Developers will be able to refer to Villages Plan when considering building in larger East Devon villages, town of Colyton and Greendale and Hill Barton business parks

Planning Inspector Beverley Doward’s report on the East Devon Villages Plan has now been received by East Devon District Council. In the report the inspector concludes that the plan is sound, subject to the main modifications that were consulted on earlier this year.

The East Devon Villages Plan sets out planning policy that will help determine planning applications in the larger villages of East Devon (and the town of Colyton), as well as at Greendale and Hill Barton business parks. The primary role of the Villages Plan is to set boundaries (known as built-up area boundaries) around villages, which will help determine where new development, especially new housing, will typically be allowed to be built. 

Outside these boundaries opportunities for development will be far more restricted, which will effectively control the outward expansion of villages into the surrounding countryside. The Villages Plan will sit alongside the adopted East Devon Local Plan and together they will guide and manage development across the district.

The Villages Plan itself has seen various drafts and there have been a number of opportunities for the public to express their views and opinions on the evolving plan. In June 2017 the Plan was submitted for examination by an independent planning inspector, Ms Doward, who was appointed to consider the plan and any objections to it. In November 2017 she heard verbal evidence from those who felt that changes should be made to the plan, following which the inspector has now issued her final report. 

East Devon’s Strategic Planning Committee will consider the report on 26 June 2018 and a recommendation for adoption of the Villages Plan, incorporating some limited modifications set out by the inspector, will go before full Council on 25 July 2018.

Once adopted, the Villages Plan will play a key role in East Devon District Council planning policy.  Anyone wishing to undertake development in and around villages will be able to refer to the Plan to help establish where they might be able to gain planning permission for building work and the council will use the Plan to help determine where permission for development should be granted.

Cllr Paul Diviani, East Devon’s portfolio holder for Strategic Development, said:

“I am delighted that, after a number of years of hard work and following extensive public engagement, the Planning Inspector has found our Villages Plan to be sound. The Plan is a key document that once adopted will sit alongside the Local Plan and help promote the right types of development in the right places for our rural villages and communities while protecting our outstanding countryside assets and environment.”

More information about the Villages Plan can be found on the East Devon website.