Work is underway to create a new East Devon Local Plan after councillors walked away from the Greater Exeter Strategic Plans (GESP) which some described as a “developer’s charter”.

This withdrawal has left the council in something of a policy void and it needs to come up with a viable alternative – and quickly.

The existing East Devon Local Plan, covering the period from 2013 to 2031, was adopted in 2016, and must be reviewed within five years.

Now councillors have tasked officers with putting forward a Local Plan – the blueprint for development in the area – with views being sought in January and February next year.

Prior to that a Local Plan issues and options report will be discussed by councillors in December, which will provide the basis of next year’s public consultation.

Current legislation would require East Devon to accommodate an average of 918 homes a year. This figure has been consistently recognised by the council. However under new national proposals the East Devon requirement could be much higher – an average of 1,614 homes per year. The council has acknowledged it could be challenging to find enough good or appropriate sites for
development and some sites may prove to be very contentious.

A key part of the Local Plan process will be the Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).

This pivotal information allows any interested party to notify the council of any site or land area that they consider could be suitable for development and that they would wish to promote for such use.

Individual landowners or developers can do this themselves or they can enlist the help of experts such as the Development Land and Planning Department at Greenslade Taylor Hunt, who have a longstanding track record in assisting with all types of housing applications.

Greenslade Taylor Hunt is a multi-disciplinary firm, with a dedicated Development Land & Planning department based in Taunton with chartered surveyors and town planners who deal with planning and development work throughout the South West of England.
For further information or advice, contact the department on 01823 334466 or