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Old School Site Development

November 2021 - the application will be considered by the Planning Committee.  The developer has applied to not pay a S106 contribution and this is being evaluated by an independent arbitrator.

The Parish Council submitted comments on the application together with comments from our Climate Officer and these can be viewed on MDDC website here  

July 2021 - Planning permission has been submitted and can be viewed on MDDC planning portal at:

Plans for 8 Detached Houses

Provisional plans for the houses can be viewed below - please note these are provision only and subject to change

Plot 1

Plot 2

Plot 3

Plot 4

Plot 5

Plot 6

Plot 7

Plot 8


Notes from meeting held remotely via Zoom on Wednesday 5 May 2021 with Old School Site Developers 

Present:        Cllr Jim Enright (Chair), Andrew Field (site architect), Nick Jenner (Highlife Building Company), Cllr Roger Cashmore, Cllr Damien Hodge, Cllr Steve Parker, Cllr Graham Scopes, Cllr Paul Taylor, Cllr Margaret Squires (DCC), Cllr Graeme Barnell (MDDC), plus 10 members of public and the Parish Clerk 

Cllr Jim Enright welcomed and introduced everyone present and thanked Andrew Field and Nick Jenner for attending. 

Cllr Jim Enright explained that the school had relocated a couple of years ago and the site had been put on the market by DCC and Highlife Building company had become the new owners.

The provisional plans had been shared and were for 8 detached houses.  Cllr Jim Enright noted there were a number of issues with the site including a tree preservation order, closing up the entrance on Sand Down Lane, a new access onto the A377 and the need to maintain access to the electricity substation.

Andrew Field confirmed that the site had come with a number of constraints including the Tree Preservation Order, the need to maintain access to the electricity substation and the requirement to put a junction onto the main road, the location of which had been discussed with DCC.  The houses had been spaced out to ensure that every plot was a good size with a reasonable sized garden.  A site meeting had taken place with representatives from MDDC planning, Cllr Jim Enright and Cllr Graeme Barnell.   Landscape architects and engineers were currently working on plans prior to a the submission of a full planning application.  Ecology and tree surveys had already been carried out.  The developer was keen not to over develop the site and felt that the current plans gave a good compromise and will give a good impression on approach to the village.  The houses would incorporate sustainability factors over and above what is currently required, for example air pumps, triple glazed and mechanical ventilation.  Construction traffic would use the newly constructed entrance.

Cllr Jim Enright explained that there was a need and desire for affordable housing in the parish.  Andrew Field said small developments were required to make a contribution towards affordable housing and this would be decided by planning.

Cllr Graeme Barnell confirmed that under MDDC local plan, the developer submits the costs of the scheme and a contribution is then ringfenced towards affordable housing.

Cllr Margaret Squires asked about the visibility splay onto the A377 and was the new entrance in the 40mph zone?  Andrew Field stated that the entrance had been designed in consultation with DCC and was just within the 30mph zone.

Barney Dunn commented that he was pleased that there would be no access on Sand Down Lane and requested that the current access be made good as soon as possible.  Also could the location of the windows on plot 5 be looked at and possibly amended to avoid overlooking his property? 

Nick Jenner wanted to ensure that the site remained safe and secure.  He would be happy to look at a suggestion for relocating windows.  He agreed that the entrance in Sand Down Lane did need to be tidied up and agreed that this would take place as soon as possible.

Cllr Roger Cashmore explained that the Parish Council had tried to register the site as a community asset so that a Community Land Trust could develop affordable houses in the parish as there was a high demand for these.

John Perkins asked if one of the 4 bedroomed houses could be split into 2 x 2 bed houses in order to provide a more affordable option for local residents? 

Elizabeth Vousden spoke on behalf of the residents of Tytheing Close and noted that there were major problems with the A377 in terms of speed and volume of traffic which made crossing the road dangerous and very difficult, especially for elderly residents.  The residents of the new development would experience the same difficulties when crossing the A377.  Could the A377 be made wider to allow for a pelican crossing?

There was also a concern that visitors might park their cars in Tytheing Close.

Cllr Paul Taylor asked if S106 contributions could be considered for the Boniface Trail?  Nick Jenner stated that he would be happy to consider any requests put to him in writing.

Cllr Margaret Squires noted that parishes should put in infrastructure requests to MDDC so that when contributions become available, they can be considered.

Cllr Jim Enright stated that the Parish Council were looking at setting up a Community Land Trust and it was likely that this project would be reinstated, post covid.

Cllr Graeme Barnell would like the suggestion of smaller dwellings taken forward.  A puffin crossing could not be within 20 meters of a junction.   He suggested that the Parish Council should summaries the concerns from this meeting and for these to be passed to planning.  He would be willing to call the application in so it would be decided by committee rather than officers.

Andrew Field said he had produced some street elevations drawings and sent details of the type of houses.  Cllr Jim Enright said these could be published on the PC website as provisional plans.

Cllr Jim Enright thanked everyone for their time and the meeting closed at 7.45pm


 26 April 2021

The Old School Site is being developed by Hilife Building Ltd, who are a local company.

They are intending to seek Planning Consent for 8 detached houses and a copy of the Plan is attached here 

The entrance off the A377 will be moved further towards Exeter than at present, this is as discussed with Highways. Access will also be maintained to the electricity sub-station. 

The access recently created from Sand Down Lane will not be used. It will form part of the garden of a house and the closure method will be agreed. 

Hilife Building Ltd are looking favourably at funding an Island to help with crossing the A377 and to tidy up the old school path. The use of the path will need discussion/agreement with John Quicke if it is to be used by local residents. 

Hilife Building Ltd, together with the Architect, Andrew Field of Heighway Field Associates of Exeter, will be attending a Community Presentation Event via Zoom to discuss the Plans and answer any questions. 

This is arranged for Wednesday 5th May at 7pm. The zoom link is as follows:

Topic: Old School Development
Time: May 5, 2021 7:00 PM
Meeting ID: 862 8284 3571
If you are unable to attend but would like a question to be raised, please contact the Chairman of Newton St Cyres Parish Council, Jim Enright, at or Tel: 01392 851859
Regards, Jim.
Jim Enright, Chairman,
Newton St Cyres Parish Council