Detailed plans for the first phase of the Ilfracombe’s long-awaited Southern Extension have been unveiled.
Outline plans for up to 750 new homes together with a mixed use centre, extra care housing/facility and primary school on the huge 187-acre site off Old Barnstaple Road were approved back in 2017.
The scheme was initially put forward by Damien Hirst with the homes setting a new standard for environmental living, boasting technology such as photovoltaic panels, concealed wind turbines in the roofs and state-of-the-art insulation, but the artist pulled out of the project in 2016.
Inox Homes (Ilfracombe) Ltd took over the project and has submitted a reserved matters application for phase one of the development, which will see 347 homes built on land east of Old Barnstaple Road.
A statement submitted with the planning application says the development will have two distinct character areas named High Villas and Hilltop Hamlets, will have a centrally located community building to act as a focal point to the new community, while a mixed use hub will also be created in the north western corner, maximising the footfall from residents traveling to the superstore and beyond into Ilfracombe to the north.
The High Villas area with have a lower housing density due to the site’s slope, with streets to diagonally traverse the steep contours to allow users to move through the site with more ease.
The Hilltop Hamlets will be built as ‘clusters’ to help lessen the wind speed, and together with planting, help create micro-climates, and to encourage social interaction in the community, smaller scale incidental areas of public open space should be designed into the scheme
Being less steep will help accommodate higher density housing, and short runs of terraced houses with gardens and off-street parking, as well as semi-detached and some detached houses will provide a variety of accommodation, the statement says.
A tree lined community hub will form a street that links between the main street and sports pitch land to the south of the scheme, while a new community garden to encourage ‘social interaction and community cohesion’ will be included as part of the plans.
The design and access statement for the application said: “In essence, the proposals for South Ilfracombe aim to deliver a robust mixed use, sustainable urban extension which provides a new ‘gateway’ to the town, informed by the rich built and cultural heritage and high quality landscape setting and supported by the overarching regeneration objectives for Ilfracombe, for strategic economic and housing-led regeneration.”