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Exminster homes protests

By This is Devon  |  Posted: January 13, 2010

HOMES PLAN: An artist's impression of the proposed development at Milbury Farm, Exminster

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RESIDENTS are battling to ensure a major housing development does not rip the heart  out of their village.
As revealed in the Echo, the  proposed scheme for 300 new  homes on the site at Milbury  Farm, Exminster, is set to go  on display at a special public  exhibition at the village’s  Methodist Church Hall on Friday.
Outline planning permission has already been granted  by the secretary of state on  appeal after plans were initially rejected by Teignbridge  District Council.
It is now in its detailed design phase and villagers say  they are  working hard to get  the best deal for the village  when it is built.
Brian Aird, who lives in  Exminster and heads the Milbury Farm Liaison Group said:  “We don’t just want the developer, Midas, to do what it  wants. We need to make sure it  fits in with the rest of the  village.
 “People are very concerned  about building on a green field  site and feel the village is already big enough to not warrant another 300 homes that  will potentially split the village  in two.
“The developer  is planning a  commercial hub, which would  involve a really big retail shopping development and we are  very concerned that is will undermine the centre and heart  of the village and split it in two.  We would like the developer to  make a financial contribution  to improve existing facilities.”
Mr Aird said villagers also  wanted to see a new bus service   — which the developer is  obliged to fund — not just serving the new development, but  the whole village, and ensure  the right design.
He said: “Three-storey flats  are fine in Exeter. but in a  village they do  not fit terribly  well.
“We are encouraging villagers to attend the exhibition,  think about the issues and tell  Midas how they feel about it.
 “There are some people who  still feel very bitter about it  going ahead, but we have to  accept it and turn it into something as positive as possible.”
County councillor for  Exminster Alan Connett said:  “The site was never identified  for housing use and is a very  large development. In the last  20 years Exminster has had an  amazing amount of new housing and people feel it needs  time to settle as the school is  already packed to capacity.
“There was a lot of local  opposition, but we now appreciate the decision has been  made and people want to work  with Midas to get the best possible scheme for the village.”
Andrew Rowe, Midas Homes  strategic land and planning  manager, who is leading the  project, said: “The exhibition  forms part of our ongoing consultation. It has seen us hold    productive meetings with local  representatives.
 “Before progressing any further, we  wish to understand  the views of the wider community on the detailed plans. I  would urge  those that are interested to attend  on Friday.”
Midas Homes says it will  review the feedback before finalising a planning application to be considered by Teignbridge District Council at a  later date.

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    Caroline, Exminster  |  January 14 2010, 9:25AM

    Matthew makes some very accurate points about house price/salary ratio in the South West and indeed about the Tesco trolley bay! But I wonder if he still thinks people in Exminster are objecting to the Midas development per se? We are not. We are trying to work with the developer to get the best possible outcome for the whole village. This development will bring 300 new homes to Exminster; that could be 500-1000 more residents. It increases the population of Exminster by 25%. Having, as a teenager lived in Exminster, Matthew will be aware than while many good people have tried hard to provide facilities and activities for young people there is still much more than could be done. Midas providing 5 more shops will not get us a multi use games area. 5 new shops will not be a basketball facility. Except in an anti-social way, 5 new shops will not provide a dedicated space for young people. Come on Matthew, if you were a teenager again what would you prefer? Matthew, we want you in Exminster not Exmouth! Please come on Friday and have your say (and please remind your family and friends). Midas Homes Development Exhibition, Friday 15th January, Exminster Methodist Hall. 10-12noon & 2-7pm

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    Matthew, exmouth  |  January 13 2010, 10:13PM

    I recently left Exminster after living there 25 years from childhood. I find it hypercritical that the people of Exminster don¿t want development when so many of its inhabitants are living in developments form less than 15 or 20 years ago. If Midas is willing to help improve infrastructure, then people of Exminster should be glad. Many people can¿t walk to the facilities in the middle of the village, and parking there is almost impossible. It always amuses me that Tesco effectively cut a parking space in half with a trolley bay? Bottom line is villages such as Exminster don¿t belong to the people who live there, they simply use them for a generation or so. To a cynical eye it looks like vain attempts to protect house prices. Having said all that I¿m glad that the villagers have taken a better approach and are now seeking input into what can potentially be a improvement to a village that¿s infrastructure is long been in need of attention. Lastly I¿m in a 2 income household and have a relatively well paid job. I, as a 26 year old Exmintser lad, as it is stands no hope to purchase a house in Exminster. We¿re all aware that people from more affluent areas come to the West Country and purchase homes and in some cases second homes. When our average wage down here is the most detached from local house prices in the UK. I personally don¿t begrudge them moving down here at all, who wouldn¿t want to live in this part of the world. But my first purchase had to be away from Exminster. Development that brings the potential for shared equity & other financial possibilities to purchase a property in my home village (soon to be town) I welcome. Work with it, embrace it and turn it into a real positive for the village.

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