Local Planning in the Devon and Exeter Area

31st January 2018

For Exeter and the various authorities around the city, preparations on new local plans have been largely put in abeyance ahead of the publication of the first draft of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan, due out in the summer of this year.

In the face of Exeter’s continued expansion and with the dissolution of the structure plan system a few years ago, the five authorities around Exeter (namely Exeter, East Devon, Teignbridge, Mid Devon and Devon County Council) have agreed to prepare the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) in order to provide a better framework for growth in the area. Following an initial consultation in 2017, it is expected that the first draft of the GESP will propose high level targets and locations for the provision of new housing, employment and key infrastructure requirements. It is eagerly awaited by all parties and will no doubt provide the impetus for a new round of local plan reviews to begin in the Exeter area authorities.

The local plan process elsewhere in Devon has not completely stalled. Mid Devon’s local plan is at examination but progress is currently delayed whilst the Examiner asks some searching questions about the merits of ambitious proposals for a major out-of-town retail and leisure proposal close to Junction 27 of the M5. The North Devon and Torridge Local Plan is also at examination but, like Mid Devon, is also stalled, this time as a result of further questions being asked about the level of provision being made to meet the required housing land supply. The Plymouth and South West Devon Local Plan, a plan which seeks to combine the responsibilities of Plymouth, West Devon and South Hams authorities is scheduled for examination in February and it will be interesting to see how the plan will reconcile the needs of three very diverse areas.

Finally, and following a lengthy gestation, the first draft of the new Dartmoor Local Plan is due to be published in the summer.

For more information on local planning in the Devon and Exeter area please contact us on 01392 357515 or info@bell-cornwell.co.uk.

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