Friday, 20 March 2015

District Council to consider draft Local Plan >>>>> Monday 23rd March >>> the issues

Almost a year ago, the Inspector gave his verdict on the District Council's draft Local Plan:
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... report published today Thurs 3rd April ...

It has taken the District Council some time to produce an amended plan:
Futures Forum: The District Council and the local plan: 'getting on with it'
Futures Forum: District Council publishes housing numbers report
Futures Forum: The District Council: housing numbers and neighbourhood plans: "It is important that we should encourage all our settlements to make themselves sustainable for the sake of generations to come."

Meanwhile, there has been a fair amount of politicking about the local plan:
Futures Forum: The East Devon local plan... and East Devon politicians

Next Monday 23rd March, the District Council's planning committee (the Development Management Cttee) will be meeting to look at the latest draft of the local plan:

There has been various comment.

This is from Cabinet member Cllr Ian Thomas, who includes the District Council's press release:

Local Plan - Special Development Management Committee Meeting - 23rd March 2015 Featured
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 08:05
Written by Ian Thomas

Further progress is being made toward the completion of the East Devon Local Plan. Following the sharing with Members of the SHMA (Strategic Housing Market Assessment) suggested figures for housing growth over the 18 year period between 2013 and 2013, the agenda for a special meeting of the Development Management Committee has just been released... Click here to view the agenda.

The meeting starts at 10.00am at The Knowle, and is open to the press and public.

Text of press release;

"Agenda published for Special Development Management Committee meeting on 23 March 2015

Committee will meet to review proposed policy changes to emerging Local Plan

Progress on the development of East Devon District Council’s Local Plan continues to be made with the publication (on Friday 13 March) of the agenda# for a special meeting of the Development Management Committee (DMC) on 23 March, at which councillors will be asked to approve key proposed changes to the plan before recommending them to full Council at an extraordinary meeting to be held on 26 March.

The main changes being proposed for recommendation are:

• The Local Plan will cover an 18-year period from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2031
• We will be keeping to our objective of maintaining development within the Growth Point and Cranbrook, where we are proposing to increase the total number of new homes to 8,000.

In the new Local Plan we are proposing greater restraint on development in the towns and villages of East Devon, except Clyst St Mary, where it is proposed to allocate 200 new homes on land at and adjacent to Winslade Park, much of which is brownfield. This is in line with the Government’s push to increase brownfield land development. Because East Devon doesn’t have many brownfield sites, we must give priority to opportunities such as this when they arise.

The associated benefits for this particular site in Clyst St Mary include:
- The restoration and conversion of Winslade House, a Grade II* listed building – which is an example of East Devon’s commitment to retain and protect listed buildings, as well as find alternative uses for them
- Conversion and/or redevelopment of redundant office buildings within previously developed land – although a portion of the site will be retained for office use • We are also proposing that 14 large villages (plus the town of Colyton) will have a Built-up Area Boundary. These villages have been identified as most suited in terms of sustainability to accommodate new housing, which means they can offer amenities such as a pub, church, primary school, shops, community hall and places of employment, and have reasonably good public transport. However, we will make no housing or other development allocations for these settlements (though there would be some scope for small scale ‘infill development’ inside the village), in respect of allocation of land for development it will be up to the local community to come forward and identify land for more houses if they want them. These communities will need to produce their own neighbourhood plans, which are considered to be the best means to bring forward allocation sites for housing in villages.

All other villages are recommended not to have a Built-up Area Boundary as there will be a presumption against development other than that required to meet local needs. The policy also provides for new mixed-use market and affordable housing development, as long as the development includes over 66% affordable housing and there is a proven need for this type of housing. These villages would also have to prove that they are reasonably sustainable locations. Within this context they could still have some further development, although it would have to be pursued through a neighbourhood plan.
Safety net

The SHMA identifies a need for 950 new homes per year over the years ahead, this equates to 17,100 over the period from 2013 to 2031. This 950 annual figure does represent an increase on past annual housing targets though it is spread over a differing time period and the additional housing needs are accommodated through (2,000 extra homes in Cranbrook, 900 elsewhere at Growth Point and 200 at Clyst St Mary). Through the extra allocations we are actually proposing to develop around 1,300 more homes over the 18 year period than the objective assessment shows are strictly needed.

By having this extra capacity written into the Local Plan we have flexibility should not all sites come forward and provision will help ensure over the longer term that we maintain our five-year housing land supply in place, which puts us in a much stronger position to defend East Devon against applications for inappropriate and non-sustainable development from developers.
Painstaking process

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council, said: “Every step of the production process of East Devon’s new Local Plan has been painstakingly correct. The plan has to inform the course of East Devon’s development programme over the next 18 years, so it is vital that it is completely sound and able to meet the needs of a growing local population.

