This is significant because although the south west regional spatial strategy (RSS) was never adopted, it proposed 17,100 houses for East Devon, a massive hike from the 11,400 RSS housing target for the district, that was published just two years previously in 2006.

There has been continuing rows about using this evidence base with which to pin our new housing levels in the new draft EDDC Local Plan.  Planning inspectors have said that in the absence of new data, the RSS data is the most up-to-date.

But this negates the 2011 census data, which appears show evidence of a growth more in line with the 2006 RSS housing target, than the inflated 2008 data.  Both sets of RSS data are based on Office of National Statistics projections.  Seven years later and that data is looking very out-of-date and new adjusted Office of National Statistics data is expected out shortly, based on 2011 census data, which shows actual trends rather than projected trends.

The story in Planning Resource is below and here – http://www.planningresource.co.uk/Environment/article/1176526/pickles-announces-revocation-final-three-regional-plans/ …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has announced that the government will lay orders in Parliament after Easter to officially revoke the three remaining regional strategies.

In a statement issued today, Pickles said that the regional strategies for the West Midlands, South West and North West are to be revoked.

Orders will be laid in Parliament after recess to revoke the strategies, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) statement.

The DCLG said that the orders would also revoke remaining county-level structure policies in the three regions.

But the statement added that the order revoking the South West regional strategy would not revoke the safeguards around the North East Somerset green belt known as “policy S6” of the Somerset and Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan.

Pickles said that the “flawed top-down targets of regional planning … will hang over communities no more”.

He added: “We have secured the abolition of every single strategy. We are committed to decentralising as much power as possible and these important and popular planning reforms will bring a significant shift in power to local people.”

In December 2012, Pickles announced his intention to officially revoke the East Midlands regional plan, more than two years after he announced his intention to abolish the regional plans with immediate effect. It became the first to be formally revoked on 3 January 2013.

The department had carried out a 12-week consultation on its decision to revoke the regional strategies in 2011.

But following a ruling on the interpretation and application of the European strategic environmental assessment directive issued by the European Court of Justice in March 2012, the DCLG produced a set of updated environmental reports and re-consulted on them for each region.

Speaking in July 2012, communities minister Baroness Hanham said: “Following the decision of the ECJ, in the light of planning policy and legislation that have been put in place since January 2012, in light of the earlier consultation responses, and in order to be meticulous in observing the requirements of the directive, the government is now updating the environmental reports and undertaking additional consultation.”