy Bridge in Sandford parish.
More than 30 people, parishioners and members of the public, attended the meeting.
The chairman Elizabeth Dalton advised the meeting that the agent’s Gleeson’s were unable to send a representative to the meeting. Issues raised included the fact that the current MDDC supply of homes for this site for the next five years showed a limit of 160 homes, increasing to 200 homes in the submitted policy.
Questions were asked how 326 homes could now be suggested for this site?
It was felt that with all the potential sites in Crediton for new homes, the need for extra homes by central government was already being met? As Creedy Bridge was not on the “contingency” list, until having been suddenly brought forward, why could other sites such as Chapel Downs not also be brought forward too?
Also as DCC owned land at Fordton, why could this not be used?
Surely there was not the demand for all the current number of homes being currently proposed in Crediton? Where would the people come from? Crediton needed more employment to satisfy the number of homes being suggested. The town needed more land for employment rather than houses.
As the Crediton Bypass was not in the Development Plan, nor part of Devon County Council’s proposals, all additional traffic would be on existing already overcrowded roads.
Why was the the road at Stonwall Lane not being widened as it was not coping currently and even with any suggested new passing bays, it would not be able to cope and was not a popular route?
This route would need to take school children and increased commuter traffic.
Traffic would therefore continue to use Jockey Hill with the terrible bottle neck caused to traffic at the bottom of the hill. Traffic would continue on to Exhibition Road and onto the Link Road.
Also how would the current roads cope with all the extra traffic from this site for trips to work, shopping and school??What allowance for increased traffic has been made including that to the proposed Anaerobic Digestion Plant planned for Lords Meadow.
Surely the current schools’ in the area would not cope with the extra pupils?
What was happening to the suggested site for a new primary school?
If not where would all the extra children go to school? Would extra children be coming to the Sandford School?
If so which roads would be used?
With regard to health needs, how were the future health needs of Crediton being addressed as they were already over stretched?
?How would residents from the new development travelling to work in Exeter cope with the lack of public transport in this area?
There would be a need for them to walk along Exhibition Road.
Other issues raised included the use of a greenfield site, density, affordable housing (16 per cent shown, although MDDC policy is 28 per cent), flood plain/drainage issues.
Effect on landscape, effect on wildlife, effect on trees, air quality and night sky – light pollution were also raised. How was the current sewage system expected to cope? Parking for rugby matches and drainage problems for the pitches was also a potential problem.
Also whether the development would just become an extension of Crediton with a change of boundary a few years down the line?
Later in the meeting the Parish Council agreed to formally object to the application, taking into account the comments that had been raised, and submit them to MDDC in time for the closure for submission of comments that had been extended to the end of April. (It is envisaged that the formal comments will be appended to the April Parish Council draft minutes and placed on the council website).
Surprise was expressed, that in view of the infrastructure implications for Crediton, the Town Council had submitted No Objection with no other comments on this application although many of the surrounding villages, it was noted, had submitted comments objecting to the proposal.
As there are DCC elections on May 4, the parish council will not meet again until May 11.