Dawlish Town Council Members want to highlight the following points when considering further development in and around Dawlish Parish.
We have serious concerns as to whether the infrastructure of the parish is robust enough to cope with the extra people and cars that the proposed sites, and the large number of new open market houses will bring. We do need to increase the number of affordable homes across the district. Teignbridge is a rural community, incomes in rural areas tend to be lower than the regional average which makes it increasingly difficult for people who are employed in support of either agriculture or tourism to obtain a foothold on the housing ladder.
The main link to Newton Abbot and Exeter is by road and the A379 is already suffering day to day congestion at the current level of housing. Many parts of it do not have safe pedestrian access or cycle paths.
There is an hourly bus route, plus a train link situated in the centre of town and would still mean residents walking, cycling, or driving from outlying areas of the Parish to access it.
In addition, excessive ribbon development along the A379 will potentially damage the amenity value of the Dawlish Country Park which could become a recreation ground for the increasing urban area. This would negate much of the original purpose of the Country Park.
The coastal town also has a huge increase of population each holiday period as visitors come to stay within the parish. This imposes on the already stretched resources and infrastructure including water and sewage infrastructure.
Some of the proposed sites are classified as undeveloped coast. It is imperative that these areas are preserved from all further housing development. Firstly, as parts of Dawlish parish are a holiday resort and most employment and local business rely on the ‘tourist pounds’ spent in the area. If we do not offer an attractive area to visit to tourists, how can we attract them to stay or visit the area? The undeveloped coast, coastal path etc, must stay (perhaps as SANGs).
Major improvements to pavements or cycle paths would be required for many of the proposed sites to enable safe pedestrian access from one side of the parish to the other, and safely access the train station.
Bank - the local plan document states that Dawlish has as bank. We do not. The two banks that were in the town now only visit on a weekly basis with mobile vans for 30-minute time slots. This in our opinion is not the same service as “a Bank".
Bus and train services would need to be expanded to encourage more public transport use to support the increase in population
Doctors’ surgery/ Hospital - this was expanded based on the DA2 development in the currently adopted Plan, so further housing / population would also require additional investment and expansion to support the increased population. The status quo would not be feasible.
Schools - increase in development will also necessitate at least one extra primary school and possible extra provision for secondary school places.
The A379 road access means that there is no safe, sustainable journey to school for pupils currently, so expansion would make this situation worse. In addition, Dawlish also does not have adequate nursery provision.
Water, drainage, and Sewage - the number of homes has increased, yet water and waste capacity has not changed. Significant increased capacity for water pressure, drainage and sewage processing would be required.
The further building and development mean greater water runoff. Some of the HELAA sites border the Exe estuary SSSI. The further development and increase of built-up areas could cause critical damage to the SSSI caused by this runoff. This would also impact the other water courses in the area, with flooding being a much more common occurrence.
Dawlish Town Council has declared a Climate Change emergency so is looking to build a sustainable Town and Parish with safe access for pedestrians to use walking and cycling routes. With further housing development, it is the local wildlife that would also suffer. We could not accept this.
Comments on Specific sites:
- It is our opinion that we discount those areas that are not rated as yellow through the HELAA process. This would discount most, or all, of the following sites for housing development:
- Land West of Teignmouth Road. Flagged Amber in HELAA. Undeveloped Coast. Remote from local services.
- Land at Warren Farm. Flagged Amber in HELAA. Sits alongside area of Undeveloped Coast. (Previously considered for a SANGS Coastal Park - perhaps could be considered for further SANGS, community facilities, or other green infrastructure should other sites in same ownership be taken forward?).
- Land at Langdon Farm. Flagged Amber in HELAA process. County Wildlife Site with mitigation area for Cirl Bunting pairs displaced from DA2 over western fields. Remote from local services (although less so at north-eastern fringe of site adjacent to Land at Langdon Hospital, below)
Other Flagged Yellow sites are only deliverable in part (HELAA text in quotes):
- Land at Amity Farm (1 of 2, ref 5h15yx9). “Submitted for consideration for tourism purposes”. Northern part disregarded (“access…landscape…remote”).
