Possible locations for new Devon villages set to be released

The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan area. Picture: LDRS

The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan area. Picture: LDRS - Credit: Archant

Possible locations for more than 57,000 new homes will be revealed next month.

A document, which details sites in East Devon, Mid Devon, Teignbridge and Exeter put forward by landowners for new housing, is due to be published in June.

The list of sites comes as part of the The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) - a masterplan which will affect where people live, work, shop, enjoy leisure and travel for next two decades.

A call for sites for the Greater Exeter area ran from February 27 to April 10, 2017. It provided an opportunity for agents, developers and landowners to promote land for housing or economic development within the Greater Exeter area through the planning process.

More than 700 submissions were received and will be published in the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment as part of the consultation on GESP draft policies and site options, which is currently planned for this summer.

Last week, the Government also revealed plans to set aside £750,000 to plan for new 20,000 homes which will be built as a part of garden villages in East Devon, Mid Devon, Teignbridge and Exeter.

The Minister of State for Housing MP Kit Malthouse said the Government would be investing the cash to fund dedicated project teams, master planning work, and studies to anticipate and offset the impact of housing growth.

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As part of the deal for the South West, the homes will be built in the region by 2040, providing properties for families and new Devon communities.

Mr Malthouse said: "This is fantastic news for Exeter and the surrounding area.

"We are making an urgent push to build more, better, faster, and it is good to see the authorities working together to plan 20,000 much-needed properties built in Devon.

"This project is the next latest step towards meeting our aim of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, in the areas where people need them the most."

The new scheme in Greater Exeter will join the 28 existing garden communities the Government is currently supporting.

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, leader of the Conservative group at Exeter City Council, said: "It is excellent news for the Exeter area.

"I warmly welcome this latest government funding coming into the area as we desperately need more high-quality, family-friendly housing.

"It is now vital that the authorities work closely with developers and the public to ensure the right type of homes are built in the right places, supported by good infrastructure and facilities."

The GESP will be the major strategic blueprint for the area around the Exeter area. It will only look at where housing developments larger than 500 homes could go, with the aim of building 57,000 new properties cross the four council areas.

A document from the GESP, the Local Housing Need Assessment for the Greater Exeter Area, published in November 2018, quotes an annual housing need figure in East Devon of 844. It states that the GESP authorities must plan to deliver at least 2,593 dwellings per annum from the date of the GESP's adoption to 2040.

Also mooted is an indoor sports stadium and concert arena with a capacity of 20,000.

It will look at transport with the aim of increasing the number of trains running and build high-quality cycle routes between Exeter and key towns.

Another big focus will be infrastructure - possibly including new primary and secondary schools, improvements to the A30/A303, new park-and-ride sites and healthcare facilities.

GESP will be a formal statutory document that will provide the overall strategy for housing levels, job creation and employment land to be provided.

The timetable is:

- June, 2019 - Draft policies and site options. This will include draft policies, potential development locations and supporting information. The public will be invited to comment on the contents of the draft GESP.

- November, 2019 - Full draft plan - it will be revised in light of the responses from stage two and further evidence gathering.

- February, 2021 - Proposed submission.

- July, 2021 - Submit plan. - September, 2021 - Examine plan.

- April, 2022 - Adopt plan.

If approved, then the GESP would supersede and sit above the existing local plans, but they would not be scrapped.

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