£80million 400-homes scheme moves a step closer
DEVELOPERS are poised to put in a planning application for a new £80million housing scheme on the edge of Dartmouth.
Ashburton-based Millwood Homes wants to build 405 new homes on 24 acres of land near the historic town and create 4.5 hectares of employment land.
The West Dart project is the largest of the developments pinpointed in the Dartmouth development plan proposals made public two years ago and approved by South Hams District Council.
The company's latest masterplan, which was shown to the community at the fourth public consultation exercise held at the Baptist Church Hall in Townstal, would include improvement to the current park and ride facilities and no development west of Venn Lane.
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It would also include maintenance of hedgerows along Townstal Road and an internal road network designed to allow for bus services to operate.
Planning project manager Mike Smith, from Millwood Homes, said that although it was the fourth public consultation it was still early days and insisted that should all go well, work would not start before the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015.
Mr Smith said that because of the scale of the project, about 50 houses a year would be built depending on demand with the project being completed in six to seven years.
It is possible a doctor's surgery and a dentist could move into the community hub on site.
He said: "We have involved the community throughout the design process. At every stage we have taken their comments onboard and asked if what we have done meets their expectations and what was wanted.
"Feedback has been positive. There are still some people who are not aware of what we are trying to do but the general attitude is positive. It is a very good process."
The masterplan presented to the community would also include the creation of a an urban gateway at a new roundabout, including a green public square and buildings fronting on to Townstal Road, opposite Sainsbury's, with the existing tree belt retained.
The existing park and ride would remain on its present site, and would be improved, and new sport pitches would be created next to old ones, which would be spruced up.
Ecologically sensitive hedges would be protected and incorporated into new open spaces which connect to a network of footpaths around the south of the site.
Company director Dan Salt said the latest plans had been put together as a result of comments made during the previous consultation exercise.
He said that if everything goes according to plan, planning consent would be sought in the New Year with building work likely to go on for two to three years.
Mr Smith said Millwood Homes hopes to present its masterplan to the district council for approval in November and an outline application in the Spring.
He said: "This is a really big scheme so we expect the council to take six months to determine. There will be further consultation at that stage and in the Autumn of 2013 when we hope to submit a detailed application. Again it could take some time to determine."