Plans for 441 new homes as part of a mixed-use development to the east of the town have been submitted by The Crown Estate.

The outline planning application is part of the masterplan for Axminster’s urban extension, which was approved by district councillors earlier this year to include 850 new homes and a relief road - an increase of 200 homes initially planned in the local plan to enable developers to fund the proposed relief road.

The Crown Estate plans, which includes up to 110 affordable homes, follow applications submitted earlier in the year by Permission Homes for their north and south parcels of land on the Crown Estate site. These included 305 homes and 3.2 hectares of employment land built to the north and 104 homes built to the south.

All applications also seek to build sections of the north-south relief road.

The design and access statement states: “A high quality, responsive and sustainable development is achievable and deliverable. The overarching vision is to deliver a sustainable urban extension to Axminster with a new strategic community hub to provide a heart for future residents and the wider community. Its design will draw on and reflect the local character of the area.”

It also states that the homes ““contribute to housing delivery in Axminster and the district” and the delivery of a component of the north-south relief road “reduces traffic - including HGVs - and improves air quality and amenity in the town centre”.

It also says the delivery of 340 jobs and a new community hub providing new services and facilities will “benefit existing and future residents”.

Work on the site is hoped to start in 2020, however, the viability of the masterplan has been put into question as Homes England’s grant of £10 million for the relief road scheme will now have to be repaid due to policy change.

East Devon District Council will no have to revisit the plan and make it viable, which could impact on the amount of affordable housing, community facilities and employment land included in the scheme.