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.

Local Plan Review

The local plan review is at  

The local plan review is hugely important for shaping development and an opportunity to make a real difference to the future. Charles Nuttall is on the committee that has gone through the plan line by line debating changes and priorities, it has been a huge task.

Please join us in giving feedback on the local plan review. This is a real chance to make a difference to how our region develops. The policies we adopt here will be used to adjudicate planning applications for years to come.

Andy Swain comments: Thankyou very much for the considerable work that has gone into this review. As a Teignbridge District Councillor, but not on the review board, I am very proud of what our council is achieving here. The priorities being reinforced in the plan are excellent.I am especially pleased to see carbon neutral buildings enshrined in policy. This is long overdue and should never have been cancelled by the conservative government in 2015. Please resist any lobbying attempts to dilute this policy it is necessary and appropriate.

Please consider adding a “Cut and Fill Policy”, along the lines of…
Minimising export and import of inert material by designing for cut and fill, demonstrated with a suitable survey/assessment by the applicant. Import is acceptable where there is a demonstrable need to dispose of inert material in the local area. If export cannot be avoided, it should be suitably mitigated and include an export management plan showing how the material will be transported and where it will be disposed.

I am sure decision makers will be aware of the very contentious planning application for landfill of inert material on an industrial scale at Lower hare Farm in Whitestone. It seems that a simple change to planning could greatly reduce the need for such damaging developments in an area of great landscape value.

p.54 Policy DW3 j)
“include junctions which enable easy onward movement for pedestrians and cyclists” I welcome this recognition of the importance of easy onward movement in cycle lanes. This is often a fatal design flaw in cycle infrastructure.

p.68 DW9
I welcome the recognition of wildlife corridors as well as habitat areas.

p.115 paragraph 6.15
” pushing for designs which are not truly ‘tenure
blind’ to be challenged” I welcome this.

p.153 Policy EN8
I welcome this policy, Teignbridge benefits from exceptionally dark skies even in Ide, very close to Exeter. This needs protection, and a great deal is possible even when adding external lighting to minimise the light polluting effect.

Community Fund support for Weir Meadow

I will be using some of my community fund to support the legal costs of obtaining a license for Ide to purchase Weir Meadow, A field adjacent to the village that has long been hoped for as a community space including football and cricket facilities. This project is really taking off in Ide, There is a great deal to be done, but the first step is to secure this license.