Consultation will establish criteria that will define BUABs for villages

East Devon District Council has begun consulting with parish and town councils, as well as people who have commented previously on the Local Plan, on the proposed criteria that will guide its definition of Built Up Area Boundaries (BUABs) for 17 East Devon villages.

BUABs provide a dividing line between areas of ‘countryside’ where development can only take place in specified exceptional circumstances and a settlement with a good range of services and facilities  where subject to various criteria development will be permitted. They appear as black lines on maps and are a common form of planning practice.

At present, under the emerging Local Plan strategy, only the towns of Axminster, Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, Honiton, Seaton and Sidmouth have BUABs. If the new Local Plan progresses in its current form, BUABs will also need to be drawn up for the following settlements:

Beer, Broadclyst, Chardstock, Dunkeswell, Clyst St Mary, Colyton, East Budleigh, Feniton, Kilmington, Lympstone, Musbury, Newton Poppleford, Sidbury, Uplyme, West Hill, Whimple and Woodbury.

These settlements have been identified in Strategy 27 of the new East Devon Local Plan (2006-2026) and are known as Strategy 27 settlements. The identification of their boundaries forms part of the East Devon Village Development Plan Document (DPD), which will guide decisions on planning applications. In turn, this ‘Villages Plan’ is an ancillary document that plays a supporting role in the East Devon Local Plan.

The council wants to know what people think about the different criteria that will be used to suggest where these BUABs should be drawn. The proposed general criteria includes a requirement that  boundaries  reflect the existing scale and built forms of a settlement to clearly defined physical features, such as walls, hedges, roads and water courses. A full list of the criteria is included in the consultation tables on the East Devon website.

The consultation period runs from Friday 7th August, and concludes on Monday 21st September and can be found on the East Devon website.

Cllr Andrew Moulding,  Deputy Leader of East Devon District Council:

It is important that communities are being included in the decision making process and that they can have their say on the effects that these defining criteria will have on where developments can take place in their villages. Although we are not seeking to increase levels of development in our rural settlements or to add sites for housing, the consultation gives people the opportunity to have their say on how and where the boundaries are drawn.

Post consultation process

  • The council will review all the consultation responses once they have been received and will use the information to review the proposed criteria.
  • The final list of criteria will be agreed with members of the Development Management Committee (DMC).
  • Council will go through any revisions made by DMC with parish and town councils.
  • Council will seek views of DMC, Cabinet, Overview and full Council on the final criteria for BUABs.
  • A draft East Devon Village DPD will go out to consultation.
  • Following consultation and any resulting changes, the DPD (including the BUAP criteria) will be submitted to Inspector Thickett for his comments.