Some readers will be aware of the application by Waddeton Park Ltd for outline planning permission for a phased development of a 60 bed residential care home, 47 assisted living apartments and 55 age restricted dwellings on land adjacent to Topsham Rugby Club. The details of the application may be found on the Exeter City Council website here 14/2066/01.
This proposal has provoked a storm of protest – a total of 451 objections – with no responses in support of the application. These objections included a detailed objection from the Society and an objection by the Trustees of the Topsham Rugby Club. There was also a detailed, anonymous objection submitted as coming from “Concerned Topsham Residents”.
The application has yet to be considered by the Planning Committee.
A new store is proposed by Aldi, located on the south-west side of Exeter Road, between the M5 and Newport Park. The proposal includes parking for 98 cars and retail space of 1,635 sq metres. Details of the application may be seen on the Exeter City Council website here. The proposal has received 150 responses of which 60 were in favour and 90 against. The consultation period has ended. The application has not yet gone before the Planning Committee.
The Society responded to the planning application:
The Society has previously objected to Applications 14/0525/01 and 14/1605/01 land off Exeter Rd and Wessex Close, Topsham (southern gap sites) and land adjacent Exeter Rugby Club (northern gap site) on the basis that both result in development within the “Topsham Gap” which is protected as part of longstanding ECC Landscape Setting policy.
The above application is for land that whilst not within the “Gap” does constitute an extended part of the “green corridor” either side of Exeter Rd from Countess Wear roundabout to Topsham which contributes to the visual separation/transition between the 2 settlements.
The Society is concerned at the potential impact of this type of development on the viability of parts of the retail core of Topsham, an area already under considerable economic pressure, evidenced by vacant premises and churn of operators.
Whilst it believes that the proposal should allow the freeing up of additional land previously allocated for retail within the Newcourt-Dart developments for housing, reducing pressure for further housing allocations within “Gap” lands, it is concerned at the visual impact of the further loss of green edge/urbanisation of the “corridor”.
The proposal is for a building of significant massing and along with near total site coverage of parking/access, will have considerable impact in an area otherwise generally occupied by small scale buildings. The current proposals indicate total loss of hedging/landscape that existed prior to the application was submitted. The society would urge ECC that if it is minded to grant approval, to require proposals to be modified to provide a landscape buffer zone of at least 5m depth at the edge of the site and that the parking area within the site to be broken up/planted with semi-mature trees to mitigate impact/reinforce the “green corridor”.
This area of the website will be used to publicise planning matters which may affect the character of Topsham. Users will, in the near future, be able to post comments on the matters raised here.
Welcome to the new Topsham Society website. We aim to provide up-to-date news about our activities, particularly in relation to our work to defend Topsham’s architectural and environmental heritage.
We welcome comments about the work of the Society, the specific issues raised in our News items, and the website itself. In the first instance, you can contact us through the Membership and Contact Us pages. When the rebuild of the website is completed registered users will be able to comment on our news items.
Please note that user registration is not yet available.