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The housing supply needed for East Devon

  • by JW

“35% more houses are planned over the next 10 years than are required”

“Who would it be built for anyway?”


Last week, the district council’s Strategic Planning Committee (or SPC)

“voted to pull out of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP), which is proposing future development for Exeter, Teignbridge, Mid Devon and East Devon until 2040. Those proposals are for 53,260 homes to be built between now and then at a rate of 2,663 per year.” 

Eileen Wragg column: District council could pull out of GESP | Exmouth Journal


It always was a question of numbers…

The CPRE published a report in September 2018, concluding that 35% more houses are planned over the next 10 years than are required for anticipated population growth and inward migration:

Devon’s Housing Needs Evidence – 12th October 2018 | Devon Planning Applications | CPRE Devon

The stark truth about Devon’s real housing needs revealed in major new independent report launched today by conservation charity, CPRE Devon – Devon Live

Futures Forum: Future housing needs and requirements in East Devon


The issue of housing supply in a buffer zone of a World Heritage Site is always a delicate balance – as has been shown in Belper, part of Derwent Valley Mills WHS in Derbyshire, where an appeal against development refusal has been thrown out.

The Inspector was concerned about loss of landscape and Green Belt, so East Devon should have even more protection, because so much of it is AONB:

Recovered appeal: land fronting Crich Lane, Between House No. 202 and 204, Belper, Derbyshire (ref: 3204843 – 29 July 2020) – GOV.UK

Why building of 185 homes on protected hillside could still go-ahead – Derbyshire Live

Appeal Lodged To Build 185 Homes On Protected Hillside In Belper


It is not only a question of numbers, but of what type of housing – to continue the comments from the chair of the district council’s planning committee:

“After a meeting which lasted four hours, with many excellent speakers, the SPC decided not to continue with the GESP, as it is believed that much of the housing would probably be built in East Devon. Who would it be built for anyway? Most people on low incomes, many of whom are young, would not be able to afford them.”

Eileen Wragg column: District council could pull out of GESP | Exmouth Journal


The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan commissioned a Housing Needs Survey:

“The Housing Needs Survey (HNS) states that there is ‘a significant need for social rented and intermediate affordable housing’, especially ‘low income households with children (working or not), and low-income older people’. 

“The need for additional market and affordable housing is significant”, “planned additional supply is unlikely to meet future local need moving forward” and “even if additional allocations are made, unless these dwellings are affordable to local households and suited to their needs local households will not benefit from this additional supply.” (Overall Conclusions)

“The neighbourhood plan could have chosen to take a cautious approach to housing provision by just acknowledging that the local plan requirements were being met. However the Town Council has concluded that if it is to respond to the housing needs of those already living in town, it should be adopting a policy that seeks to deliver houses specifically to meet local needs whether those of young people wishing to get onto the housing ladder or who cannot secure affordable housing in the town. This requires a balanced approach which is to allow development which is driven by the local connection policy but still protecting the special landscaped setting of the town and the villages which is valued by residents and visitors alike.”


Microsoft Word – Sidmouth HNA final report.docx

An outline of the housing polices covered by the Sid Valley Neighbourhod Plan | Sidmouth Herald


In rejecting the application for over 180 units in Belper Derbyshire, the Inspector has shown the importance of not inflating the housing supply which is actually needed.

We will see how the review of the East Devon Local Plan goes…