Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

LOCAL PLAN VERDICT: More work needed

PUBLISHED: 17:02 03 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:20 04 April 2014

Archant

Whitehall has told district authority bosses that their future planning blueprint is inadequate and more evidence is needed before it can be rubber-stamped.

But East Devon District Council (EDDC) chiefs say they expected that the Local Plan would be returned – for the second time – and are looking to submit it again in the autumn.

In a letter released by the authority at 5pm today (Thursday), Planning Inspector Anthony Thickett revealed he could not yet find it sound as he expects a clear assessment of how the housing need in East Devon will be met.

He is awaiting the results of a longer-term, Devon-wide housing survey – which began around the time the Local Plan was first submitted in August 2013 – which could see East Devon help address a ‘dire shortage’ of housing land in Exeter.

The Local Plan sets out EDDC’s plans for housing, employment and the environment until 2026.

The delay does not mean development will stall, but it will continue against a backdrop of national and regional pressures for new homes.

Mr Thickett has requested more work to be done allocating volumes of housing around the district to get the distribution right.

He also wants more evidence on the need for gypsy and traveller sites, as well as suggested locations.

EDDC leader Paul Diviani said: “This is pretty much what we expected. It is quite common for an inspector to ask for more information before finding a Local Plan to be sound.

“Neighbouring councils in Teignbridge, West Dorset and West Somerset have all had similar delays for similar reasons.

“This is such a complex subject that it is difficult to get all the boxes ticked in one go.

“After spending so long refining our plans and consulting on them, at some point you have to jump in and say, ‘OK – let’s see how close we are to what the Government wants to see’.

“In the circumstances I am relaxed about the extra work we have to do.

“We will now put together an action plan showing what we will be doing and when.

“We hope to go back to the inspector in the autumn with the extra information he needs.

“In the meantime, our planning procedures will carry on as they have done up to now, with proposals looked at on merit and tested for sustainability, as well as taking into account the issue of land supply.

“One of the important things to remember is that in planning terms, East Devon is not an island – and the communities within it cannot be taken in isolation either.

“We are all a part of the Exeter sub-region and as such the future shape of our district is closely coupled with the needs of our neighbours.”

The Local Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspector for the second time in December last year.

A month-long public examination began in February, in which he heard representations from the various towns and villages, and on topics ranging from employment to green space preservation.

Sidmouth’s section seeks to preserve its historic grandeur and its ‘outstanding natural environment’, while providing for new employment sites and accommodating another 150 homes.

Mr Thickett’s full report has not yet been released.

Other News Stories

13 minutes ago

Plans to convert an existing building into permanent warden accommodation at a Salcombe Regis holiday park have been granted on appeal.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30

Dive journalist Mark Taylor Hutchinson gives a first hand account of getting up close with the world’s largest sharks.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Ottery’s neighbourhood police team will welcome a new officer in the coming months but there are no plans ‘at this time’ for a new PCSO.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:06

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is checking that householders who claim a 25 per cent council tax discount for living alone are still entitled to it.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

New pay-and-display parking charges aimed at raising additional revenue for the Manor Pavilion could end up costing it £2,000 if a group leaves after 50 years.

Read more
Saturday, September 23, 2017

A rescue dog who was found on the brink of death in a Romanian street is quickly becoming one of Sidmouth’s most popular residents.

Read more
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sidmouth’s Rotarians will be out in force next week to help raise money to help those hit by natural disasters.

Read more
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Should criminals go to prison as punishment, or should they be punished while they are there?

Read more
Saturday, September 23, 2017

From the archives - here’s the full photo gallery of the 1983 Sidmouth carnival procession.

Read more
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Water utility company bosses are ‘looking at all of the available options’ to improve reliability in Newton Poppleford and end the traffic disruption caused by bursts.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications