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

09:00
Anna Reffell and Lee Atkinson, who are getting married on a cycle from John O'Groats to Lands End.

An Exmouth couple are preparing to tie the knot on a two-wheeled adventure - when they get married during a charity cycle ride.

Read more
07:00
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1231-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Dan Lavery is determined Devon Freewheelers will help save lives – as a Belfast ‘hidden hero’ undoubtedly helped saved wife Shelley’s life in 2005.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
Image of the proposed new building at St Peter's Primary School.

A major expansion is beginning at St Peter’s Primary School this week - as builders move in to begin work on new classrooms.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
Sam Bader

Dad-of-one Sam Bader, 28, who grew up in Ottery St Mary, supports Devon Freewheelers by sponsoring one of the motorbikes, Bravo One.

Read more
Fri, 17:24
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Independent councillors call for extraordinary meeting to debate the office relocation

Read more
Fri, 12:38
Hospiscare's mascot Ella the Owl visits the Archant Exeter office to thank the company for supporting the charity's Twilight Walk fundraising walk at Exmouth in July. Photo: Paul Strange.

Ella the Owl visited the Journal offices on Friday as she gears up for the Twilight Walk on Saturday, July 11.

Read more
Fri, 09:47
Fran Rose with her daughter Lucy in her previous electric wheelchair

A housebound Topsham woman, whose electric wheelchair broke down, is looking for a replacement to allow her to get out and about again.

Read more
Fri, 09:31

The new co-ordinators of the Budleigh Salterton Voluntary Car Service are making an appeal for more drivers to come forward.

Read more
Fri, 09:17
Councillor Maddie Chapman was elected as the new Mayor of Exmouth at the annual meeting of the Exmouth Town Council on Monday evening and is pictured with Town Crier Roger Bourgein. Ref exe 7022-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Brixington’s Maddie Chapman has been elected as Exmouth’s mayor, taking over the mantle from Bill Nash.

Read more
Fri, 07:00
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1256-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Devon Freewheelers founder Daniel Lavery will do whatever it takes to keep his lifeline service on the road so other families can receive the same help and care that saved his wife’s life.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life
Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder