Thursday, 12 February 2015

Mid Devon District Council's draft local plan >>>>>>>>>> "a target of 28% of housing to be affordable"

The Vision Group for Sidmouth was set up, largely to consider the East Devon District Council's draft local plan, or, back in 2005:

The original local poll in 2005 confirmed that residents wish to maintain the area's distinctive character while ensuring that future changes will be sustainable and underpinned by a vibrant local economy. We will commend the residents' vision to the Local Development Framework and work to enhance and improve the area's amenities where possible.

Vision Group for Sidmouth - Home
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Original Vision Group Report

Several of the VGS's sister groups in the Transition Town movement have also shown interest in their own local plan process.

For example: Sustainable Crediton:
Sustainable Crediton - Mid Devon Local Plan Consultation
Sustainable Crediton - Economics & Local Trade

It would be intersting, therefore, to compare the two District Councils - both in terms of what their local plans promise, and with regard to the whole process of how it's being put together.

Looking at the web pages of the MDDC, the process looks very straightforward:
Local Plan Review - MidDevon

The local press reports:

Last chance to state views on plans for Mid Devon future before inspector's inquiry

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: February 04, 2015
Maps of the Local Plan proposed submissions can be viewed online
Maps of the Local Plan proposed submissions can be viewed online
THE last chance for the public to make their views known on? Mid Devon’s plan for the future before it is scrutinised by an independent inspector has opened. Mid Devon District Council has published its Local Plan covering the period to 2033, providing the homes, jobs and facilities that will be needed in the years to come.

Following a series of meetings in November and December, the Council has decided against allocating major shopping, leisure and housing development near Junction 27, because of likely impacts on nearby town centres and the difficulties of dealing with the traffic issues which would arise.

There will be development at Cullompton however, which is described as fulfilling a "starring role" in the district’s future. The approach has been fully supported by Cullompton Town Council which recognises the need for new investment in the town, bringing long term traffic and economic benefits. Tiverton, Crediton and the villages will also get new homes and job sites allocated in the plan, but the focus of the development will be on Cullompton.

This will be the third consultation carried out on the plan, which began initially with local landowners invited to come forward with possible sites for consideration for inclusion in the plan.

Previous consultations have been carried out at each stage of the document's evolution but local people are now being asked to make their views known on this final version of the plan, before it is sent to an Independent Planning Inspector for approval and then adoption. All of the evidence, including the Sustainability Appraisal, has been published with the local plan and anyone can make comments on these documents as well.

At the same time as the Local Plan, the Council has agreed its Community Infrastructure Levy, a way to ensure developers make a proportionate contribution towards the schools, roads, leisure facilities and other local infrastructure needed in the area. Parish and Town Councils will receive a proportion of this levy from developments in their area, to spend on their own local priorities.

Councillor Richard Chesterton, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said “The Local Plan Review will take Mid Devon up to 2033 which helps decide on the best places to put new development. We also need to ensure that we are able to provide the infrastructure required. Two consultations have already taken place on the Local Plan Review which has helped shape the document. This is your chance to view and comment on plans for Mid Devon’s future.”

Last chance to state views on plans for Mid Devon future before inspector's inquiry | Tiverton Mid Devon Gazette
Mid Devon Local Plan Review - Strategy published | Planning Resource

The MDDC priorities are striking:

Affordable homes aspirations for Mid Devon strengthened

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: February 11, 2015
THE target for the number of affordable homes Mid Devon District Council wants to see built in towns in the future is to be increased but such a strategy could reduce the amount of money it can secure from developers for infrastructure improvements.

The council has recently published its revised Community Infrastructure Levy draft charging schedule and is asked for the public’s views on its proposed charges with a series of public exhibitions over the next month offering a chance to gauge local reaction.

Affordable homes are exempt from the payments known as CIL, but other types of building require the developer to pay a contribution towards infrastructure costs in the area. The CIL is replacing section 106 payments and unlike the previous system is not negotiated on individual planning applications but is fixed in advance.

The council is proposing a target of 28% of housing to be affordable in urban areas instead of 25% and reducing the CIL charge of £40 per square metre in urban areas instead of £60.

Given the challenge of meeting affordable homes targets, the council argue it has to achieve a balance between securing contributions which enable the right level of infrastructure is built without making proposed schemes unviable.

The council published its revised Community Infrastructure Levy draft charging schedule for consultation on February 9, 2015.

There will be a charge of £100 per square metre for sites which fall below the Local Plan threshhold for the provision of affordable homes and convenience based supermarket and superstores and retail warehousing will also incur a £100 per square metre charge...

The council’s preliminary CIL charging schedule proposed differential rates for residential developments, with lower rates for residential developments that come with renewable energy infrastructure, but this renewable energy policy is to be removed.

Cllr Richard Chesterton, the cabinet member for planning and economic regeneration said: “It will be interesting to see what weight people will wish to put on affordable homes targets as against ensuring we get enough money in to put the infrastructure projects in place that people want for their areas. The CIL system will reduce the haggling that goes on between planning officers and developers each time a major application comes forward. A greater proportion of money will go to town and parish councils so more of the money that is raised for projects in Tiverton for example, will stay in Tiverton and be spent on projects in the town.”

Affordable homes aspirations for Mid Devon strengthened | Tiverton Mid Devon Gazette

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