“Districts and local planning authorities are putting heavy fingers on the pause button for new development.”
“Concerns about the impacts the new developments would have on the environment and infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals were raised in the ten-week East Devon Local Plan consultation.”
A couple of months ago, central government’s push for more housing were called into question: East Devon Local Plan: What is its housing target now? – Vision Group for Sidmouth
Which it turn posed questions about the housing quota provided by central government for East Devon: EXCLUSIVE: East Devon Local Plan: What is its housing target? – Vision Group for Sidmouth
And these were ‘large’ for the Sid Valley: ‘Large’ housing allocation for Sidmouth: further report – Vision Group for Sidmouth
Nevertheless, the recent consultation on the draft Local Plan went ahead – to which the VGS contributed: East Devon Local Plan consultation: VGS submission 2023 – Vision Group for Sidmouth
Late last year the government declared it would be looking again at the bigger planning picture – much to the dismay of the construction industry, as this piece today demonstrates:
If ever there was a wrecking ball swinging through hopes for economic growth in the region, then Michael Gove’s pre-Christmas announcement and the Department for Levelling Up consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework would feature high in any hit parade.
The consultation has caused widespread alarm in the housebuilding and construction industry in the South East as the government seek to remove local planning authorities’ obligations to continually demonstrate a deliverable five-year housing supply. The consultation runs until 2nd March with indication that the government will respond in Spring 2023. Already, districts and local planning authorities are putting heavy fingers on the pause button for new development, and we can only hope that common sense will surface before the outcome of the consultation is known.
And councils are indeed pausing their local plans: Another council delays local plan after Gove planning climbdown | News | Housing Today and Gove’s constituency council delays local plan over proposed national planning policy changes | Planning Resource
The East Devon District Council is also pausing, as announced yesterday:
Discussions on Local Plan sites to wait while Government clarifies flexibility of housing targets
Changes to planning, being consulted on by the Government, could give the council greater flexibility about the amount of house building needed in East Devon. Concerns about the impacts the new developments would have on the environment and infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals were raised in the ten-week East Devon Local Plan consultation. These issues were acknowledged in this week’s Strategic Planning Committee. The Government may give councils more choice over the number of new homes being built, allowing East Devon District Council (EDDC) to address local concerns that have been raised.
EDDC leader, Councillor Paul Arnott, put forward a motion that no further discussions or decisions on potential sites take place until the Government makes its decision. EDDC’s Strategic Planning Committee agreed the motion, which means council officers will only continue technical work needed to support production of the Local Plan, such as water, sewerage and other environmental matters.
Councillor Paul Arnott, leader of the council, said: “Last year, our council wrote to the Government calling for an urgent re-analysis of inflated housing need numbers imposed on the communities of East Devon. Pending any reply, we continued with the Local Plan consultation as required by law. This week – at the first opportunity to do so – I proposed that we put the sites aspect of the work on hold until what we hope will be confirmation that our housing numbers will be greatly reduced. I was very pleased that this won cross-party support. The ball is now in the Government’s court to deliver a new National Planning Policy Framework.”
As reported in the Herald today:
East Devon District Council (EDDC) has paused plans for a ‘second Cranbrook’ to be built near Westpoint. EDDC says the government is currently consulting on the number of houses needed for the district to reach the central government’s housing target for the area.