30-point plan to help seaside town thrive for future generations

A plan to preserve the picturesque seaside town of Teignmouth but to have a sustainable future is out for consultation.

Daniel Clark (extract) www.devonlive.com

The Teignmouth Neighbourhood Plan, which aims to provide a vision for the town for the next 20 years, outlines how the residents wish to ensure it remains a thriving town with a healthy and unpolluted environment, set in a protected coastal and estuarine setting.

There are 30 aims listed in the plan concerning topics ranging from housing, the future of the town centre, sport and leisure provision, traffic and parking, and flood prevention, with a ‘golden thread’ of climate change running throughout all the policies listed.

Cllr Joan Atkins, chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, in the foreword to the plan, said: “On the surface Teignmouth is a picturesque seaside town in South Devon, but underneath that first impression, it is far more than that. It is a complex town with a long history and many facets and styles which have been moulded by the hands of time, fashions in design and the topography and limitations of its location

“We very much hope and intend that this will facilitate appropriate future development in the town, taking into account a response to climate change, requirements of heritage conservation and, most recently, the impact and response required by the Pandemic.

“We will never be able to please all the people all the time, particularly as the goalposts keep moving, but we hope we have produced a balanced, even aspirational view after our many discussions, within the many limitations of what we can legally achieve through a Neighbourhood Plan.”

The vision statement says: “In 2040 Teignmouth will be a sustainable, thriving town with a healthy and unpolluted environment, set in a protected coastal and estuarine setting. It will have a high-quality public realm with all new developments meeting high standards of design and sustainability, good community, sports and recreational facilities for all ages and abilities, a diverse economy with opportunities to work from home or in business including the port, retail, tourism, leisure, art, and culture, and, good transport facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, buses, road vehicles, railways and parking.”

THE 30 AIMS OF THE TEIGNMOUTH NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

  • The historic environment should be recognised and appropriately protected and enhanced.
  • New development should have a beneficial impact on the character and sustainability of the area and respond positively to the challenges of climate change.
  • Improve and maintain the public realm.
  • Provide more green space, play areas, trees and community horticulture opportunities in residential areas for reasons of health, amenity, quality of public realm and a response to climate change.
  • New development proposals should prove their sustainability credentials.
  • The rate of housing growth should be moderate and must not put a strain on local infrastructure.
  • New housing provision should address Teignmouth’s evidenced needs.
  • The impact of new housing development on its location should be physically, aesthetically and socially beneficial and respond positively to the challenges of climate change.
  • Local green spaces that contribute to the amenity of their local area should be protected
  • Sports, leisure and recreation facilities should be sufficient in quantity and quality to meet evidenced community needs.
  • Encourage recreational activity appropriate to the outstanding geographical location.
  • Local community facilities should be sufficient in quantity and quality to continue to meet community needs.
  • Opportunities for young people should be adequately addressed.
  • Ensure the local provision of quality education opportunities for all.
  • The town centre must remain the commercial and social heart of the area.
  • Continue to improve the appearance and amenity of the town centre and seafront.
  • Arts and cultural projects should be welcomed and promoted.
  • Appropriate improvements and enhancements to tourism facilities should be welcomed and encouraged.
  • Sustainable tourism development should be encouraged and actively pursued.
  • Sustainable transport modes should be encouraged and better facilitated.
  • The traffic & parking implications of new development should be fully recognised & addressed.
  • More parking should be provided.
  • Measures to address traffic problems and their implications should be introduced.
  • The countryside and natural coastal and estuarine areas should be safeguarded from the impact of development or over-use
  • Strategic gaps between settlement areas should be recognised and protected.
  • Public access to the countryside and coastline should be accommodated where it does not cause harm.
  • The sea wall, groynes and other coastal and estuarine flood defences will be protected.
  • Business development that is in keeping with and enhances the town’s distinctiveness should be accommodated.
  • Encourage development that offers good quality employment opportunities.
  • Appropriate community-based renewable and low carbon energy initiatives are welcomed.

Rather than try to design a single planning policy about climate change and how mitigation and adaptation measures can be supported, the authors of the plan have sought to “climate change proof” policies and community actions and projects, which means the response to the changing climate, is a “golden thread” running through the plan.

With Teignmouth being a coastal town partially reliant on tourism, issues relating to climate change that will need to be addressed and mitigated, the plan says, include rising sea levels and flood risk from high tides, including the impact on the seafront and resilience of the railway infrastructure, the potential impact of flood risk and a changing climate on the local economy, the impact on the retention of beaches, and, the impact of current levels of traffic on carbon dioxide emissions.