Possible list of “others” who might whim:
Us (likely – those of us living in a constantly concrete East Devon with no services and no infrastructure);
Those desperate for social housing and/or truly-affordable homes (unlikely – never been a consideration for EDDC, unlikely to change now);
Developers (unlikely given EDCC’s highly developer-friendly reputation);
Other members of the “Greater Exeter” consortium (where we and others have to take Exeter overspill whether we lime it or not);
Former members of the East Devon Business Forum (unlikely, mostly developers, they all remain in EDDC’s very good books).
“The government’s latest forecast for the minimum number of new homes to be built in East Devon every year is to be considered by district council planners.
The implications of the requirement for 844 homes to be constructed annually will be discussed by the Strategic Planning Committee at its meeting on Tuesday, September 4.
Members will consider how this growth will impact on jobs, infrastructure and community facilities.
A report explains to the committee that the government’s latest housing needs calculation should be taken as a baseline figure only and is likely to increase as a further strategy for growth emerges in the future.
It says the latest forecast doesn’t take into account wider changes in East Devon over the last few years such as higher than normal economic growth which led to an increase in housing need in the current Local Plan.
The report identifies key themes to be considered by the committee to ensure future growth in the district is ‘positive and sustainable’. The themes include healthy and prosperous communities, environmental protection and enhancement, resource consumption and climate change and economic growth, education and employment.
A number of key issues are identified under each of these themes with set principles for a future growth strategy. These include delivering housing to meet the needs of all areas of the community, limiting growth within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, protecting areas at greatest risk of flooding and ensuring adequate employment space is provided to meet the needs of businesses.
The report also considers locations in the district and how they are able to accommodate growth that meets the principles. Many of East Devon’s existing towns are heavily constrained while some have clear opportunities to grow and expand. It considers opportunities around existing villages and for new communities to accommodate the levels of growth required by government.
Committee chairman Paul Diviani said: “Planning for the future of our outstanding place will ensure we put the right developments in the right place and are not subject to the whims of others. The government is setting out its requirements of all local authorities and we now need to ensure we respond in a way that works for us.”