- Land at Langdon Hospital. “Approximately 500m west of Shutterton Bridge and adjacent to allocated development, to the northwest of the hospital, becoming almost 1.5km distant from Shutterton Bridge. In considering this site for development, only the two fields that are located to the south of the hospital, closest to the allocated development are considered to have potential”.
- Land off Langdon Road. Much of site is already identified either for housing at DA2 or for Green Infrastructure at DA6. Of the remainder, “North facing slopes and higher elevations which comprise the bulk of the land parcel would be conspicuous from the wider landscape” (as would any access route).
Of the other sites put forward to the north of Dawlish, the distance from local services would leave Sparrow’s Nest an outlier (but it is alongside the A379 on a regular bus route). Of the remainder of the sites in this vicinity, some contain areas of higher ground and are conspicuous in the landscape. Development would therefore need to be handled sensitively with tree planting and other listed mitigation measures such as improved or new sustainable travel corridors, road crossings, green infrastructure (playing fields, community orchard, allotments, etc). The likely increase in ribbon development could also potentially absorb surrounding villages by removing the natural separation and destroy the rural landscape of the Vale of Dawlish.
We would consider brownfield sites other than the development at the vets when it serves the community well where it is. We would suggest this site is removed from the plan.
Housing numbers of up to 7,272 (Totalling all Dawlish coastal/other sites)
Dawlish Town Council considers the above number fundamentally too large. The annual rate of construction of new dwellings should be regulated to a realistic percentage ratio of existing dwellings to ensure a reduced impact on Healthcare, Education, Utilities, and infrastructure, thus, enabling a gradual increase of demand on local services etc, and when necessary remedial action can be implemented to address the increase in demand.
We consider that 10% or less of these housing numbers for sites put forward would be the maximum that infrastructure, climate change and landscape constraints could sustain. This would mean a limit of between 500 - 700 new houses built in the parish during the lifetime of the next local plan period of 2020- 2040.
Excellent submittion but will TDC hide behind "but the goverment have told us to build this number" as per usual.
The DTC submission (see above) says: “Some of the proposed sites are classified as undeveloped coast. It is imperative that these areas are preserved from all further housing development”.
One of these sites with undeveloped coast designation is the land west of Teignmouth Road. It is opposite The Smugglers pub at Holcombe, looking across the A379 in an inland direction up to Oak Hill Cross Road. To the right the land is bounded by the settlements at Southdown Road, Bunting Way, and Shillingate Close and then Oaklands Wood. To its left it partially follows the line of Holcombe Road.
Notwithstanding the fact that this land presently has UC designation (so should be protected from being built on) members of the panel looking at land to be put it forward for consideration for development said the following about it: “"Differing opinions on impact on landscape - between how site should remain as Undeveloped Coast, or developed through a landscape led scheme with no harm."
So........... it seems that even though the site presently has UC designation it doesn’t necessarily follow that it will have UC designation in the emerging Local Plan 2020-2040. Seems it er........... depends on what impact on the landscape any proposed development might have.
Just thought I’d flag up that potential change of status. (and if ‘they’ can change the status of that particular piece of land then ‘they’ can do it to other bits of, so say, protected land as well).
For info: Back at the beginning of June I asked Teignbridge District Council planning department who it was who had sat on the panel deciding which bits of land submitted by landowners for consideration for development by TDC should be put out for consultation and which not. I was told the following:
The panel was comprised of 15 members and the following had representatives sitting on it: AK Architects, Baker Estates, Cavanna Homes, Maze Commercial Property Agency, MV Associates, Place Land, AR Land & Planning, Taylor Wimpey and Teign Housing, plus specialist officers from Devon County Council and Teignbridge DC. Four panel meetings took place between January and March.