AS MANY as 13 garages could be torn down to make way for three new council houses in Crediton. 

Company ZedPods, which is working with Mid Devon District Council, would erect the single-storey factory-built homes on Churchill Drive. 

Artist's impression of the new bungalows (ZedPods).jpg
Artist's impression of the new bungalows (ZedPods)

The three bungalows would each have one bedroom, an off-street parking space and a store for two bicycles. 

They will also have triple-glazed windows and doors, water-saving features, roof-mounted solar panels, stone wool insulation and heat exchangers. 

ZedPods said its specialist design creates “ultra-low to net-zero carbon homes with the lowest possible running costs”. 

Two of the homes would be for one person each and the other for two people. The tenancies and maintenance of the homes would be managed by the district council. 

If the plans are greenlit, off-street parking places will be lost – but the Devon County Highway Authority said it does not have any problem with the project. 

Just one of the garages is currently used for regular car parking, two others to store classic or project cars and the rest for storage, a Mid Devon District Council survey found. 

“The increase in parking demand resulting from the development of the site would be limited to a single vehicle,” planning documents say.  

“This is not considered a significant impact. In terms of traffic impact, the increase in vehicle trips associated with the proposed development would be at a very low level, likely well within daily fluctuations on the local network. 

“There are no transport or highway grounds that would prevent the LPA [Local Planning Authority] from recommending approval of the proposed development.” 

Crediton Town Council has pointed out, though, that the proposals would go against a neighbourhood plan policy that prohibits new development if off-street parking is lost – unless there is no need for the parking, or equivalent space can be provided somewhere else. 

"We also note that there is at least one garage that is constantly in use,” the local authority added. 

Arnold Vosper, who lives on Churchill Drive and rents one of the garages, told the Courier he was concerned about not having a guaranteed parking space as he and his wife are disabled. 

There is a disabled space on the road next to their home, but it is not exclusively for their use. 

He also said traffic on the road was “chaos” already. 

Brian Boatfield, another objector, wrote to Mid Devon District Council saying the plans would “make a bad situation even worse”. 

“Churchill Drive is always heavily congested with vehicles, especially during school term time,” he said. 

“The loss of 13 garages would push even more vehicles on to Churchill Drive and surrounding roads.” 

Mid Devon District Council’s planning committee will likely decide whether to grant planning permission when it meets on Wednesday, June 12. 

It will also look at similar plans for batches of new council houses in Cheriton Fitzpaine, Tiverton and Willand on Wednesday, May 8.