The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 30 July 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to within 21 days of that date.

51 Victoria Road, Topsham. Loft conversion including installation of 1 no. dormer to side roof slope and 1 no. dormer to rear roof slope. 15/0782/03

25 Monmouth Street, Topsham. Demolition of existing single storey extension. Erection of single storey extension with glazed doors to rear elevation with slate roof and 3 no. rooflights. Listed building. 15/0795/07

5 Sunhill Lane, Topsham. Variation of condition 2 of planning permission 14/0925/03 to change cladding material to fibre cement and replace overhanging structure with steel pergola. 15/0752/03

The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 23 July 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to within 21 days of that date.

35 High Street, Topsham. Remove part of ground floor internal wall. Listed building. 15/0691/07

72 Highfield, Clyst Road, Topsham. Installation of window to rear elevation, erection of single storey extension to side elevation and alterations to garage to change from flat roof to pitched roof. 15/0794/03

9 Parkfield Way, Topsham. Prune 3 trees. 15/0780/06

The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 16 July 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to within 21 days of that date.

The Dutch House, 40 Strand, Topsham. External alterations including alterations, replacement or removal of windows and doors on south and east elevations, dormer window, solar panels and rooflights in roof, rebuilding of chimney on north elevation and extension on south elevation and replacement rendering on building. Replacement summerhouse in estuary garden and various exterior landscaping works. 15/0694/03 15/0736/07

Unit 10, Topsham Quay, Strand, Topsham. Change of use from light industrial (Class B1) to a mixed use involving light industrial (Class B1), retail (Class A1) and food and drink (Class A3) relating to production, sale and consumption of meat products and associated external alterations to building including gas bottle store, signage and lighting. 15/0665/03 15/0695/07

4 Sunhill Avenue, Topsham. Proposed wraparound extension, loft conversion including three rooflights on South West roof slope, off road parking and internal alterations. 15/0747/03

At its meeting on 29 June 2015, the Exeter City Planning Committee voted by 6 votes to 5 not to accept the Planning Department’s recommendation to refuse planning permission for the proposed new Aldi store on Exeter Road. Full planning permission was then granted. Details of the planning application and the Committee’s comments are available on the Exeter City Council website.

In an earlier post we referred to the Council’s application for a judicial review of the Planning Inspector’s decision to grant the application to build 120 homes at Home Farm in Pinhoe. That review was completed on 12 June 2015. Exeter City’s application to overturn the Inspector’s decision was dismissed. A central strand of the City’s argument was that new student accommodation provision should be counted in the housing provision requirement. That argument was rejected. The full judgement is available on the BAILII website.

Exeter City Planning Department has released the publication version of its Development Delivery Document for public scrutiny before it is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination before then going to the Secretary of State for approval. The document will:

  • Allocate land for new development.
  • Designate land for protection or safeguarding and identify land where specific policies apply.
  • Contain ‘development management’ policies that will be used to determine whether planning applications submitted to the Council should be granted planning permission.
  • Include a Proposals Map that will show allocations and designations.

The document takes into account the Council’s newly-prepared 2015 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). The SHLAA examines potential development sites and applies standard criteria to determine if the land should be available for housing development.

These are important documents for the future of Topsham’s landscape environment. The Council refused planning permission for development at Home Farm in Pinhoe on landscape setting grounds. That refusal was overturned by a planning inspector on the basis that the current development plan had wrongly included student accommodation in its delivery total. That decision was supported by a recent judicial review. The Council now believes that it has identified sufficient potential housing development to meet the requirement for at least the next 6 years. While the Home Farm case is unlikely to be reopened, the Council’s revised development plans should counter attempts to develop in areas which are excluded as part of the landscape setting of Exeter. These excluded areas in Topsham are:

  • Land to the north-east of Exeter Road: the university sports ground, Broom Park Nurseries, the site adjacent to the rugby ground, and land north-east of Newcourt Rd to the City boundary bounded by Clyst Road, Whitehill Lane and the M5.
  • Land lying east of Clyst Road and Elm Grove Road which has not yet been developed: Highfield Farm and other fields close to the River Clyst
  • Land bounded by Bowling Green Road: May’s Field, the Goat Walk land, and fields currently used for agriculture.

If there is support for protecting open space and Topsham’s “green gap”, as the Council intends, it is important that residents make that support clear. There is a public consultation period and representations may be submitted to the Planning Department. The deadline for representations is 5pm on Monday 31 August 2015. Late comments will not be accepted. All representations received will be made available for public inspection and submitted to the Inspector appointed to conduct the Independent Examination of the Plan.

Full details of the Development Delivery Document and of how to make representations are available on the Council’s website. The SHLAA is also available there. Copies of the publication version of the Development Delivery Document are also available for inspection at the City Council Customer Service Centre in the Civic Centre, and at the following libraries during normal opening hours: Exeter Library, Pinhoe Branch Library, St Thomas Library, and Topsham Branch Library.

You are able to add comments here if you have registered.

An application was made for considerable tree and hedgerow felling and cutting in the area of land next to Wessex close for which outline planning permission to build houses has been granted. The Society deplores this proposal for wanton destruction of the green landscape setting between Topsham and the motorway and has submitted the following objection to Exeter City Planning department:

The Society made representations in respect of the Outline Planning Application 14/0525/01 on the 3.04.14. I subsequently commented 4.04.14 in respect of trees;

6 That the applicants Tree Survey & Constraints Appraisal used to support tree/hedge removal to west/north boundaries, without which general development proposed would not be viable, is questionable.

• The report is based on 2005 British Standard. This has been superseded by BS 5837:2012. The basis of the report is therefore invalid.
• The report is more than 2 years old. Again it is no longer valid and ECC should treat it as unsafe in the formulation of its conclusions.
• The applicant’s approach, in 2.1.2 which suggests Cat C trees (especially where they are subject to TPO’s) where they constrain effective development should be removed, is not in accord with the current standard or good practice and should not be accepted by ECC.
• Trees are classified as B and C grade of 10-20 and 20-40 years life span. No justification for wholesale clearance is offered, other than inconvenience to optimum redevelopment of the land. More importantly, no consideration is given to the landscape significance of the screening/enclosure offered by these trees on a group basis, as is required by BS 5837:2012.

The current application fails to address any of these previous concerns, provides little justification for the proposed works and is not substantiated by any credible survey, in particular one compliant with BS5837:2012. It appears merely a device to clear the way for an upcoming Planning Reserved Matters application.

Whilst the society remains opposed to the principle of the development of this site and the erosion of the Topsham Gap, if development is now to take place, it is essential that it is carried out with the existing landscaped edge retained to visually mitigate the impact of new buildings from the currently rural ambiance of Retreat Drive and the western section of Wessex Close.

The Society would therefore urge Exeter City Council to reject this application and insist on:
1 Retention of all existing tree/hedgerow planting.
2 Reinforcement of existing planting or any replacement considered essential, with new indigenous planting.

The following applications affecting Topsham were listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 2 and 9 July 2015. Letters of objection, comment or support must be made in writing (or by email to within 21 days of the listing date.

2 July

10 Towerfield, Clyst Road, Topsham. Replacement garage. 15/0683/03

9 July

11 Exeter Road, Topsham. Replacement ground floor rear extension. 15/0696/03

6 Grove Hill, Topsham. Proposed side and rear extension. 15/0732/03