Thursday, 3 April 2014

Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... report published today Thurs 3rd April ...

As anticipated:
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... report to be published as of Thurs 3rd April ...
the Inspector has given his opinion on the District Council's draft local plan:

Unfortunately I do not consider that the Local Plan is sound nor at this stage can it be made so by main modifications.


From the Herald:

LOCAL PLAN VERDICT: More work needed

Thursday, April 3, 2014 5:02 PM

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.

LOCAL PLAN VERDICT: More work needed - News - Midweek Herald

The latest comment from the SIN blog:

EDDC totally screws up Local Plan: developers free-for-all to continue indefinitely


We all knew the plan was cobbled together in haste – here is the proof, though no mention of employment land so presumably he is happy for Sidford Fields to go ahead ….

Remember this when we come to vote.

3 Responses to “EDDC totally screws up Local Plan: developers free-for-all to continue indefinitely”

Sara BApril 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

Errr no. E D Alliance members and similar screwed up. By not accepting that houses were needed. If sensible allocations had been agreed in the right place then we would have sustainable development. Now we have a crazy out of control free for all. Stupid and mainly due to organisations like EDA!

Sandra Semple April 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

Er, those were EDDC’s numbers, produced by their officers and councillors AND, had EDDC’s own first LDF Framework Panel (ChIrman Graham Brown) not spent 3 years faffing about visiting EDBF member sites (Chairman Graham Brown) the numbers in a Local Plan that would have made it through the system before the NPPF would have been even lower! Can’t blame EDA for that – it didn’t exist then!

Sara BApril 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

OMG how ridiculous! This has nothing to do with Graham Brown no matter how silly he has been. Look at the way Mike Allen’s LDF panels pandered to the ill informed – no evidence just “how many houses do you want?” It was bound to end up like this and it is a mess which not just EDDC should take responsibility for but all the loony anti development groups who caused mayhem to the process…

EDDC totally screws up Local Plan: developers free-for-all to continue indefinitely | Sidmouth Independent News

And the response from Cllr Claire Wright:

EDDC local plan unsound - back to drawing board while developers make hay
Thursday, 03 April 2014 1 Comment by Claire

In what is a rather depressing letter to read, planning inspector Anthony Thickett has questioned the very foundations on which EDDC’s local plan is based.

Among other things, he has queried the evidence behind the housing numbers (implying they are too low) and the plan period (on the basis he considers it should be extended until 2031).

While residents, councillors and officers are likely to bury their heads in their hands in despair at the thought of the massive delay this will cause, one group of people will be delighted with the planning vacuum we now find ourselves in.

The link and copy to the surprisingly short letter, is pasted below.

I am not sure that things could be much worse.

I have highlighted sentences of particular note...


1. At 05:11 pm on 03th Apr Sandra Semple wrote:

Just remember everyone: if the first EDDC Local Plan group had not spent nearly three years mostly visiting EDBF members sites and if EDBF members had not hijacked the employment land issue we would have had a Local Plan in place before the NPPF and “sustainable development” ever arrived on the scene and we would have had protection from rapacious developers. And now we face months and months of rehashing figures, “consultation” and developer frenzy. Did anyone vote for this?

EDDC local plan unsound - back to drawing board while developers make hay

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