Developer pushes ahead with plan for 209 new homes on Plymouth factory site
PLANS to build more than 200 new homes on an old factory site would create traffic and crime headaches, say city planners.
But developers Taylor Wimpey have rejected a plea to delay their application. The Exeter-based company is pushing ahead with proposals to build 209 homes, along with shops, offices, restaurants and cafes, drinking establishments and a hot food takeaway. The development would be on the site of the old HellermanTyton factory and the former Merchant Navy industrial unit in Pennycross Close in Plymouth.
The site has a chequered history. It was a greyhound track between 1928 and 1931, and then a speedway track until 1970. In 1972 consent was given to develop it for industrial and warehousing purposes.
It has been vacant since HellermanTyton moved to Plymouth International Medical and Technology Park in August last year.
Planners are advising members of Plymouth's planning committee to reject the application when they meet next Thursday.
The 209 dwellings would include 27 two-bed apartments, 45 two-bed houses, 102 three-bed houses and 35 with four bedrooms. Taylor Wimpey is offering to build 52 affordable houses, or 25 per cent of the total.
Planners said there were too many apartments and too few four-bed houses, and that under city rules there should be at least 30per cent affordable housing, or 63 dwellings. The council's highways authority said the development would add about 5per cent to traffic levels in some of the surrounding roads. The traffic lights at the Honicknowle Lane/Ham Drive junction would need to be improved because of an increase in peak-hour traffic.
The development would also have an impact on Outland Road, which the council has no plans to improve, so planners say the developer should look to reduce the number of car trips it generates.
Improvements would also be needed to the junction of Ham Lane and Langstone Road.
Devon and Cornwall police are against the scheme. They say it borders a "challenging area" for policing, and security should be paramount.
Crime and anti-social behaviour are high in an area of a one-mile radius from the site.
But most of the proposed houses do not have gable end windows so there will be no overlooking of vulnerable areas like roads and public open spaces.
Planners will tell the committee: "It had become clear by November that the scheme still had serious issues to resolve.
"The applicants were invited to withdraw the scheme to allow both sides time to address the issues. They were advised that there was insufficient time, within the statutory 13 weeks planning application period."
Taylor Wimpey declined to withdraw the scheme, and instead made significant changes to the layout and design. Planners say these improve the development but should be part of a fresh planning application.