The “new” EDDC “independent” vision

From a disillusioned correspondent:

“The “new” East Devon District Council has submitted their plan covering the next four years. Like the previous tory council it is interesting what has been left out. We are left reading between the lines.

EDDC is to “immediately start preparatory work on the next East Devon Local Plan” but no mention of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan and of course the former will have to conform to the latter. We must also remember EDDC will be represented by Philip Skinner (conservative) and Susie Bond (independent). Councillor Skinner represented the council when EDDC was prepared to take the lion’s share of the housing for the GESP growth area. I hope that he may have changed his mind but I very much doubt it. This new council must come clean on its strategy. It is of the greatest importance and influence on all our lives.

I applaud the aspiration to provide “300 new affordable homes per annum including an increase of Council housing stock” but once again there is no clue how this is to be achieved. To put these 300 affordables into perspective. The average annual dwelling completions in East Devon between 2007 and 2017 were 469 of which 108 (23%) were delivered by Housing Associations and the Council. (Some of the residual 360 may have been bought through the “Help to Buy” scheme but the majority would have been “market housing”). The annual average housing target in the local plan is 950. To get 300 affordables the Council will have to up its game with developers and increase its affordable delivery achievement to 32% of target or increase its annual housing delivery to a whopping 1,304 a year. However you look at it, 300 affordables a year is nearly three times the historic delivery rate.

At the election I voted Independent in the expectation that we would have transparent, evidence based policy making and not one which plucks numbers out of the air.”

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