‘FAIRYLAND’ JIBE AT Jn27 PROPOSALS - Scheme for homes, retail and leisure ‘needs a rethink’

This is The West Country: ‘FAIRYLAND’ JIBE AT Jn27 PROPOSALS - Scheme for homes, retail and leisure ‘needs a rethink’ ‘FAIRYLAND’ JIBE AT Jn27 PROPOSALS - Scheme for homes, retail and leisure ‘needs a rethink’

MULTI-MILLION pound plans to create a retail, leisure and tourism centre plus 3,000 homes haven’t been thought through, according to local councillors.

Willand Parish Council is urging the district council and developers to ‘look at the bigger picture’ surrounding the scheme for 230 acres surrounding junction 27 of the M5.

The proposals are part of Mid Devon District Council's local plan until 2033 – but parish councillors in Willand believe the development could have a huge impact locally.

Barry Warren, chairman of planning, lighting and transportation committee at Willand Parish Council, said: “They need to look at the bigger picture here, the development is an idea from a potential developer but they haven’t thought about the knock-on effect on places like Willand and Uffculme.

“The junction 27 development is so vague and changing and lacking in detail at present – it’s a bit like fairyland really.

“The potential development of 3,000 new homes as part of the junction 27 plan is ludicrous. It is double the size of the current Willand and we just haven’t got the infrastructure to deal with that many new people in the area.

“We’re full – the school is at capacity, as are the doctors and other local services. If these proposed houses are built, the problem is going to get worse.

Willand residents are invited to a meeting at the village Main Hall tomorrow (Friday) at 7pm to meet parish, district and county councillors to find out what is proposed.

A representative of Mid Devon District Council planning department will also attend.

After consultation and examination by a planning ionspector, the local plan will be adopted in 2015.

Peter Williams, the district council’s planning team leader, said: “In terms of the new community, we are expecting it to be a selfsufficient community, so it will not infringe on facilities in Willand or Uffculme.

“It is a long-term project, so the infrastructure will be there by the time of the development. This isn’t a project that is starting next year, it is a long-term project and we have got a lot of time to plan for that.”

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