The following application affecting Topsham was listed by Exeter City Planning Department on 6 October 2016. Letters of comment, objection or support must be made in writing (or by email to planning@exeter.gov.uk) within 21 days of the publication date.

Further consultation in respect of 16/0963/03. Notice of departure from development plan.
Notice under Article 15 (3) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015

Land Bounded by Exeter Road and The Retreat Drive (Heritage Homes Office), Exeter Road, Topsham. Construct a B1 office building, access and associated infrastructure works. 16/0963/03

This listing arises from Exeter City Council’s failure to correctly advertise the office site application as being within the LS1 landscape setting area.

The application by Heritage Homes to build a four-storey office block close to the M5 on Exeter Road (16/0963/03) was considered by the Exeter City Council Planning Committee on 3 October. Despite strong objections by the Society, and some 100 objections by local residents, the Planning Department saw fit to recommend the plans for approval. The Society found this recommendation astonishing.

An excellent detailed presentation by Cllr Margaret Baldwin, a strong supporting speech by Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, and David Burley’s statement on behalf of the Society made the objectors’ case clear. After a lively discussion and some penetrating questioning of Heritage’s representative, the proposal was deferred for presentation to the Design Review Panel of independent Architects and Specialist to view and report on the appropriateness of the proposed building.

Given the one-sided position of the Planning Department, the Society will seek the Design Review Panel’s agreement to hearing a brief account of the Society’s objections. We consider that important to ensure that the Panel’s decision can be seen to be fair and balanced.