Group seeks LDF freeze

AN East Devon campaign group has called for an immediate halt on planning decisions which use the Local Development Framework (LDF), until a final version is agreed. Communities Before Developers (CBD) has made the request following East Devon District Council’s announcement that it is to conduct a review of its draft LDF.

The revised version is expected to contain lower housing numbers and far less employment land provision.The three-month consultation on the document finished at the end of November. It was widely rejected by residents and organisations such as Devon County Council and the RSPB.

DCC has indicated that if the document was not revised, it could be deemed unsound and EDDC could be forced to start the LDF process from scratch, which could take up to three years.

CBD campaigner Claire Wright said: “Now EDDC has publicly rejected the LDF, it surely cannot be possible for planning officers and councillors to use it to approve further applications.

“We will be writing to chief executive Mark Williams seeking assurance that the LDF will be withdrawn and no longer used in determining applications, until the Government Planning Officer has confirmed a revised version.”

CBD is also seeking a review of two planning applications that were approved using the LDF as “emerging policy”.

Campaigner Jonathan Underwood said: “Applications for Cloakham Lawns in Axminster, and Westclyst were approved using the LDF, despite the case planning officer admitting the document carried limited weight. Now EDDC has declared the draft LDF cannot become planning policy, it is clear these applications were approved on spurious grounds and should be revoked.”