LOCAL PLAN VERDICT: More work needed

17:02 03 April 2014

Archant

Whitehall has told district authority bosses that their future planning blueprint is inadequate and more evidence is needed before it can be rubber-stamped.

But East Devon District Council (EDDC) chiefs say they expected that the Local Plan would be returned – for the second time – and are looking to submit it again in the autumn.

In a letter released by the authority at 5pm today (Thursday), Planning Inspector Anthony Thickett revealed he could not yet find it sound as he expects a clear assessment of how the housing need in East Devon will be met.

He is awaiting the results of a longer-term, Devon-wide housing survey – which began around the time the Local Plan was first submitted in August 2013 – which could see East Devon help address a ‘dire shortage’ of housing land in Exeter.

The Local Plan sets out EDDC’s plans for housing, employment and the environment until 2026.

The delay does not mean development will stall, but it will continue against a backdrop of national and regional pressures for new homes.

Mr Thickett has requested more work to be done allocating volumes of housing around the district to get the distribution right.

He also wants more evidence on the need for gypsy and traveller sites, as well as suggested locations.

EDDC leader Paul Diviani said: “This is pretty much what we expected. It is quite common for an inspector to ask for more information before finding a Local Plan to be sound.

“Neighbouring councils in Teignbridge, West Dorset and West Somerset have all had similar delays for similar reasons.

“This is such a complex subject that it is difficult to get all the boxes ticked in one go.

“After spending so long refining our plans and consulting on them, at some point you have to jump in and say, ‘OK – let’s see how close we are to what the Government wants to see’.

“In the circumstances I am relaxed about the extra work we have to do.

“We will now put together an action plan showing what we will be doing and when.

“We hope to go back to the inspector in the autumn with the extra information he needs.

“In the meantime, our planning procedures will carry on as they have done up to now, with proposals looked at on merit and tested for sustainability, as well as taking into account the issue of land supply.

“One of the important things to remember is that in planning terms, East Devon is not an island – and the communities within it cannot be taken in isolation either.

“We are all a part of the Exeter sub-region and as such the future shape of our district is closely coupled with the needs of our neighbours.”

The Local Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspector for the second time in December last year.

A month-long public examination began in February, in which he heard representations from the various towns and villages, and on topics ranging from employment to green space preservation.

Sidmouth’s section seeks to preserve its historic grandeur and its ‘outstanding natural environment’, while providing for new employment sites and accommodating another 150 homes.

Mr Thickett’s full report has not yet been released.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 14:41

It’s ‘Flashback Friday’ and we found these pictures of Topsham station in the Exmouth Journal archives.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Mindless vandals sprayed graffiti on a live animal on a farm near Exmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:02

Devon saw an increase in Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants during December – with East Devon recording the highest increase of any district.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

A family has publicly thanked Devon Air Ambulance paramedics for saving their eight-year-old son’s life after his scooter tore his windpipe in a freak accident on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Thu, 15:46

The number of recorded crimes in three out of four Exmouth neighbourhoods rose year-on-year in 2016, according to figures released by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Read more
Thu, 11:26

County planners have been asked to approve the long-awaited completion of Dinan Way at a meeting next Wednesday (January 25).

Read more
Thu, 06:30

The amount claimed in expenses by East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire during the last financial year has been revealed.

Read more
Wed, 13:52

This stunning view will become the outdoor ‘office’ for the new East Devon Pebblebed Heaths’ conservation manager

Read more
Wed, 12:30

The hunt is on to recruit two new local youths to sign up for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) course.

Read more
Wed, 10:28

An ‘unprecedented’ disaster that has left a lasting legacy in East Devon

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications