Why do planning applications attract so much interest when the Local Plan generates so little?

A map showing the boundary of East Devon District Council

A map showing the boundary of East Devon District Council - Credit: East Devon District Council

Less than ten per cent of the nearly 20,000 people registered to comment on planning proposals through the council’s website have opted to receive information on matters such as the new Local Plan. 

People who don’t like the decisions East Devon District Council (EDDC) makes on planning matters have a chance to make changes to the Local Plan which guides how these decisions are made. 

EDDC wants to know its residents’ ideas and what they think would be good for their town centres, local businesses and whether they like the idea of wind and solar farms. 

The consultation closes on March 15. 

So far only one person under the age of 26 has shared their views on the new local plan – the district council said this is the ‘perfect opportunity’ for all groups in the community to tell them what they need and want. 

Councillor Dan Ledger, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for strategic development, said: “You may be asking yourself why we need a new Local Plan when we already have one.  

“The current Local Plan is now five years old and we are required by the government to review the plan every five years and to keep it up to date.  

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“If we don’t have an up-to-date plan showing where we want to see development built then government policy means that we may have to accept development in locations where it is not wanted or appropriate in order to meet their housing targets. 

“We need to produce a new Local Plan so that we retain control over the future of East Devon and ensure that the needs of the district for new homes, jobs, communities and green spaces are met by building in the right places.” 

To take part in the consultation, visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/newlocalplan 

So far in our consultation more than 60 per cent of respondents think the council should identify sites for wind and solar farms. 

Flower and wind power generator on blue sky background.

Flower and wind power generator on blue sky background. - Credit: Somkiat - stock.adobe.com

A solar farm

A solar farm - Credit: East Devon District Council

people have also said they want to see more support for entrepreneurs and encouragement for big firms to invest in East Devon. 

Residents have shown support for infilling existing housing areas rather than making completely new developments. 

The next most supported option is for small scale, under 50 homes, developments on the edges of existing towns and then building new villages. 

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