Sunday, 12 April 2015

Affordable housing: the political parties' policies >>>>>> the East Devon Alliance

Even though the East Devon Alliance is not a 'party' as such, as an umbrella organisation for independent candidates in the District, it has made its views clear:

Did you know we now live in ‘Greater Exeter’? (2015)

In a recent communication, Council Leader Paul Diviani states: ‘We are calling the initiative “Greater Exeter, greater Devon” as Exeter [is] in the middle of our group and is clearly the driving force and a recognised brand.’

Do you like living in Greater Exeter? Did you want to?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember seeing this idea discussed anywhere? What are the advantages, disadvantages and (most importantly) the risks? For example:

What are the benefits and risks of the touted “joined-up decision making on planning, housing, resources and infrastructure”?

Greater Exeter? | East Devon Alliance

Feniton (2015/14)

Feniton has made regional and national headlines in the past few years owing to its serious problems with flooding, and attempts by developers to increase massively the size of the village in the face of local opposition and opposition from East Devon District Council.

Feniton has been singled out by no fewer than three developers as the ideal place to build several hundred houses on new housing estates.

Under East Devon District Council’s draft Local Plan, the Council deemed that in the period up to 2026 it would be appropriate for Feniton to host another 35 houses.

Nonetheless developers Wainhomes applied for permission to build 50 houses on high quality arable land at the eastern edge of the village on a field which regularly flooded and which contributed to the village’s flooding problems. Despite local opposition and being turned down by East Devon District Council, the developers won their case on appeal at a Public Inquiry in 2012, and construction on this estate, which opens onto a narrow road wide enough for only one vehicle at a time, is almost complete.

Despite the threat to Feniton’s way of life being highlighted in both 2013 and 2014 by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE)[e] as an example of the failure of England’s planning regulations, the 50 approved Wainhomes houses proved to be the tip of a very large iceberg.

‘We’re not NIMBYs’, say East Devon Alliance members (2015)

Around 100 people rallied to the East Devon Alliance’s (EDA) first members’ meeting at the district council’s Knowle HQ in Sidmouth. Last week, EDA announced it had registered with the Electoral Commission so it could support independent candidates in May’s local elections.

On Saturday, supporters loudly applauded when chairman Paul Arnott lambasted the council leadership as ‘a small cabinet of councillors who exclude opposition voices’. He also accused them of rejecting people’s opinions ‘out of hand’ and added that the group felt independent councillors had been ‘bullied’ at council meetings.

“We are not NIMBYs,” said Mr Arnott. “Many people in East Devon need affordable housing. But we must try to halt the lunacy of current planning rules which is allowing massive over-development on inappropriate sites.” ...



I am pleased to hear that EDA are not NIMBYs. To prove the point perhaps Mr Arnott will provide the Herald with a list of housing developments in East Devon which EDA supports.

Paul Arnott

Hi Nick113. 
As an alliance of Independents you'll appreciate there is no such thing as a little list of approved projects. However, maybe of I answer you directly from personal experience it might help to illustrate where I come from myself as an Independent. 
As a member of the public, I spoke at the DMC and supported the affordable housing provision at Tesco in Seaton. EDDC declined to protect this, and allowed Tesco to tell them that instead of the agreed 25% they would build 0%. Dozens of new affordable homes lost. 
I spoke at Colyton Parish Council as a serving councillor in 200910 to support a contentious affordable housing project on the edge of the town in an "exception site". I have written to all parties concerned to propose and encourage partial development for mixed use at our huge brownfield site in the former Ceramtec factory in Colyton - ignored so far by the town council and the district council. I led the project to build a sustainable pre-school, scout centre, youth club and meeting halls at the new Reece Strawbridge Centre in Colyton - which faciliates hundreds of users of all ages every week. 
As a parish councillor I supported small-scale rezoning of brownfield or unsustainable farm properties for housing use. Is a picture emerging, Nick? I hope so. But what I have always spoke against is massive, unsustainable punts with no regard for environment of need in greenfield sites outside built up area boundaries.

‘We’re not NIMBYs’, say East Devon Alliance members - News - Sidmouth Herald

What we are doing to provide more affordable housing for East Devon (2015)

Providing more affordable housing is among our top priorities and we're working to deliver a significant increase in the number of affordable homes throughout the district.

Our housing strategy team work closely with housing associations, developers and our planning department to maximise the amount of affordable housing being delivered in the district.

Affordable housing in East Devon - East Devon District Council

4. Emerging work on defining an objectively assessed housing number for East Devon (2014)

Minute 18

The Chairman agreed for the Planning Policy Manager’s report to be taken as an urgent item in order to update the Committee Members on ongoing work to establish appropriate housing numbers.

Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NNPF), local plans and policy for housing provision need to be informed and led by an objective housing need assessment. The Local Plan Inspector, in his letter to the Council in March 2014, had highlighted concerns about the plan policy not being informed by an objective assessment and advised that the Council should produce a new Strategic Housing Management Assessment (SHMA)...

The Committee’s attention was drawn to the table (4.3) within the report setting out a demographic breakdown of the projected 2033 population in East Devon using the Devon County Council modelling based on trend data. Noticeably this information showed a significant projected increase in the 65+ age group, against the 2014 level. The modelling also indicated that on a trend based figure only, there would be a need for 11,360 extra homes in East Devon up to 2033, however this was not an objectively assessed housing figure. Two of the key stages in arriving at an objectively assessed housing number for the District were measuring affordable housing need and calculating the future employment and economic growth assumptions/aspirations.

The Planning Policy Manager advised that it was not possible to provide a timetable for completion of the SHMA work. However all the authorities in the Exeter Housing Market Area were working together on supporting work to arrive at objectively assessed housing numbers for the SHMA.

The Committee was invited to comment on the report. During discussion, concern was raised about the slow progress, lack or urgency and absence of a timetable for completion of this critical piece of work and the impact this would have on the Council being able to adopt a sound local plan. In response to a request, the Planning Policy Manager advised that a SHMA update report would be presented to the October Committee meeting. He also commented that he and his colleagues at the other authorities concerned were all well aware of the urgency for the completion of this piece of work, particularly Mid Devon District Council who also required the figures for their local plan.

RESOLVED: that the ongoing work and proposed future work to inform future housing provision be noted and that a further update report be presented to the October Committee meeting.

Development Management Committee minutes for 26 August 2014 - Emerging work on defining an objectively assessed housing number for East Devon - East Devon District Council
Tempers fray over local plan fiasco at EDDC planning committee meeting - Claire Wright.

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