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Letter to SOS just received re DMC5Feb2013

Dear SOS,

On behalf of the action group “Fight for Feniton’s Future”, I wrote recently to draw your attention to the Planning Inspectorate’s conclusion that EDDC had failed persisently to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land. This failure has severe consequences for East Devon. Not least because, as you will know, the pro-growth National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF), published last year, lays down stiff penalties for failure. Any Council guilty of “persistent under delivery” will have that land supply increased by 20%: that’s effectively a SIX year supply, as opposed to five.
Fight for Feniton’s Future has written to a number of groups across East Devon, expressing our deep concern at the consequences of EDDC’s failure. The East Devon branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has already expressed its support.
In link above you will find a copy of a paper to be considered by EDDC’s Development Management Committee (DMC) on 5 February. The conclusion of this paper is that between now and 2017 enough land in East Devon needs to be found to build between 2100 and 4586 houses. Furthermore the paper implicitly acknowledges that these numbers are likely to be underestimates (since not all proposals granted permission will actually result in building taking place), that developments could happen in East Devon (where more housing is not needed) as opposed to the West End (where it is), and that being outside a Built Up Area Boundary is no longer an obstacle for new build.
It is reasonable to conclude that EDDC finds itself in a cleft stick of its own making: it needs to identify land for new build in a hurry, while recognising that this will mean the likely approval of developments against the wishes of local communities in places where build is not actually appropriate. While the paper states that it would not be appropriate to approve all mass housing development proposals that come its way, it’s hard to see how EDDC can avoid taking a ‘Free For All’ approach if the Development Management Committee endorses this paper.
We urge you to attend the meeting of the Development Management Committee to be held at 2.00 p.m. in The Knowle on Tuesday 5 February to make your views known.
Kind Regards

Jayne Blackmore

On behalf of Fight for Feniton’s Future

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