Posted: 22.02.21 at 09:40 by Philippa Davies
Why do planning applications attract so much interest when the Local Plan generates so little?
Nearly 20,000 people have registered to comment on planning proposals on East Devon District Council’s website. But under 10 per cent of them have opted to receive information on the Local Plan, which will decide what new developments can be built in the district over the next 20 years, and where they should go.
That means housing developments and affordable housing, business parks, children’s play areas, allotments, places to walk, wind and solar power farms, and much more.
A spokesperson for East Devon District Council said: “You may be asking yourself why we need a new Local Plan when we already have one.
“The current Local Plan is now five years old and we are required by the Government to review the plan every five years and to keep it up to date.
“If we don’t have an up to date plan showing where we want to see development built, then Government policy means that we may have to accept development in locations where it is not wanted or appropriate, in order to meet their housing targets.
“We need to produce a new Local Plan so that we retain control over the future of East Devon and ensure that the needs of the district for new homes, jobs, communities and green spaces are met by building in the right places.
“If you don’t like the decisions that the council makes on planning matters, then now is your chance to change things as we start work on a new Local Plan."
"What do you think about new homes, and how can they be improved? Do you want to see more affordable housing? Do you want to see more office space for small businesses?
"Where do you want new homes to be built? Do you want the council to expand existing towns or do you think another new town like Cranbrook is a good idea - if so, where would you put it?
"So far only one person under the age of 26 has shared their views on the new local plan – this is the perfect opportunity for all groups in the community to tell us what they need and want.”
So far in the consultation:
More than 60 per cent of respondents think the council should identify sites for wind and solar farms.
In terms of new job creation, people have said they want to see more support for entrepreneurs and encouragement for big firms to invest in East Devon.
Residents have shown support for infilling existing housing areas rather than making completely new developments.
The next most supported option is for small-scale developments of under 50 homes on the edges of existing towns and then building new villages.
To have your say on the new East Devon Local Plan, visit the council’s website.
You don’t have to answer every question – you can answer as many or as few as you like.
The consultation runs until March 15.
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