Public Meeting, Alphington Primary School on Saturday 25 February 2012

(this is a condensed version of the notes, and should not be taken as a complete record of the proceedings. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. We welcome any corrections)

 On the platform were: Mr P Croft (of Alphington Forum), Councillor V Newcombe, Councillor R Ruffle, Councillor M Clark, Mr R Short, (Exeter City Council)

In the hall were over 200 members of Alphington Community

Councillor Newcombe asked how many people present knew about the development of 500 houses on the edge of Alphington before the consultation meeting held in the village by Teignbridge Council. Very few people knew about the development. Residents were angry that they had not been consulted properly.

Mr Short then talked about the Alphington proposal for 500 houses on 14 hectares (45 acres) in the area of Shillingford Road, Dawlish Road, both sides of Chudleigh Road and Markham Lane

Mr Short informed those present of the stages that Exeter City Council had gone through with regard to the proposal e.g. Core Strategy 2026, identifying areas around Exeter, Secretary of State etc.

Mr Short admitted that the Council did not hold meetings in Alphington but the plans were on view at the Civic Centre. He also stated that following the consultations they had fulfilled their legal requirements. He did comment that the Inspector expressed her surprise that there had been relatively few comments or objections from Alphington residents. Mr Short then talked about the proposals:

  • 500 homes but these could be reduced as the density had to be appropriate to the location
  • Green low carbon dwellings
  • Transport
  • 10% of the plan contained open spaces
  • Developers to use low carbon rather than conventional housing development
  • Low heating
  • Highways had looked at the extra 2,000 and 500 houses and acknowledged that it was not possible to wholly address the proposal – there would be a package of footways and cycle improvements
  • Community facilities
  • Education – one would expect 125 primary school pupils in the Alphington developmentSchool would be increased from 420 to 630 pupils
  • Doctors’ surgeries were provided on a commercial basis – have liaised with the PCT and local Doctors in the area.
  • There would be some social rented houses and some shared ownership housing
  • Council has a system of community infrastructure – standard rate £100 per square meter of property (£8,000 – £10,000 per dwelling) towards central infrastructure

Councillor Newcombe said that there was a shortage of primary school places in Exeter and unless the Teignbridge proposal went ahead – it included two new Primary Schools and a secondary school – never mind the 125 primary school places – would Exeter consider going ahead without the infrastructure of Teignbridge?

Councillor Newcombe also pointed out that the Highways Officer had said that it was a very challenging site in transport terms. The proposals included:, opening a railway station at Marsh Barton, widening Bridge Road, building a Park and Ride on the Ide Roundabout

Councillor Newcombe informed everyone:

  • the earliest the station could be built at Marsh Barton was 2018 – 2020
  • Teignbridge falls 20% short of what it needed to be built in terms of infrastructure
  • Park and Ride at Marsh Barton would be closed and a new Park and Ride built in the Teignbridge Development

Councillor Margaret Clark said that many residents had approached her about the development around Alphington and she had asked if Exeter City Council could set up a meeting with Devon County Council, Dr Ian Harrison, to look again at the strategy and that meeting would be taking place as soon as possible and she hoped that concerns could be put to that meeting.

Councillor Ruffle said that when he had looked at the Teignbridge Plan both he and Vanessa agreed that Exeter City Council ought to be talking to Teignbridge especially in relation to the park and ride.

Mr Wadham stated that when he was a Councillor the development in Alphington was 25 houses per hectare and the Labour Council passed the proposal that 50 houses per hectare should be built on future development in Alphington.

There were many comments from members of the public and the general consensus was that the people of Alphington had not been consulted by Exeter City Council about the proposed 500 houses on the edge of the village. Residents were also against the plan by Teignbridge Council to build 2,000 houses. The following were comments by residents:

  • Why the Alphington side of the A379?
  • No direct connection between the two sites
  • Why has Teignbridge built so near to Alphington
  • As the land is owned by Devon County Council they have given themselves planning permission.
  • Transport issues – congestion
  • Residents in Alphington had no idea of the proposals
  • Planning Inspector was surprised that there was not much feedback
  • Challenge the strategy in the High Court
  • Why didn’t the Councillors inform residents of what was going on?
  • Is the road structure and transport going to be sort out before the houses are built?
  • What type of houses are going to be built?
  • Congestion around the school already
  • Could there be a Metro link?
  • Surgery cannot cope with an influx of new patients
  • How many developers?
  • The roads in Alphington cannot take an increase in traffic
  • How will employment be increased?
  • There ought to be car-free houses in the development
  • Low carbon houses
  • Too many cars going through Alphington
  • What are we going to get out of it in respect of community facilities?
  • Car free houses were in the Teignbridge plan not Alphington

Mr Croft spoke on behalf of the community group and stated the following:

  •  Teignbridge Development – still at the consultation stage – residents can object and it still could be stopped
  • The 500 houses in Alphington – only way we can stop from planning is to go to the High Court and appeal
  • The forum could control the 500 houses and might be able to influence Teignbridge

Residents were encouraged to get involved and object to the Teignbridge proposals.

Mr Croft ended the meeting by stating that the residents had been let down by their Councillors and they now needed to work for the people of Alphington and not sit back and do nothing. People were needed with particular skills and time to get involved and join the Forum. After thanks, the meeting closed.