PLANS for a ‘landmark gateway’ building on the outskirts of Exeter have been turned down after councillors in Teignbridge decided the design was ‘unsavoury’.

Applicant Westcountry Land wants to build a five-storey block of 45 rental apartments off Chudleigh Road at Alphington, the gateway to the vast South West Exeter development area which is already the site of new homes and a new school.

Justin Dodge from the company told members of Teignbridge Council’s planning committee that the building would ‘signify the entrance to this part of Exeter.’

But Cllr Suzanne Sanders (Lib Dem, Chudleigh) said it was ‘austere and overbearing.’

She said: ‘It reminds me of the textile warehouses in Manchester city centre.’

Exminster Parish Council objected, alomg with 80 others, but officers pointed out that permission had already been given for development around the area earmarked for the apartments. 

They said it would be a good quality development which would meet all criteria

However Cllr John Parrott (Lib Dem, Kenn Valley) claimed the block would be ‘dominant’ and seen for miles. 

Cllr Jane Taylor (South Devon Alliance, Kerswell-with-Coombe) said the developers were not making sufficient contribution towards affordable housing.

She said: ‘This is about profit for the developers – nothing more than that,

‘The design is quite unsavoury. It is an eyesore and looks like a multi-storey car park.

‘We are going to ask for a contribution towards affordable housing of £192,000 when we should be asking for £700,000. 

‘We should not be throwing this amount of money into the pockets of developers.

‘Since when has it become our business to see how much profit developers are making? It’s time we made a stand, and this is the day to do it.’

But principal planning officer Ian Perry warned: ‘It’s not about putting money in developers’ pockets, it’s about delivering houses. 

‘This is an allocated site and it is delivering what we expect it to deliver.

‘If we don’t deliver this and other sites, our five-year land supply disappears, and if that happens sites start to come forward and are allowed on appeal in situations we don’t want.'