Local Plan hearing starts next week

Area of the Local PlanArea of the Local Plan

Posted on: 17 November 2016

The draft North Devon and Torridge Local Plan comes under scrutiny next week.

Public hearing sessions of the draft local plan, chaired by a Planning Inspector, begin on Tuesday 22 November. They will examine outstanding objections to check the plan is clear, appropriate and sustainable in shaping development across North Devon and Torridge up to 2031. The plan has been prepared jointly by officers and councillors from North Devon Council and Torridge District Council, following extensive public consultation.

The inspector has identified a number of areas of interest to be explored further during the hearings, including:

  • overall housing numbers
  • the distribution of future development
  • provision of new infrastructure, including roads
  • location of employment proposals
  • protection of the environment
  • development strategies for towns and villages

Lead Member for the Local Plan at North Devon Council, Councillor Jeremy Yabsley, says: “This is another step towards the completion of the first joint local plan for North Devon and Torridge. The hearing sessions are an opportunity for the Inspector to explore in more detail and depth areas of interest by asking questions to both councils and various parties that have been invited along. It will allow her to determine first hand whether the plan complies with national policy and is the most sustainable way forward for northern Devon.”

Councillor Pete Watson, Lead Member for Planning at Torridge District Council, says: “We would encourage anyone who has an interest in the way northern Devon is likely to develop over the coming years to come along and listen to the debate about the local plan. The plan has been in preparation for a number of years and the hearing sessions mark another key milestone in getting it in place.”

During the hearing sessions the Inspector will examine the plan to make sure it complies with planning regulations, is clear and deliverable. To do this the plan must be:

  • positively prepared, based on strategy to meet development and infrastructure needs
  • justified, with strategies based on evidence
  • effective and deliverable by both councils before 2031
  • consistent with national policy to achieve sustainable development

The hearing sessions are taking place at the Cedars Inn, Bickington Road, Barnstaple, weekdays (excluding Monday 28 November) until Tuesday 6 December. Members of the public may attend the sessions but only parties invited to attend by the Inspector may speak.

Details of the examination, as well as all associated documents and the programme of events, can be found on the councils’ consultation page. Further details are also available from the Programme Officer programmeofficer@northdevon.gov.uk or 01271 318537.

Following the close of the hearing sessions the Inspector will prepare a report with her findings for publication.

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