Local Plan – further setbacks – “complexities” cause delays

Full story, Page 6, Sidmouth Herald: Development blueprint suffers further setback

Our comment:

Why the delay? Councils need to show that they have co-operated with but not necessarily agreed with) adjacent authorities.

For us this means Exeter (and inevitably mopping up some of their housing need) and West Dorset – but EDDC decided, for no obvious reason, to add Mid- Devon, Teignbridge AND Dartmoor National Park into the mix. So we have to take into account the needs of Dartmoor National Park where almost no new building is allowed! Still, Exeter and Dartmoor have ex-EDDC planners at the helm, both of whom were very enthusiastic supporters of the East Devon Business Forum, so it will make for nice cosy chats.

AND Teignbridge and East Devon CEOs know each other well – having both been dragged before a Parliamentary Committee on Voter Engagement in December 2014 to explain why they had not been registering voters in their areas. Perhaps they shared a first-class railway carriage there and back!

The Planning Inspector who threw out the first draft Local Plan in March 2014 anticipated a re-hearing in October 2014 and cleared his diary in anticipation.

Looks like it won’t be going in his 2015 diary either.

The £750,000 already spent on relocation consultants (the figure not including officer time) could have had this wrapped up within the Inspector’s timeframe.

What was it Councillor Halse said about relocation: the council had “fallen flat on its face”? Seems to be making a habit of it.