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Avoid creating 'disastrous suburb of Newton Abbot' call as major 1,800 homes plan approved

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A major £25m development plan that would transform the western boundaries of Newton Abbot has been approved – but councillors warned that it would be disastrous if they get it wrong
The scheme for 160 hectares of land — known as Houghton Barton – would also deliver 18 hectares of employment land, a new primary school, a new community centre, and a new road connecting the A382 with the A383.
Teignbridge District Council’s planning committee recommended adopted the NA1 framework plan that would see ‘the equivalent of a medium-sized town’ built on the edge of the town – but warned that they must get it right.
HERE IS HOW WE COVERED THE MEETING LIVE
Cllr Jackie Brodie said: “I never agreed that we should be developing this far west of Newton Abbot, but this is a good document and the best that we can do as it has just a huge level of detail.

Cllr Jackie Brodie
“But we must not repeat the mistakes that happened at Hele Park, which has been a catalogue of errors with pavements not linked, no allotments coming forward, the road not being adopted, a close being called a close when it is a through road, and roundabouts in use that shouldn’t be.
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“At Hele Park there is no bus service and you can’t walk into Newton Abbot from it, and this is further west, so it is absolutely vital that we get this right.
“We must not repeat the same errors and this won’t be a sustainable community that we hope it will be unless that we get this right.
“We have to got to get this to work as if it doesn’t all we will have done is create a disastrous suburb for Newton Abbot.”
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The application site cuts across a huge area and stretches from Forches Cross on the A382 Bovey Tracey Road westwards towards the Seale Hayne campus and then south to the former Hele Park Golf Course on the A383 Ashburton Road, where 650 homes are currently being built – and where there have been problems as Cllr Brodie outlined.

The Illustrative Masterplan for the NA1 Houghton Barton development
Following approval by Teignbridge Council planners next Tuesday, it will now go to the council’s ruling Executive committee on December 5 to be adopted and would then act as a blueprint for any future development on the site.
As of yet, no planning application to deliver the proposals has been submitted.
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The framework plan follows a six-week public consultation event earlier in the year.

Houghton Barton consultation event, Highweek Village Hall, Highweek Village, Newton Abbot, Sam Taylor Devon County Council, Cllr Phil Bullivant, and Michelle Luscombe principle planner Teignbridge district council (Image: Andy Styles)
The overall development for the area includes building of more than 1,150 houses, a 420-place primary school, a Houghton Barton ‘high street’ which will include a shopping parade including a foodstore and ground floor retail or commercial uses with upper floor residential or office uses, a neighbourhood square, a multi-purpose community building as part of the neighbourhood hub that could include primary health care provision – which already has planning permission – sustainable transport provision, a new Houghton Barton Common, an onsite large Multi Use Games Area and replacement playing pitches.
A road that connects the A382 with the A383 will also be created, subject to the A382 improvements that have been approved being implemented.
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The vision is that Houghton Barton should be an inspiring and long-term sustainable development that supports both new residents and the wider community of Newton Abbot.
The objectives to achieve this vision are:
• To deliver at least 1150 homes (in addition to the permitted 650 home development at Hele Park) of varying types and tenures, including affordable housing, gypsy and traveller pitches, custom build plots and other specialist forms of housing to meet a diverse range of needs;
• To achieve a range of new employment opportunities across the site, by ensuring flexibility in the scale and types of employment uses proposed;

Houghton Barton from the air
• To provide the highest level of protection for the local Greater Horseshoe Bat population and ensure net gains for other biodiversity by protecting vital green corridors and integrating green spaces effectively throughout the development;
• To create a high quality and locally distinctive design which has active street frontages and soft landscaped edges blending naturally into the surrounding countryside;
• To consolidate the role of the Seale- Hayne campus as a focus of community activity by supporting new opportunities for employment and cultural experiences in and around the site;
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• To create areas of community activity, ensuring that local facilities are within five minutes walking distance of the surrounding community;
• To design a green and walkable development that incorporates attractive open spaces and makes the most of existing lanes and connections, linking these into a new network of footpaths and cycleways;

NA1 Houghton Barton masterplan
• To support a low or zero carbon development by requiring the production of carbon reduction plans and encouraging less use of the private car by integrating community facilities and shops into the development and maximising opportunities for sustainable travel; and
• Development shall be designed to contribute to good place-making and health and wellbeing through high-quality and sustainable design which creates a strong locally-distinctive sense of place that is safe, inclusive and accessible to all. It shall also promote social interaction and encourage and contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle
Source: Devon live