LYME Regis would pay the price in overloaded services and overcrowded roads if the development of 350-homes in Uplyme goes ahead – and could reap no benefit at all, say town councillors.
They want to see co-operation between West Dorset District Council and East Devon District Council to make sure a share of any benefits – such as affordable housing and section 106 money – comes to Lyme Regis.
The proposed Hallam Land Management development is on 17 hectares between Gore Lane and Shire Lane off the A3052 in East Devon.
Councillors on the planning committee agreed at their meeting on Tuesday to write to both councils urging them to work together and take into account of the impact on Lyme’s infrastructure and the increased demand for services and making affordable housing accessible across borders.
Councillor Anita Williams said: “For me the issue is very much about where the money would go. I am looking at it very much from a cross-border perspective.
“We know that neither authority is particularly well-placed historically to work cross-border.
“West Dorset have tried as part of the local planning process and the advances were not particularly well received.
“There is a real need to get going now to try to and encourage some cross-border activity.
“It would be awful if the local people in Lyme were not eligible for any social or affordable housing because of the boundary.”
Councillor Chris Clipson, pictured, said: “If we were remotely to consider this one of the priorities would be, what’s in it for Lyme Regis as a whole?
“What’s going to happen to our medical services, our schools, both primary and secondary, what is going to happen to our bus services, our parking?”
Councillor Michaela Ellis said that |she shared |concerns.
She said: “Yes we may well get some affordable housing out of it, but we might well not. They might all go to Devon people. We can’t guarantee any of that affordable housing will come to any Dorset people.”
A group of Uplyme residents were at the meeting to air their concerns about the development.
Resident Allan Kissack said the development would become a new suburb for Lyme Regis and would increase the population by about 25 per cent.
He said: “Clearly any development of this size will put a heavy strain on our infrastructure and services while contributing nothing in council taxes. We can readily imagine the extra problems in traffic and parking as well as the strain on local resources.
“It seems to me completely wrong in principle that East Devon should be able to consider, let alone pass, such an application on this scale while they will pocket all the revenue.”
He urged the town council to ask West Dorset District Council to make a stand and not let “this bombshell creep in under the carpet”.
He said: “If the proposal was allowed to proceed there is no doubt that the charm and character of Lyme Regis would be seriously jeopardised.”