PEOPLE moving into new homes on a giant development on the outskirts of Exeter will have a head start when it comes to building their new communities.

Devon County Council’s development management committee has given the go-ahead for a new community centre as part of the South West Exeter development plan.

Cllr Su Aves (Lab, St Sidwells and St James) told the meeting: “This is going to help people get to know each other.”

But not everybody was in favour, with Exminster Parish Council saying the new building was “barn-like” and looked industrial.

A new community centre and GP surgery is planned for land south of Ellacott Road and adjacent to the new Matford Brook Academy.  

Development around the site has been underway for more than two years, with many homes now occupied.

The meeting heard that apart from the parish council’s reservations about the design, no other objections have been received.

Cllr Philip Sanders (Con, Yelverton Rural) said he is concerned there might not be enough car parking, but Cllr David Cox (Lib Dem, Teignmouth) said: “We’ve got to support this.”

Cllr Aves went on: “When new areas of housing are being built, very often things like this drift and drift, and the community doesn’t have the facility.

“Having it in really early here is going to help the community get to know each other.

“I think it would be good if it went ahead.”

The committee voted unanimously to approve the plan subject to a number of conditions.

Guy Henderson