Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Green Belts: the Seaton-Colyford 'green wedge'................ "The shortfall in housing land supply is not so severe..."

There has been concern for the future of the 'green wedge' which currently separates the town of Seaton and the village of Colyford:
Futures Forum: Green Belts: the Seaton-Colyford 'green wedge'

An inquiry has dismissed plans to develop this greenfield site:
Appeal dismissed on Seaton wedge | Susie Bond
Futures Forum: " We really need to go back to basics and understand what the NPPF understands by ‘sustainable’."

Green Wedge gives East Devon District Council the edge in planning battle

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

Map showing the Green Wedge area and the development site refused on appeal (with border in red dots)

There was good news for Seaton and Colyford residents this week as a Planning Inspector upheld East Devon District Council’s refusal of permission for 170 homes to be built on part of the “green wedge” between the two settlements.
EDDC’s Development Management Committee had turned down an application from Seaton Park (Devon) Ltd. for a mixed use development that would have included housing, a business development unit, offices, workshops, a play area and sports field with two football pitches and a multi-use games area (MUGA).
The developers appealed against the decision at a planning inquiry held over three days in December 2013. The Inspector, Mr Geoffrey Hill, announced his decision on Monday (20 January). He dismissed the appeal, primarily on the grounds that the green wedge shown in both the existing and new Local Plans should be preserved. 
Referring to the emerging East Devon Local Plan (eEDLP) that is shortly to be examined by a colleague in the Planning Inspectorate, Mr Hill said in his report: “I appreciate that eEDLP is at an early stage in its adoption and its policies and proposals are yet to be examined. It is possible that its polices could be revised or even deleted as a consequence of the examination, but the Green Wedge policy is not a new policy; it has simply been carried forward from the EDLP, and the decision to retain the Green Wedge has been made by democratically elected locally Members."
“The housing shortfall although significant is – arguably - relatively short-term, whereas the erosion of separation between Colyford and Seaton would be permanent, and should not be acceded to lightly... I consider that this indicates that the proposed scheme cannot be regarded as fully meeting all three of The Framework’s (NPPF’s) roles for sustainable development, and that the shortfall in housing land supply is not so severe as to justify overriding these concerns at this stage."
Commenting on EDDC’s successful defence of the refusal to allow this development, Councillor Mrs Helen Parr, Chairman of the Council’s Development Management Committee (DMC), said: “This latest success in a planning matter shows that our determination to protect the landscape of East Devon against the wrong kind of development is both real and stoutly defended. We will continue to weight each application on its merits and we will stand up to developers when we are confident that our case is strong”.

Green Wedge gives East Devon District Council the edge in planning battle | Exeter Express and Echo

Major housing appeal in East Devon dismissed

A major appeal by a developer to build around 170 houses, plus industrial units, near Seaton, has been dismissed.
The planning inspector ruled that EDDC’s lack of five year land supply and out of date local plan, although important issues, did not outweigh the damage to the character of the area that would be caused by allowing the appeal.
Of particular note was a sentence that observed that the housing supply issue had improved in East Devon and was temporary in any case and any construction that took place would be permanent.
The decision is great news because of the need for planning inspectors to be consistent with each other.
EDDC officers had previously recommended approval for the application earlier last year, but this was overturned by councillors on the planning committee. An appeal was quickly lodged by the developer, Seaton Park, which is the same developer who wants to build 32 houses at Acland Park, Feniton and is part of the Feniton triple inquiry.


1. At 04:51 pm on 21th Jan Sandra Semple wrote:
This decision came only after local residents raised thousands of pounds to employ a barrister to fight the appeal after EDDC’s officers recommended approval.
It is clear from the decision notice that officers had not understood or had misinterpreted their own local plans, old and new when making their recommendation.
Thank goodness for people power (and brownie points to the DMC which had the common sense to go against the recommendation).
Claire Wright - Your Independent East Devon District Councillor for Ottery Rural

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