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Housing project delayed by 'rat run' fears

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

House building
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Concerns about extra traffic have put plans for 750 homes in Exeter on hold.

The houses, along with open space and a site for a new railway halt, are destined for land around the Met Office.

Members of the city's planning committee deferred a decision because they felt it was unclear how existing roads would handle a big increase in the number of cars.

The main access to the site is off Hill Barton Road, but there would eventually be a route connected through to Fitzroy Road and Oberon Road.

It became clear at the meeting, which was attended by Jamie Hulland, Devon's transportation studies manager, that details of the main junction's access had not yet been finalised.

Councillor Rosie Denham said: "While I have confidence in the county council's assessment of 400 new homes being supported by that access, we are not being asked to consider much detail.

"We don't know what it is going to be and I don't think it is appropriate for me to support this application because of the lack of this information."

Fellow committee member Councillor Keith Owen said: "We are being asked to approve a blank sheet of paper and I would feel very unhappy to support this."

Wilton Way resident Des Furness said: "It just paints a more worrying picture for me that in preparation for an important and crucial meeting they (the building developers) did not have all the relevant and important information to hand.

He added: "How the scheme interacts with the existing highway infrastructure is, I would have thought, a major concern for any developer."

The planning application was one of several, for a total of more than 1,740 homes, in and on the city's eastern edge.

The committee approved plans for 350 homes at Monkerton – a development which will be linked to a further 580 new builds in East Devon by the Tithebarn link road connecting Cumberland Way to the old A30 via Tithebarn Bridge.

East Devon District Council is likely to discuss their share of the homes in January.

Concerns about possible flooding of the site were raised at the meeting by Pinhoe's city councillor Moira Macdonald.

Local resident Jane Baker told the meeting that this number of houses would have a huge impact on the character and neighbourhood of Pinhoe and she pointed out that the nearby school and health centre were already over-subscribed.

Mrs Baker added that there were concerns that Tithebarn Lane and Pinn Lane would become a rat run.

Another application for a 62-house development at Sandrock, off Gypsy Hill Lane, was also approved.

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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  • dummyboy  |  December 11 2012, 9:44AM

    and yet they were happy to make a rat run past a school for john lewis!!!

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  • nick113  |  December 09 2012, 8:38PM

    What exactly is a Rat Run? It seems to be a road which the people who live nearby are happy to use, but they don't want anyone else driving down it.

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