Devon street

East Devon waiting for clarification of housing target flexibility

East Devon District Council has announced that it is currently waiting for confirmation from the government regarding planning, with the potential for further flexibility around the amount of houses that need building in the area.

This week, in the Strategic Planning Committee, issues were acknowledged around the potential impact that new housing developments would have on the environment, as well as infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals. These issues were originally raised in the public consultation about East Devon Local Plan.

Following this, there is now the potential for the government to allow council’s to have more choice over the number of new homes being built in their communities. This would allow East Devon District Council to address some of the local concerns and has been helped by the decision of the council leader to put forward a notion that no further discussions or decisions on potential sites should take place until a government decision has been reached.

With the Strategic Planning Committee agreeing the motion, council officers will only continue with technical work that is required to support the production of the local plan, including water, sewerage and other such environmental matters.

The Leader of East Devon District Council, Cllr Paul Arnott, 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.”

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