At the meeting on 21 June, The Parish Council resolved to object to any further development in the Parish (over and above that already underway at South West Exeter).
Planning and Highway consultants were engaged to work with Councillors to ensure a robust submission reflecting the views of the Parish Council.
A “drop in” event took place on 24 July that residents attended to view the proposals. The strength of feeling against further development was apparent, especially from those who had felt the impact of development in the Village over the last 25 years.
At the Parish Council meeting on 2 August, the response was approved and was submitted to Teignbridge District Council on 4 August. The response includes background information and comments on each individual site proposed.
The full submission can be downloaded, but the objections are summarised as:
- Teignbridge District Council (TDC) is required by the National Planning Policy Framework to collaborate with Parish Councils before making proposals. This has not happened.
- TDC has chosen to include a ‘buffer’ of 20%, even though it is permitted to choose 5%. Reducing the buffer to 5% reduces the numbers by approximately 3000 and therefore removes the need for any further development in Exminster within the Plan period.
- Exminster Parish Council (EPC) was not consulted to provide or contribute to a housing needs analysis, nor were they consulted for their views on the local issues and constraints that affect development proposals in the Parish e.g., there is no realistic prospect of increasing infrastructure within the Village simply because of space constraints. Neither the GP surgery nor the school can be expanded on their present site and there are no suitable alternative sites available.
- The Parish of Exminster has absorbed a population increase of almost 40% over the past 20 years, with no significant increase in infrastructure (surgery, school, highways, etc). The South West Exeter development (SWED), already accepted by the Parish Council and factored into the Neighbourhood Development Plan, will double the size of the population over the next 5-10 years.
- With ongoing development on this scale in the Parish, a significant period is required to assess and mitigate the impact on the lives of local residents. It is simply not acceptable, at any human level, to plan for the continued blighting of lives through continuous development and loss of amenity, for a further 20 years.
- Within Teignbridge, Exminster Parish has about 3% of the population (before the SWED) and about 4% of the land, yet TDC are proposing it should accept another 16% of the proposed development. There can be no justification for skewing the development proposals towards a single Parish in this way.
- The Exminster West proposal removes a green buffer between Exminster Village and the urban extensions, which makes Exminster a Village. These green areas and country lanes are important to the health and wellbeing of residents, support the local ecology, and their benefits have been highlighted throughout the pandemic.
- All the housing proposals would result in increased traffic within Exminster and the country lanes, where it is inconceivable that improvements could be made to cater for it. Major routes into and out of Exminster, and around the wider area, would be significantly impacted as well.