850 new jobs at £400million quarry village of 1,684 homes in Plymouth
THE new 'urban village' planned for Plymstock Quarry will bring investment of about £400million and 850 new construction jobs to Plymouth, councillors have been told, writes Political Reporter Keith Rossiter.
A plan by Persimmon Homes for 1,684 homes in the former Blue Circle quarry north of Billacombe Road won the green light from members of the city council planning committee yesterday.
The scheme will include shops, offices, schools and industrial units.
Stephen Bawtree, agent for the developers, said they hoped to start engineering and remodelling work in about 18 months, with the first houses completed in about three years.
He said an independent assessment by Knight Frank had estimated the value of the investment at about £400million over the three phases of the development, which is expected to take 15 to 20 years to complete.
The work will create about 850 jobs, including apprenticeships.
Planning officer Alan Hartridge said the site, to be known as Morley Park, would be a development with its own heart rather than just a housing estate bolted on to Plymstock.
Mr Hartridge said the developers would have to pay for a bridge over Billacombe Road. Persimmon would also have to contribute £420,000 towards the swimming pool to be built as part of the Sherford new town development.
Because of problems with viability, Persimmon is to be allowed to build only 12.5 per cent affordable housing, with a clawback mechanism which the city hopes will raise the figure to 25 per cent.
A businessman based at Pomphlett Farm Industrial Estate said the development would mean the loss of parking for companies on the estate. Brian Prowse, who said he represented 16 businesses, said the developers were offering 16 parking spaces but that was not enough.
Local Conservative councillor Michael Leaves welcomed the application, the formation of the new country park next to Saltram House, and protection of Billacombe Green. He said it would remove a blackspot on Plymstock. But Mr Leaves called for early highways work to prevent problems on Billacombe Road being caused by what he called "the largest cul-de-sac in the country".
Mr Leaves said the footbridge across Billacombe Road should be provided as soon as possible. Mr Hartridge said it would be needed after about 900 homes had been built.
Mr Leaves said Pomphlett Primary School needed extra funding and protection because it would have to take children the houses built in phase one.
Gerry Rogers, who owns Hilltop House east of the site, objected to plans for a Devon bank with trees to soften the edge of the development. He said it would overshadow his house. Councillors approved a condition that would shorten the bank.
Cllr Wendy Foster (Con, Plymstock Radford), a member of the planning committee, said the Billacombe Road footbridge should be built before any houses because of the danger posed for children going to schools in Plymstock.
The council's highways department said that push-button pedestrian crossings would be provided. The new homes would be served by a new public transport link.
Councillors gave unanimous approval for the outline planning application.