Mixed views on future development in East Devon

Development at Cranbrook

Development at Cranbrook - Credit: Daniel Clark

Residents across East Devon have been left split over how development should take place and the number and location of new homes to be built in the district. 

Earlier this year, the council went out to consultation on its draft Local Plan Issues and Options report, giving residents the chance to comment on a series of topic-based sections around how future development across East Devon should be planned. 

A report to East Devon District Council (EDDC) Strategic Planning Committee outlines the responses from the consultation, with officers set to bring a detailed feedback report to May’s meeting of the committee. 

But the responses reveal a divide among those who took the time to give their thoughts. 30 per cent said less than the required 928 new houses a year should be built, the same number backed the options for up to 1,200 homes a year. 

Around a third of respondents felt that there should be more of a focus in the ‘West End’ of the district around Cranbrook and the edge of Exeter and around one third wanted the existing strategy to be continued. 

Views were also sought on whether the council should plan for an end date that was well after 2040, whether or not a new town or a ‘second Cranbrook’ is proposed, with 30 per cent saying yes and less than 20 per cent saying that was undesirable. 

On the question of the importance of facilities to people in their community, access to full fibre broadband, paths for walking and cycling, open spaces, healthcare facilities and a convenience store/post office scored highest. 

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On future use of town centres, the strongest support was for community uses. But on preference for locations for future job provision, more home working had the greatest support from those who responded. 

The Strategic Planning Committee, which met on Tuesday (April 27) are recommended to note the initial feedback received in consultation responses to the Local Plan issues and options report. 

Councillors will also be asked to consider how the council engages with developers and site promoters on production of the Local Plan. 

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