“The 950 new homes per year figure for East Devon is based on the number of new dwellings that we predict will be built over the 18-year period. Sites that have planning permission, but which have not yet been built, are therefore included in the total. Anything built prior to 2013 is, however, excluded.

“It was critical to get this figure right, which is why we commissioned not just one, but three surveys to look at job numbers and to advise us of the impact on housing numbers.

“Our towns and villages are attractive and vulnerable to adverse impact from development, so this is why it has been so important to get the detail right. By setting out clearly defined boundaries on appropriate and inappropriate development, we can support and deliver sustainable housing, while protecting our unique assets. Our approach does, as well, support and encourage local communities to bring forward development they see as needed and appropriate through local owned Neighbourhood Plans."

Future timescale of Local Plan

Consultation (April 2015) - Subject to full council on 26 March agreeing the recommendations made by DMC and endorsing additional evidence used to inform changes made to the Local Plan, we will then undertake a six-week public consultation on behalf of the Planning Inspector (likely to take place in April and May 2015) on the proposed plan changes and the evidence that informs those changes.

However, before the consultation can take place, we will seek approval from the inspector on the appropriateness of the consultation. We will also ask him to identify relevant questions to ask in the consultation process.

The responses we receive (which will be public documents) from the consultation will then be passed on to the inspector for his consideration.

Oral hearing sessions (Summer 2015) - subject to the inspector’s availability, he will be asked to reconvene oral hearings as soon as possible.

Draft report (Summer/Autumn 2015) – following the hearing sessions, the inspector will issue a draft report showing proposed modifications

Consultation (Autumn 2015) – public consultation on the main modifications.

Plan adoption (late 2015/early 2016) – subject to main modification consultation, comments made and inspector’s consideration, the Local Plan could be ready for adoption.

The report can be found on the council’s website at:
Development Management Committee agendas - East Devon District Council
And background studies are at:

Trinitymatters.co.uk website of Cllr Ian Thomas EDDC - Local Plan - Special Development Management Committee Meeting - 23rd March 2015

The East Devon Watch blog carries alternative perspectives:


15th March 2015

Gaeron Kayley, leading the Save Clyst St Mary campaign, urges you to read his message:

There has been a significant development regarding the Clyst St Mary planning applications of which you need to be aware.

We have been advised that East Devon District Council, in its amended Local Plan, has now stated that our village is to take an additional 200 new homes (on top of the 95 that we have already agreed to.) Moreover, the Friends Provident and Plymouth Brethren sites are the proposed locations of these new homes.

It is important to note that this news concerns East Devon’s Local Plan – it is not a result of the specific hearings for which we have all battled so hard to object to (these planning applications are still to be heard). This announcement is part of a totally separate decision where, for reasons we are not party to, our village seems to have become the exception to the apparent aim of preserving East Devon villages’ identity; it is believed it is due to our ‘proximity to Exeter’.

As you can imagine, having devoted a large part of our spare time to this campaign for several months, we feel, as you probably do, utterly devastated to hear this shocking news. There remain many questions unanswered and we would, in the longer term, be keen to hear your views regarding the group’s response and possible actions. In the first instance, we desperately need speakers at the meeting at the Council’s headquarters on Monday 23rd March at 10am. It is crucial our voice is heard. Would you be prepared to speak? If so, please respond to this email – or call 01392 969100 – as soon as possible. Anyone that is prepared to speak must have a booking made by mid day with EDDC. We are hoping to arrange a short get together for anyone prepared to speak on Tuesday evening.

To say that we are shocked at this development is an understatement; now, more than ever, we have to stay strong and united as a group and really hope that, despite how recent events appear to have manifested themselves, ultimately justice, transparency and equality shall still prevail.


2 thoughts on “EDDC Revised Plan- directly affects CLYST ST MARY”

Paul F says:
15 Mar 2015 at 5:38pm

I am not sure why this should be a surprise.
In this week’s Exeter Express & Echo, council leader Paul Diviani was reported as saying that the SHMA increase from 750 houses per year to 950 homes per year was only a “modest” increase (conveniently forgetting that until recent years, 300-400 homes were built in a typical year).
But, based on this, EDDC have to add another 200 homes per year to the Local Plan, and it would seem that Clyst St. Mary is low-hanging-fruit as far as that is concerned.

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