Not only is he campaigning to “stand up for our environment” but he is also pledging “to deliver the right homes in the right places”.
He should know, because he is also a major developer and will become a beneficiary of the South West Exeter urban extension plan.
He and his partner Helen Lee applied for outline planning permission in March 2015 [Teignbridge 15/00921/MAJ] for major development of Matford Home Farm. This was granted in Nov 2020.
They submitted a more detailed design and access statement (glossy brochure) application a year later in Nov 2021 [Teignbridge 21/02604/MAJ] which is still under consideration.
The proposals for this site provide up to 250 homes, relocation of existing farm shop use [Parr’s Farm Shop] with additional employment units of up to 560m2, 3 travellers pitches and recreational opportunities for future residents and neighbours.
According to the Design and Access Statement ,the overall area has been promoted through the planning system and forms part of the South West Exeter Development Framework adopted by Teingbridge District Council and the current Local plan.
Caveat: this is still an outline plan and as we all know, once outline permission has been granted, as it has been in this case, developers have a habit of making successive changes. The final result is all too often very different especially with regard to total numbers (upwards) and provision of “affordable” housing (downwards).
Major development in Matford which in effect creates a new ‘town’ on outskirts of Exeter has been described as “changing the countryside forever”, see www.devonlive.com
The coalition led EDDC of the past three years inherited a local plan devised and driven through by successive Conservative administrations based on a high growth scenario. The 18 year housing target in the 2013-2031 EDDC local plan is a minimum of 17,100. This is an increase of 63% over what is needed purely to satisfy demographic trends.
In this short period the coalition has withdrawn from the secretive Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP).
GESP was the strategic plan to spread Exeter’s housing needs more widely with its neighbours: Teignbridge; East Devon and Mid Devon. A draft allocation plan was published in 2019 (since withdrawn from the public domain). However we know that East Devon was set to take a disproportionate share of the total which amounted to a 150% uplift to the already eye watering local plan, and would continue to 2040.
Looks like Matford Farm is part of Teignbridge’s early contribution.
Those voting to keep East Devon in GESP in August 2020, were all the Conservatives present and all the self-styled “Independent Group”. These were the remainder of Ben Ingham’s group of “Independents” who did not join the Coalition or form Cranbrook Voice. The other unaligned “Independent” from the Ingham Group, Cllr Peter Faithfull, also voted to stay in the GESP. You can see how your councillor voted here.
The Coalition has also paused reviewing the local plan now that the government does not intend to impose central targets, pending clarification.
A couple of weeks ago Owl wrote an article pointing out that despite losing 50% of their seats on the council in the space of eight years, in choosing Phil Skinner as leader, they were signalling “no change” to the discredited “Build, build, build” policies of the “Old Guard”.
If a return to the “Old Guard” is what you want, Richard Parr looks to be your man.