Residents' group criticises scheme
A RESIDENTS' group has said proposed plans for nearly 900 new homes in the North of the city would put an unacceptable strain on roads, schools and health services, writes Political Reporter Keith Rossiter.
Julian Mildren of Seaton Area Residents' Association (SARA) has attacked a scheme which could see 873 houses and flats built on farmland at Seaton for being poorly thought out.
The residents' association is also opposing separate plans to build on a 7.5-acre field that forms a partial green barrier next to Charlton Crescent, to the west of Tavistock Road.
Mr Mildren said the residents had spent years working with the council and developers to come up with a satisfactory solution.
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But he said that key elements of their plans had now been dropped, including proposals for industrial units whose rent could be used to pay for the upkeep of the community park.
He was sceptical that the One Planet Centre – a city farm – would generate enough income.
"It hasn't been thought through," he said. "They are hoping that parents will pay £10 or £15 a time for their children to visit the centre.
"I think this will be left to fund another a white elephant."
And Mr Mildren claimed that no provision was being made for extra schools and health services.
"Local doctors' surgeries don't know about it, and local schools are already jam-packed," he said.
He predicted huge new pressure on Tavistock Road, which is already at capacity during busy times.
Plymouth City Council was hoping that people would use a new Forder Valley link road, Mr Mildren said.
"They won't – because they will want to go to places like B&Q in Derriford," he said.
"SARA has been involved in this project for the past ten years and we're happy with most of it," Mr Mildren said.
"We realise that we have to build more in Plymouth. But let's control what we build on so we don't end up with a city that has no green lungs."
Plymouth City Council was unable to comment. The Herald was unable to reach the developers KDR (Forder Valley) Ltd for a comment.
This application is not the only proposal to spark controversy in the north of Plymouth.
A judgement is still awaited following an inquiry last month into developer Wharfside Regeneration's plans for a small supermarket, shops and 356 homes on the 16.5-acre North West Quadrant, next to Derriford Hospital.
Wharfside defended its plans, after it was refused planning permission by Plymouth City Council, which has earmarked the nearby Seaton Barracks Parade Ground as its preferred site for a district shopping centre.