• East Devon housing totals creep higher as plan moves on

    28th April 2012 | News | Claire
  • I have read through the paperwork (quickly) and have made the following observations:

    – The headline number of dwellings for East Devon over the plan period now sits at 14,695.  However, EDDC now claims that following National Planning Policy Framework guidance, windfalls (unplanned developments) must be included in addition to this number. 

    – EDDC is aiming for around 130 ‘windfall’ dwellings a year for 20 years.  This takes the total number of dwellings over the plan period (2006-2026) to 17,295.  A huge number, unsupported by any evidence that I have seen.

    – Proposals for the vast (and un-evidenced) amount of industrial land across the district appear to be unchanged.

    – Ottery St Mary is now allocated 300 houses, following the previous Local Plan Panel meeting in March, where Ottery was finally listened to.  A field opposite the school has been identified as a strategic allocation for a mixed use site for 200 dwellings and two hectares of industrial space.  EDDC is now counting Sainsbury’s as one hectare of employment land.

    Strangely, just 100 dwellings are allocated for the entire factory site, including the old mill and the warehouses.  The entire site is now allocated for housing, following the last Local Plan Panel meeting, where myself and Cllr Roger Giles fought hard to get the entire site allocated for residential use, which was eventually agreed.  However, the new number of dwellings for the whole site totals just three more than previously when the old mill and two nearby car parks only were allocated for housing!

    – Alfington now has its built-up area boundary returned to it (it had been proposed to be removed) and is allocated five dwellings, as five percent of its existing housing stock
    –    Aylesbeare has 50 houses proposed.  This is an error and I have asked for the number to be changed back to five, as agreed earlier this year.
    – The policy protecting high quality agricultural land has been weakened (disappointing and needless)
    – The bad neighbour uses policy has been re-included following its earlier deletion (good news, it is a policy I repeatedly argued should be re-included)
    – The local distinctiveness policy has been strengthened
    – The future job/employment policy has been altered to take into account nearby empty units (something I had argued for repeatedly)
    – The Clyst Valley Regional Park has its protections strengthened
    – A wider range of wildlife sites are now protected in policy (one of my proposals)

    From 8 May (Development Management Committee meeting) there will be a four week consultation on town proposals.  The plan will then be considered at Development Management Committee in July and then ratified at Full Council on 25 July.

    It is proposed that the Local Plan will then be subject to a formal six week consultation period in the summer of 2012 (by the look of it during August). 
    NB. The previous eight week consultation on the Local Plan included the Christmas holiday!

    Comments received will be collated and submitted to the Secretary of State in late 2012 in readiness for examination later in 2013.

    Unfortunately, there is no public speaking allowed at the Development Management Committee meeting on Tuesday 8 May and ward members are only allowed five minutes each to address the committee. 

    I urge people to attend the meeting if they can though, and listen to the debate.  These meetings can be rather enlightening.  It starts at 10am.