Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) Policy and Options.

This documents are now published at Draft Policies and Site Options.

District councils are required to provide housing in line with a national government formula. We all recognise the need for new housing, for example, as children grow up and move on in their lives and households change but the Liberal Democrat councillors in Teignbridge believe the National Government is tilting the planning system in favour of development, instead of the genuine needs of local communities. 

There can be penalties if councils do not meet the housing needs determined through the national formula. Local decisions may be made by unelected officials through the planning appeals system. In South Oxfordshire recently, the council wanted to abandon the Local Plan and bring in a new one with lower numbers. The Secretary of state used government powers to force the council to progress the old plan.

The GESP Policy and options document includes, in the second half, a list of option sites. The listed sites are around 1.5 times more than required for the housing provision targets so not all sites will be developed. Inclusion in this list means that the land owner has expressed an interest in development, and GESP considers it strategically in line with their overall aims. Nothing more at this stage. There is plenty of consultation to come.

If a development does go ahead, There would be a CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) payment from the developer to the local authority, For rural villages in Teignbridge this would be about £200/m2 of added dwelling. A cautious estimate of average houses in the UK is 80m2. 15% of the CIL goes to the parish council, or 25% if they have a completed neighbourhood plan.

If the development goes ahead the Parish Council will get the CIL money. It will make no difference if the Parish Council and residents supported or opposed the development in the meantime. CIL payments are not conditional or optional. They are to fund infrastructure for the growing communities.

As your local councillors we want to hear your views and emphasise how important it is that you respond to the GESP consultation. Leaving it until the actual stage of Planning Applications for particular sites will be too late, so please share your views with us.