Public have opportunity to comment on 27 additional proposed changes to local plan

As part of East Devon District Council’s ongoing commitment to extensive public consultation on its local plan, a new six week consultation, focusing specifically on 27 further proposed changes to the local plan, is now currently in progress.

This autumn consultation is being carried out in response to advice made by East Devon’s  local plan inspector, Mr Thickett, who earlier in October, recommended  that the public and interested parties should be consulted on a series of additional detailed changes proposed by the council. These changes, which amend existing plan wording, have been made as a result of new considered at local plan hearings in July 2015.

Responses from this latest round of consultation, which ends at 12noon on Monday 30 November 2015, will be forwarded directly to the inspector for his consideration. The council hopes that this feedback will enable Mr Thickett to complete his final report on the local plan by the end of 2015, with a view to the local plan being ready for adoption early in 2016.

Specific proposed changes to the plan include:

  • Enhanced protection of the Exe Estuary, the River Axe and the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths, all of which are internationally important wildlife sites
  • Provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGs), which are large open spaces suitable for recreation uses close to Cranbrook and Exmouth that take user pressure away from the Exe and Pebblebed Heaths
  • Technical assessment justifying the number of new homes to be built in East Devon. The planned provision is to provide 18,318 homes, over the period 2013-2031
  • The ongoing development of Cranbrook, including provision for 18.4 hectares of land to be developed for employment use
  • Requirements for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation with potential for provision at Cranbrook (up to 30 pitches are proposed) or elsewhere in East Devon, with a total of 37 pitches across the district as a whole and three plots for travelling showpeople
  • A nutrient management plan for the River Axe to ensure new development does not adversely impact on wildlife interests
  •  Re-evaluation of the Exmouth Masterplan
  • Protecting and resisting the loss of buildings providing community/retail facilities
  • Provision of accessible homes for the elderly and disabled
  • Clarification on how wind turbines can be planned for

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council said:

We hope that the responses from this consultation will give the inspector sufficient and satisfactory information to complete his report and that this will allow the local plan to be formally adopted early in 2016. It has taken time to get our local plan to where it is currently, but it has had to face some demanding policy challenges along the way and it is essential that we get it right.

Once it is adopted, our new local plan will ensure that the outstanding environment of East Devon is conserved and enhanced, while ensuring that new development can provide the homes that people need, as well as places for them to work and social and community facilities to help support them in leading healthy, active and fulfilling lives.

These changes to the local plan, as well as further information about the consultation can be seen on the East Devon District Council web site.

Comments on the 27 further changes can also be submitted by email to: localplan@eastdevon.gov.uk or in writing to: Planning Policy Section, East Devon District Council, Council Offices, Knowle, Sidmouth EX10 8HL.

Members of the public who wish to comment without using a designated form, are asked to specify the proposed change they wish to comment on. No further comments are being sought on previous changes to the plan.