The long-suffering residents of Farringdon and Woodbury Salterton are now one step closer from being a little more confidant with their fears of further growth from the Industrial Business Parks on their doorsteps from Hill Barton and Greendale Business Parks.
These 2 business parks have been growing at a considerable rate over the last 20 years which has provided important business opportunities and employment. However, it has been felt that further growth would be inappropriate in the open countryside some distance away from any major towns.
East Devon Local Plan proposals in the Local Plan approved in 2016 supported planned commercial growth would be at Cranbrook and areas close to Exeter together with other major towns in the district.
However there has been a number of challenges made to these policies with a number of Planning Inspectors hearings and High Court cases to these particular policies.
It was always known that the Local Plan would be challenged for development at these Business Parks and some villages. Therefore, the Local Authority proposed an additional planning document known as the “Villages Development Plan” which is an additional planning document drawn up by the Strategic Planning Department at East Devon which will provide further guidance and clarity to the largest villages in the district and the two business parks.
Finally, after 3 years of deliberation and public consultations, East Devon`s Strategic Planning Committee meeting this week, agreed to recommend to the East Devon`s Full Council meeting on the 25th of July that the “Villages Plan” be adopted.
The Villages Plan has been through several rounds of public consultation and the plan text has been refined to reflect the comments made.
Then followed a Planning Inspectors hearing plus an examination and recently returned by the Planning Inspector with an agreed approval following further changes and amendments.
The result of the Strategic Planning Committees approval and recommendation to the next Full Council meeting to adopt the new policy document will provide clarity and guidance on planning matters to the Villages and to the two Business Parks.
In the case of the Business Parks new planning policies are to be adopted.
Policy VP04 and VP05 which include a map that shows the extent of authorised uses at the Business Parks. Beyond the “Employment Area” shown on the map, any further planning applications will be considered to be in the “open countryside” and will be subject to stringent countryside protection policies.
It is therefore hoped by the rural villages of Farringdon and Woodbury Salterton that this endorsement of restricting further expansion at these Business Parks will provide clarity and certainty for the community for many years.