WORK on a 227-home residential development at Farleigh Meadows, Tiverton, has taken a step closer after a deal was agreed to purchase the land.

House builder Taylor Wimpey has clinched a deal to buy an 18-acre site off Rackenford Road on the northern fringes of Tiverton.

Outline planning permission has been granted for 227 new homes, including a percentage of homes for local people through the affordable housing scheme.

The scheme will also include areas of public open space and vehicles will be able to access the development via a new roundabout to be constructed on Rackenford Road.

Andrew Rinaldi, land and planning director for Taylor Wimpey, said: “We are delighted to have exchanged contracts for this prime development site.

“We will be hosting a public exhibition in the near future so that the community can have their say on our emerging scheme and help to influence the final master plan before our detailed planning application is submitted to Mid Devon District Council later this year.”

The land sale is expected to be completed by the end of February.

But Mid Devon councillor Alan Griffiths believes that the development requires a lot more thought - and highlighted the potential increase in the use of the area's local services as main issue.

He said: “Two-hundred-plus homes is a lot and potentially means another 700 or 800 people in the area. We need a broader spectrum of planning, are the local services going to be able to cope with that? Are we trying to run before we can walk?

“There is a lot more thinking left to be done - and it's not the only development in the pipeline.”

Cllr Griffiths has previously raised concerns about the safety of a zebra crossing, which was installed as part of the Farleigh Meadow development.

The date for the public consultation has not yet been announced.

The detailed planning application to Mid Devon District Council will include Taylor Wimpey providing a number of contributions to the local community as part of the Farleigh Meadows development - which are likely to include contributions towards education and public transport.