Views sought for housing blueprint

The planning protest in the Knowle, Sidmouth. Ref shs 5750-16-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

The planning protest in the Knowle, Sidmouth. Ref shs 5750-16-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Residents have a chance to give feedback on a blueprint for future development across East Devon in an eight-week consultation launched this week.

People are being asked for their views on the latest revisions to the district council’s draft Local Plan, including the authority’s contention that the region needs 17,100 new homes built by 2031.

Comments are also requested on several specific changes, such as provision for 304 homes in Clyst St Mary.

But there is no mention of the last-minute removal of a five-hectare Sidford site which had been earmarked for use as a business park.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) met last month to debate a raft of changes to the blueprint. The planning inspector tasked with scrutinising the council’s plan, Anthony Thickett, has now come back to the authority with areas he would like to receive public feedback on.

His questions include whether recently published reports on housing need and employment projections provide ‘robust and reliable evidence’ to support the council’s figure of 17,100 new homes for the district until 2031.

Mr Thickett also wants to hear people’s views on the council’s proposed distribution of these new homes, the bulk of which have been earmarked for the western end of the district.

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The consultation ends on June 12, after which point the responses will be collated and sent to the inspector for his consideration.

Members of the public can view the proposed changes and submit feedback through the district council’s website.

Information is also available from EDDC’s Knowle offices, at the town council offices in Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary, and from the libraries in both towns.