The new Local Plan - East Devon District Council
Publication and submission of the Local Plan - East Devon District Council
What is the new local plan?
A new Local Plan for East Devon is in production. It sets out policies and proposals for the development of land in East Devon and has been produced following extensive consultation. The plan was submitted for examination in 2013 and hearing sessions were held in February and March 2014. We have, however been asked to undertake additional work on the plan with a view to a reconvened hearing session or sessions. If ultimately found sound at examination and subsequently adopted, the new plan will supersede the currently adopted Local Plan.
Post-publication changes consultation
On 15 August 2013, the Local Plan inspector (Mr Anthony Thickett BA(Hons) BTP MRTPI Dip RSA) wrote a letter to East Devon District Council indicating that it would be appropriate to consult on the proposed post-publication changes to the Local Plan. Consultation took place for six weeks from Friday 23 August 2013 until 12 noon on Monday 7 October 2013.
A Consultation Feedback Report has been produced by us. To assist users of the plan we have also produced a tracked changes version of the plan that shows the text changes in situ and also shows the change number alongside these. The comments received can be viewed in the Local Plan representation library.
Post-publication changes consultation - East Devon District Council
East Devon District CouncilThe New East Devon Local Plan 2006 to 2026: Proposed Submission Draft of the Plan
Ten days ago, the Express & Echo carried this piece:
Further delays to East Devon District Council’s vital development document?
By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: January 21, 2015
EAST Devon District Council has not confirmed when a public consultation regarding its Local Plan, which was due to start this month, will commence, or why there is a delay.
The document, which sets out where around 15,000 houses could be built in the next decade or so, went back to the drawing board in April when a Government inspector ruled that the Local Plan, was “unsound” with “serious evidential failings”. The inspector asked the council to provide further evidence to support its housing projections. A council spokesperson said the work is being carried out through a Strategic Housing Market Assessment and is nearing completion – but was unable to say when it would be. The SHMA report was expected last summer but the council subsequently said it was expected in November, but the wait continues.
Dr Margaret Hall, secretary of the East Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England is among the district’s residents to warn that as long as the Local Plan is delayed, “our countryside is not safe”.
While the wait for the plan continues, the council can only refer to the Government’s controversial planning guidelines, the National Planning Policy Framework document, which favours sustainable developments. And the council cannot demonstrate it can satisfy the Five Year Land Supply criteria – that it has enough land suitable for the likely demand in houses over the next five years. So, in the meantime, the council has admitted that its ability to determine new housing developments is “limited” – and this is giving developers the upper hand.
Inspector Anthony Thickett ruled that more data was required to ascertain the likely housing demand and back-up the council’s prediction that 15,000 houses are needed by 2026. He called the absence of an up-to-date SHMA a “serious failing”. And he warned that more houses may be necessary. The delay to finalising the plan is set to cost the council a further £12,000, by way of consultants’ studies fees, on top of the 2013/14 inspection budget of £110,000 plus £50,000 in reserve funding.
After consultation on proposed changes occurs, a draft report from the inspector, with any proposed modification, is expected – it had been anticipated by the summer, after which a subsequent consultation period will follow, with the adoption of a plan likely by the end of 2015, although there is no knowing if this desired deadline can now be met.
Further delays to East Devon District Council’s vital development document? | Exeter Express and Echo
This update is from this week's edition of the Express & Echo - reiterating the same point:
Latest Exeter News | Exeter Express and Echo
Meanwhile, there are concerns that the lack of a Local Plan continues to keep East Devon vulnerable to unplanned development:
East Devon MP voices concerns about prospect of Exeter – Exmouth “urban sprawl”
By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: January 21, 2015
WHILE listening to his constituents’ concerns regarding the prospect of over-development, East Devon MP Hugo Swire expressed his own concerns about the prospect of an “urban sprawl” between Exmouth and Exeter. The Cabinet Minister made the comments at a recent public meeting called by Vaughan Rosser, a GP and chairman of the Ebford Residents Association with support from Clyst St George Parish Council, amid fears the two settlements are on the verge of being engulfed by new homes.
With a total of 35 houses in the pipeline seeking approval or with approval, Ebford could increase by 53 per cent. And in Clyst St George, if an appeal pending for 25 houses is upheld, the village would swell by 65 per cent. More than 100 people turned out to raise concerns with the MP and hear what he had to say.
Mr Swire stressed that MPs have no statutory role in planning and cannot adjudicate in local planning matters. But he said he was “extremely sympathetic” to the residents’ concerns and was worried about an “urban sprawl” along the estuary corridor from Exeter to Exmouth.
He also expressed concern at the delay in East Devon District Council securing a Local Plan, which sets out where around 15,000 houses could be built in the next decade.
In April, a Government inspector ruled that the council’s Local Plan, was “unsound” with “serious evidential failings” and more data on likely housing demand was required. Consultation is due to get under way soon and, if all goes according to plan, an adoption of the plan is not likely to happen until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the council can only refer to the Government’s controversial planning guidelines, the National Planning Policy Framework document, which favours sustainable developments.
And the council has admitted that its ability to determine new housing developments is “limited”, it cannot demonstrate it can satisfy the Five Year Land Supply criteria – that it has enough land suitable for the likely demand in houses over the next five years – and this is giving developers the upper hand.
The MP said he would like to see Cranbrook utilised for “much needed” new houses in order for the integrity of existing communities to be preserved. “There is only one main route from Exeter into Exmouth which is already very busy, one secondary school in Exmouth and the primary schools are very full,” he said. We need to think very, very carefully about all this development and I would have thought that with Cranbrook up the road, the answer would be to continue building there.
“Every day that goes by without a Local Plan, is a day too long,” he continued. “Development is always going to be a hugely contentious issue in this part of the world, but there’s a huge shortage of houses, however it’s important that people know what the housing supply is going to be in their areas over the next 15 to 20 year period.
“When the Local Plan was rejected, I argued then for the council to redouble their efforts because there’s the perception that the lack of a Local Plan is a green light for developers and developments are getting through.”
He said Neighbourhood Plans were a vital tool for communities to have their say about development. “These plans are about communities getting together and deciding what sort of development they want , where they want it and what it should look like. It’s important that communities develop these plans because a Local Plan has to take them into account.”
Mr Rosser, added: “We are not trying to block development, we want to use the Neighbourhood Plan process to ensure development is done in a reasonable, coherent and strategic way that’s agreeable to everyone.”
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East Devon MP voices concerns about prospect of Exeter – Exmouth “urban sprawl” | Exeter Express and Echo