• Affordable housing debated at West Hill Local Plan meeting

    10th December 2011 | News | Claire
  • Many views were expressed over whether West Hill needed affordable housing, with the 50 residents present divided over whether the village would benefit if more low cost housing was built.

    Myself and Dick Beardsall gave presentations – me on the strategic overview of the Local Plan and what has changed since the discredited Local Development Framework bit the dust.  Dick’s presentation was more specifically about the implications of the development proposed for West Hill.

    Other issues raised were about the numbers of houses that could be built on top of the 35 allocated to the village.  This number does not include dwellings designed for elderly people (10 or more proposed for larger villages in East Devon) nor does it include one-off developments in gardens known as ‘windfalls’ for example. 

    There was a query about whether developments such as the one at Westhayes would have been included in the 35.  I had understood that it would be, but will be checking this out with the planning policy manager at EDDC next week.  I certainly hope that any development larger than two would be included in the overall housing figure for the village.

    There was broad agreement for retention (and non-flexibility) of West Hill’s built-up area boundary, environmental and infrastructure issues.

    We are fortunate to have such a proactive residents association in the village who are committed to finding out people’s views on large developments and the Local Plan.  Dick Beardsall in particular, has worked really hard on the Local Plan, reading numerous drafts, regularly attending Local Plan Panel meetings and speaking on behalf of the community.  My thanks go to the committee for arranging these meetings so that residents have a chance to hear the plans and an opportunity to have their say.

    A further meeting will be held to debate the written response from West Hill Residents Association to the Local Plan, on the evening of Friday 13 January, in the village hall.  I hope to see many of you there.

    I will be blogging very soon about what I see as the good and bad aspects of the new Local Plan.  Watch this space!