The Draft Joint Local Plan (JLP) was issued early last month and a six-week formal consultation period commence on March 15th. This strategic plan covers the (Housing) area South Hams, West Devon and Plymouth and seeks to allocate developments sites across the area to meet anticipated housing needs from 2014 – 2034. The plan is available on line at this link: http://web.plymouth.gov.uk/plymouthplan
The ‘Objectively Assessed Need’ (OAN) for this area is 26,700 new homes of which 7,700 are allocated for what is known as the Thriving Towns and Villages area of South Hams and West Devon (i.e. excludes Plymouth City and fringe outside the city boundary). Of this 7,700 over 950 homes are proposed on sites put forward by landowners in Totnes and Dartington.
As part of the public consultation, South Hams District Council has arranged public events with planners available to discuss these proposals. The next one for this area will take place at Meadowbrook, Dartington Sat 8th April from 10am – 1pm – and DBDUC will be there too from 10am till 2.30pm- to help support you in responding to the plan- and to offer our own positive, alternative to where houses could be distributed throughout the area. See and discuss what YOU think.
Quite reasonably there is rising public concern about the over 950+ new houses planned for Dartington & Totnes in the JLP. It amounts to 13% of the total 7,700 proposed for the “Thriving Towns & Villages” element of South Hams and West Devon put together.
It has been proposed that interested parties from Dartington & Totnes collectively consider what might be an acceptable total for 2014-2034 new housing numbers for the two parishes and which development sites local people and groups (including our Neighbourhood Plan groups and Parish/Town Council’s) consider acceptable underpinning our responses to the JLP. It may well be that we are more likely to get a positive response from the Inspector if all significant parties in the two parishes agree on similar responses.
One concern that has been expressed locally is that we might be considered to be NIMBYs, however when the entire plan area is reviewed it is clear that many areas (including those carrying out Neighbourhood Plans) have not been allocated any new housing at all; and that such areas, villages etc would probably benefit from (and welcome) some additional (and affordable new homes) allocated to keep their local schools, community halls, local shops and pubs as well as public transport services alive. On that basis it would be helpful to consider proposing small housing allocations in some other areas where neighbourhood plan groups are proposing housing currently not allocated in the draft JLP.
To date there is concern that the JLP is a landowner/developer led plan, not a sustainable settlement growth plan; we need to get together and use this brief period of public consultation to propose alternatives.
We’ll also be picking out the discrepancies, errors and arguing for lower numbers, less sprawl, against increased traffic and pollution on our roads and more sustainability. We’ll be posting our thoughts here and on our facebook page ‘Don’t Bury Dartington Under Development’= ask to join the discussion.
Anyone with an interest can also make their views known directly by completely the on-line consultation document. It is advised that individual responses should keep a copy and check that their input has been received by SHDC. Send a copy to DBDUC too- and we’ll check that SHDC and the Planning Inspector receive your comments.
All responses to the consultation will not be taken on board by the planners but will accompany the draft plan to the Inspector for formal review as part of the Regulation 19 consultation process.