If adopted, the Plan will help decide the future of Newton Poppleford and Harpford parish in terms of development and planning applications

East Devon District Council is currently consulting on the Neighbourhood Plan for Newton Poppleford and Harpford, which the parish council has submitted to East Devon.

The consultation period began on 18 March 2020, prior to the Government’s Coronavirus lockdown restrictions, and will last for a period of six weeks until 1 May 2020.

We hope that people will appreciate that it is the council’s duty to conclude the legal process in the best and safest way possible, while respecting the guidance that has been put in place to keep people safe and prevent Covid-19 spreading so quickly. We would like to thank people for their understanding during this difficult time.

During the consultation period, the council is formally required to publicise the plan, before it goes to an independent examiner, who will inspect the plan against a series of ‘basic conditions’ that the plan must meet.  

Should the examiner conclude that the plan meets the basic conditions it will proceed to a local referendum where, should more than half of the electors in the local area vote in favour of the plan, it will become part of the statutory development plan for East Devon.  

The council is therefore inviting comments on its content, which will be used to help inform future decisions about development and planning applications in the parish.

The Plan sets out policies for the future of Newton Poppleford and the large rural parish of Harpford (including the villages of Venn Ottery and Southerton), which sits within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Any representations received will be made available on the East Devon website as well as being sent to the examiner for consideration.

The Newton Poppleford and Harpford Neighbourhood Plan has been in production since 2014 and covers a variety of topics including Transport, Future Development, Environment, Health and Care, Education, Employment, and Social Leisure and Communications.

The plan and its supporting documents, plus a comments form, are available on the East Devon website. Anyone wanting to make comments is encouraged to complete the form and send it by email to: planningpolicy@eastdevon.gov.uk. This is our preferred method of contact while we are in the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, comments can also be sent in writing, and should be sent to both:

  • Angela King, Planning Policy Section, East Devon District Council, Blackdown House, Border Road, Honiton, EX14 1EJ and
  • Paul Haywood (Clerk), Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council, Plumtree, Old North Street, Axminster, EX13 5QF.

If you are sending your comments by post, please could you also call 01395 571740 to notify the council of your submission.

The Newton Poppleford Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed online.

Councillor Bruce De Saram, the Lead member for Neighbourhood Planning, said:

It is very encouraging to see that the people of Newton Poppleford and Harpford have worked very hard to produce a Neighbourhood Plan, which reflects their desire to grow in a sustainable and appropriate manner. An example of this is that looking to the future, residents of Newton Poppleford and Harpford were mindful of the national drive for development and the needs of future generations to live independently. In fact many comments on the Neighbourhood Plan Community Survey referred to the need for the village to grow incrementally in small developments and not be swamped by large-scale developments.

Looking at the key issue of transport, the Plan also recognises that the car is the main form of transport in and out of the village. Therefore within the villages, footpaths are valued but many of these are unpaved and unlit. There is strong support for improved walking provision throughout the village, and for a cycle path to Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth to improve health and safety.

Finally it’s pleasing to see that all the evidence suggests that this Neighbourhood Plan will seek to ensure that Newton Poppleford and Harpford can continue to be a thriving and vibrant village community. The Plan will protect and enhance its distinctive character, rich heritage and its AONB setting, and ensure that it should become an even better place for young and old in which to live.