Council seeks help on developing land allocation plans for gypsy and traveller use

East Devon District Council has sent a letter out to all its town and parish councils, as well as landowners, agents, developers, statutory bodies and organisations, asking for their views  on the development plan document (DPD) for Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation.

The replies will help the council determine where 37 new gypsy sites and 23 houses for gypsies and travellers (although these could be met through the general housing stock) will be located, as well as the type and layout of developments. 

Although it has been suggested that some of the need could be met within the Cranbrook expansion areas it is not yet known whether this option is favoured by the Local Plan Inspector and even then, there is additional needs to be met elsewhere in the district.

The council has less than 20 years (the agreed timescale is between 2014-2034) in which to source these pitches – however there is an immediate pressing need to find 22 pitches within the first five years.

Also within the first five years, the council must find at least four to five temporary/emergency stopping places.

Overcrowding of existing sites – particularly around the M5 and A30 on the western side of East Devon – is the cause of the immediate need for additional pitches.

The council is interested in hearing what additional issues should be addressed in the DPD and what factors should be considered. This could include how sites could be provided by the public and private sectors.

Other relevant factors could include establishing principles of development and design standards to promote high quality development. Or how to offset adverse impacts caused by a development. The monitoring of the success and quality of developments is another factor that could be considered.

The gypsy and traveller consultation started on Friday August 7 and will run  until Monday September 21, 2015. Details of the consultation can be found in the letter that was sent out on 5 August, which has been published on the East Devon website.

The leader of East Devon District Council, Councillor Paul Diviani said:

We would be extremely grateful for any input from the local communities in helping us develop the plans and policies that will guide the allocation of land for gypsies and travellers.

The consultation responses will help inform our decisions in meeting targets for pitch provision in East Devon and we will be calling on landowners to submit details of suitable land for our consideration.

How to get involved

More information about the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation DPD can be found in the Development Management Committee papers from the 16 June 2015, which are on the East Devon website.
Comments can then be emailed to localplan@eastdevon.gov.uk with ‘Gypsy and Traveller DPD’ in the subject box or posted to:

Planning Policy Section
East Devon District Council
Knowle
Sidmouth, EX10 8HL

Comments must arrive on or before: Monday September 21, 2015.