Objecting to housing development proposed on farm land above Mincinglake Valley Park

Photo by Francis Hallam, Saturday 20th November

Plans have been submitted to the City Council for a large development of 150 new homes and facilities on farm land next to the barn adjacent to Mincinglake Park. This greenfield site is an important gateway to the Northern Hills and the network of Valley Parks, used and loved by people across the city and a vital nature corridor for wildlife as part of our city’s green skyline.

Thanks to advice from a planning specialist, local groups of residents have been able to confirm this application is contrary to policies in Exeter’s Local Plan and against national planning policies. This site is not allocated in the current Core Strategy and is a greenfield site in a protected area. 

We urge you to join our protest by submitting your personal objection to the City Council

To object please consider using the information below. It is important that you include your own personal introduction. You will need to register on the Exeter Council Planning Portal  and use the reference 21/1291/OUT or you can email your objection directly to case officer  quoting the same planning reference 21/1291/OUT

We believe this application  should be opposed on the grounds of: 

LANDSCAPE – this application represents significant harm to the landscape and is contrary to saved landscape in Local Plan Policy H1 (thanks to Naima Allcock for this update) and policy CP 16 of the Core Strategy which protects the Northern Hills and their link to the Valley Parks. 
The Northern Hills have long been regarded as marking the boundary of the city and have been protected by all previous versions of the Exeter Local Plan. They are a very distinctive feature which are locally designated. Building on these hills will have a significant effect on the wider landscape, visible from other areas of Exeter

PROTECTED SPECIES – this application risks significant harm to protected species such as bats,  dormice and newts, with insufficient  alternative habitats proposed for them contrary to paragraph 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework. The developer has suggested that the detail of providing alternative habitat to later. However there has been insufficient assessment of sites

LOCAL IMPACT– this site provides an important link from Mincinglake to the Northern Hills as part of the unique green landscape in the North of the city. The application represents loss of recreational space and is contrary to policy CP16 of the Core Strategy. In addition, building on the boundary of the park will have a detrimental effect as an “alternative natural greenspace”. Any amount of levy would be of no consequence if the park it is supposed to enhance is seriously harmed

HIGHWAYS – this car-led proposal is some distance from larger shops, schools and other facilities, risking serious harm to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders using the very narrow Stoke Hill Road due to significantly increased numbers of vehicles using the proposed access north of Mincinglake Bridge . This would be contrary to paragraph 112 of the National Planning policy framework

AIR QUALITY– any increase in the number of cars using the Stoke Hill roundabout would have a significant detrimental effect on the health of pedestrians and cyclists as well as residents living close to it, due to increased congestion. This is contrary to policy CP 11 of the Core Strategy

LAND CONTAMINATION – there is clear evidence of contaminated land in the application area. If not dealt with correctly this could lead to contamination of waterways or ground water within the important wildlife area of the Valley Park