Home plans in Exeter put on ice due to traffic concerns around Hill Barton Road
PLANS for 750 new homes in Exeter have been put on hold because of uncertainty over how the scheme will cope with the extra traffic.
The homes, 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 and Oberon Roads.
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But 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 have not yet been finalised.
Cllr 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 Cllr 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.
"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 new homes which totalled more than 1,740 in and on the city's eastern edge.
The committee approved plans for 350 new homes at Monkerton which will be linked to a further 580 new homes in East Devon by the Tithebarn link road which connects 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 city councillor, Moira Macdonald and 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 pointed out that the local school and health centre were already over-subscribed.
Mrs Baker also said that there were concerns that Tithebarn Lane and Pinn Lane would become a rat run.
Another application for 62 homes at Sandrock, off Gypsy Hill Lane was also approved.