The Urban Extension of Axminster

As residents will be aware, a planned extension to the east of Axminster, incorporating some 650 new homes, employment land and ancillary services was planned to be delivered alongside a relief road.  East Devon District Council applied for, and were successful in obtaining, a £10m grant from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to put towards the building of the relief road, with the other £7m to be funded by the housing developers of the site.  However, the rules regarding the spending of the HIF, overseen by Homes England, were changed, which meant the money changed from a 'grant' to a 'loan'.  This altered the way in which the relief road could be funded, with the additional cost being borne either by East Devon DC or the developers.

East Devon District Council's Strategic Planning Committee met on 9 December 2019 to discuss the issue, and the outcome of that meeting can be read in the following report: EDDC Strategic Planning Committee HIF report.  Should you wish to view the minutes of this committee meeting, please click here: Minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee - 9 December 2019.

If you would like to discuss the content of these further, you can contact your East Devon District Councillors, Ian Hall, Sarah Jackson, or Andrew Moulding.  Alternatively, you can make an appointment to speak to Axminster's Town Clerk, Mr Paul Hayward (contact details above).


The Future of Axminster

As one of the largest, low-density parishes, the challenges for our town are profound, with a need to balance the requirement to provide additional housing for our citizens, with the fact that our existing infrastructure is struggling to keep pace with the demands from our current population. The paradox presents the Town Council with both opportunities but also restrictions on how to help manage the future growth of the town, whilst safeguarding the natural environment, protecting and preserving our historic town centre and ensuring that everyone, whether they are an existing citizen, or someone looking to move to Axminster, has access to a range of services that can meet their day-to-day needs without the need for additional vehicle journeys - be that commuting to work, travelling to other shopping areas or taking their children to school.

In conjunction with Axminster Community Enterprise, the long-term vision for Axminster’s future has commenced and this will shortly be presented in the form of the Neighbourhood Plan, the main tenets of which are:


  • Regenerating the town centre through sensitively-planned schemes for:
    1.1 A north-south relief road – making the town centre more people-friendly & enabling businesses to thrive; & offering environmental & economic benefits both locally & over a larger area
    1.2 Redevelopment of parts of the town centre 
  • Helping people appreciate & enjoy the parish’s natural assets through:
    2.1 The improvement of existing public open space & the creation of more of them
    2.2 The improvement of footpath & cycle networks & riverside access 
  • Encouraging Axminster’s growth through sensitively-planned schemes for:
    3.1 A substantial increase in house building – carefully planned with affordable housing a priority and open space provision safeguarded, will encourage the development of a balanced community both socially & geographically, regular trade for businesses, & a self-sufficient, vital community.
    3.2 Securing a wider range of wealth-creation & employment opportunities, e.g. through attracting business start-ups & relocations. 
  • Increasing the use of public & community transport. 


All in all, Axminster is a great place to live, work and for recreation nestled in the stunning backdrop of the East Devon countryside. We look forward to welcoming you!

 To find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan, please click HERE.

About Axminster

Present Day

The town has all the facilities you would associate with a modern, thriving town; a leisure centre, swimming pool, public transport links, a guildhall, two primary schools and a secondary, two supermarkets and a busy high street comprised of many independent shops, café’s, restaurants and businesses.

Community commitment is strong in Axminster and many worthy volunteers run charitable events and organisations like Axminster Care Service, The Project, HALFF, ARC and the like, which serve and are supported by every member of the community.

We continue to have a street market every Thursday, which showcases the best of local produce, suppliers and traders.


The town dates back to the Celtic times of around 300 BC. The town centre is a protected Conservation area and has many historic buildings still remaining, including the George Hotel which originated as a coaching inn in 1760. Axminster was a key stopping place on the Trafalgar Way, which was the route for relating news of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Most well-known for its carpets, the original Axminster factory was opened in 1755 by Thomas Whitty and manufacturing still continues in the town by the world-renowned Axminster Carpets.


Axminster is a bustling ancient market town in East Devon, with a population of 5,761 residents (2011 census). It is built on a hill, overlooking the River Axe, and benefits from direct links to both Exeter and London on the mainline rail network.

Whilst Axminster is best known for the longstanding brand of Axminster Carpets, and the more recent UK leading supplier of Axminster Power Tools, the town itself has a strategic position within east Devon and is one of the largest parishes with the lowest population in the area.