Teignbridge 20-year plan is approved
TEIGNBRIDGE'S 20 year vision for homes, employment, leisure, infrastructure and the environment has been approved by a special meeting of the Full Council.
The decision followed seven hours of debate and amendment of the Plan, with Teignbridge’s councillors considering the draft and changes proposed by previous committee meetings earlier in the month.
It signals a hugely important step forward in the council’s plan making process, and means that Teignbridge will now be able to submit Plan Teignbridge for a full inspection by an independent Planning Inspector working on behalf of the Government.
It’s anticipated that this will happen in Summer 2013, with the council hoping to adopt the completed Plan by the end of 2013 if the Inspector finds it ‘sound’. Once adopted it will provide a comprehensive planning blueprint for Teignbridge between 2013 – 2033, directing where new things go and offering much better protection for places the council does not earmark for development.
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Before the inspection there will be a fresh public consultation where people can formally support or object to aspects of the Plan. The purpose of the consultation is for any group, individual, or organisation to make comments on the 'soundness' of the Plan, and these will be submitted to the Government and Inspector along with the Plan.
Full details of this consultation will be announced by Teignbridge in coming months, and people can stay up to date at www.teignbridge.gov.uk/planteignbridge, www.facebook.com/planteignbridge or on Twitter @PlanTeignbridge.
Cllr Philip Vogel, Teignbridge Executive Spokesperson for Housing and Planning said: “Much like a tapestry, the complex strands of many policies in Plan Teignbridge weave together to create a comprehensive picture of Teignbridge’s economic and housing future.
“This isn’t paint by numbers, it’s about a detailed balancing of needs and setting the foundation for the next twenty years and beyond for housing, economy and environment. This includes the mix of retail and rental homes, including custom-build; encouraging employers into the District; promoting cycle and green and leisure facilities; promoting carbon reduction and environmental issues; all the while ensuring that the infrastructure and community benefits are available for the whole community of Teignbridge.
“Plan Teignbridge 2012-2033 is a vision for future generations, not just our immediate future. The Inspector will welcome local views on the final draft, and we’ll be letting people know how they can have their say soon.”
Thirty three recommendations were put to the Full Council, including those made by the council’s Executive and its Overview and Scrutiny Committee, both of which debated the plan earlier in September. The report to the council noted all of these recommendations, including details of where the Executive and O&S agreed and disagreed. Members were also able to put forward their own suggestions for changes, which were voted on as the Council worked policy by policy through the 127 page document.
Among the changes made to the Plan were a reduced allocation of 250 homes (down from 280) for Penn’s Mount, Kingsteignton; the removal of part of Osbourne Street Car Park in Newton Abbot as a site for 40 homes; amendments in Dawlish to reduce the size of a sites at the south of Shutterton Lane and west of Southdowns Road and concentrate housing on a site north west of Secmaton Lane; the removal of the Bradley Bends site in Bovey Tracey; a new policy relating to Ashburton and Buckfastleigh, where Teignbridge cooperates with planning authority Dartmoor National Park; and a five hectare additional buffer of farmland by Seale Hayne farm.
A debate was also had on the merits of requiring affordable housing from builders, set against the need for them to be able to afford contributions to local infrastructure such as roads, parks, schools, leisure centres and more. This resulted in the plan requiring:
• 20% affordable housing for developments in Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton
• 25% affordable housing in Dawlish, Teignmouth and the South West of Exeter
• 30% affordable housing elsewhere.
These requirements would apply to all developments of five homes or more homes, with developers also paying a Community Infrastructure Levy on full market-rate homes, helping to fund local infrastructure. The council’s plan for CIL is being created separately, and will be subject to a separate consultation and inspection.
The Full Council also agreed a new monitoring framework to check progress against the Plan’s goals and a five yearly review of the Plan to take account of progress and new information. A note was also added, making clear that the agreed level of affordable housing could still not fully meet local need as that would require rates of 40%, but that the rates reflect what the council considered realistic and practical to deliver. These rates will be part of the five yearly review.
A full list of changes to the Plan will be available online through a link at www.teignbridge.gov.uk/planteignbridge within two weeks. A final version of the Plan which reflects these changes will be written and published in coming months.