East Devon invites views on future development

Beer High Street (courtesy: EDDC/LDRS)

Only one person under 26 has responded

If you don’t like the decisions that the council makes on planning matters then now is your chance to change things, say East Devon District Council, as they start work on a new local plan.

Nearly 20,000 people have registered to comment on planning proposals, but so far, only one person under the age of 26 has shared their views on the new local plan. The council wants everyone to tell them what they need and want from future developments.

More than 60 per cent of respondents so far think the council should identify sites for wind and solar farms, while in terms of new job creation, people want to see more support for entrepreneurs and encouragement for big firms to invest in East Devon.

Residents also support infilling existing housing areas rather than making completely new developments, with the next most supported option is for developments of under 50 homes on the edges of existing towns and then building new villages.

Cllr Dan Ledger, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for strategic development, said: “You may be asking yourself why we need a new Local Plan when we already have one. But the current Local Plan is now five years old and we are required by the government to review the plan every 5 years and to keep it up to date.

“If we don’t have an up to date plan showing where we want to see development built then government policy means that we may have to accept development in locations where it is not wanted or appropriate in order to meet their housing targets.

“We need to produce a new Local Plan so that we retain control over the future of East Devon and ensure that the needs of the district for new homes, jobs, communities and green spaces are met by building in the right places.

“Now is your chance: Tell us what you want for yourself, your children and your grandchildren in the new East Devon Local Plan consultation: www.eastdevon.gov.uk/newlocalplan.”

A council spokesman added: “We want to know your ideas and what you think would be good for your town centres, local businesses and whether you like the idea of wind and solar farms, as well as much more. What do you think of new homes and how can they be improved? Do you want to see more affordable housing? Do you want to see more office space for small businesses?

“Where do you want new homes to be built? Do you want us to expand existing towns or do you think another new town like Cranbrook is a good idea, if so where would you put it? These are just some of the topics we want your views on before our consultation closes on March 15.”

Radio Exe: Local News