Planning Inspector gives go ahead for Main Hearings on Mid Devon Local Plan Review

Posted on: 29 October 2018

Mid Devon District Council has been given the go ahead to commence the next stage of work towards adopting its Local Plan. 

The news follows a hearing, held over two days in September,  which discussed the proposals for J27, Higher Town in Sampford Peverell and land near to Blundell’s School.

Following the hearing the Planning Inspector has now given the go ahead for the Main Hearings to take place for the examination of the Mid Devon Local Plan Review. This is a significant step forward towards having an adopted document for the future planning of the district and shows how much needed new homes, jobs, schools, vital transport infrastructure (including improved motorway access) and important strategic environmental enhancement schemes such as flood alleviation projects will be delivered. It also provides protection for our local green spaces, historic environment and landscapes.

The Inspector will now make a series of “Matters and Issues”, which are questions about the policies and content of the plan, available in early December 2018 and dates will soon be announced for when the Main Hearings will take place in early 2019.

Some of the preliminary conclusions shared from the Planning Inspector are:

The Inspector considers there is no ‘in principle’ difficulty with Policy J27 (Junction 27) but wishes to address the precise wording of the policy in one of the Main Hearings.

The Inspector recognised the strong feelings that Policy SP2 Higher Town Sampford Peverell has generated amongst the local community, but does not share the view, expressed by some, that the process by which the site was selected over others was flawed. The Inspector is content that the Council’s conclusion that development of the site at SP2 could take place with very little or no harmful impact on the setting or the significance of the Grand Western Canal Conservation Area  is not an unreasonable one. However, the Inspector will return to some aspects of the detailed wording of the policy at one of the Main Hearings.

The Inspector considers the allocation of the Policy TIV16 Blundells School is soundly based and there is no need for tie within it to Policy J27.

Councillor Richard Chesterton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration said:

“The Local Plan is a hugely important document for the development and future prosperity of our district. As an ambitious council, we have aspirations to deliver sustainable development which will benefit all our communities, in terms of both housing and employment, and this plan will provide an opportunity for us to do this. I am delighted that the Inspector has given the go ahead to move on with our Plan and I look forward to the next phase in the hearings and the eventual adoption, which will help protect Mid Devon from unplanned development, as well as delivering growth and regeneration within the district over the upcoming years.”

The full letter from the Planning Inspector can be found here.

For further information on the Local Plan Review Examination, please see the following webpage:

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Posted in: Planning