Planning inspector Paul Griffiths has identified a potential shortfall in housing supply in Mid Devon.

The district council has earmarked a number of sites around Cullompton to provide for future housing needs in the area, but this relies on the completion of a new town centre relief road.

Currently no planning proposal exists for this and no route has been selected and if approved construction is likely to take many years.

“I have a significant concern about the housing trajectory in the early years of the Plan – before the Town Centre Relief Road is complete – in particular.

“I believe there to be a real danger that in those early years, the council will find it difficult or impossible to show a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites.

“That situation may well continue if the town centre relief road takes longer to complete than envisaged - not an unusual occurrence where major infrastructure works are concerned,” said Mr Griffiths.

He warned this would make the Plan – the blueprint for development in the district unsound.

As a matter of urgency he has demanded the council shows projected housing trajectory for the next 10 years.

If this finds that maintaining a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites will be difficult or impossible the planning inspector will look to modify the Plan to address the shortfalls.

This could result in bringing forward other sites or allowing increased development at sites already earmarked for housing or allocating a new large site, not constrained by the link road or motorway junctions that could ease the housing demand.

The Inspector has cast doubt on the council’s current five-year housing land supply figures. This could result in the potential for planning applications to be promoted in the short term for sites that are not currently allocated or within development boundaries as the council’s figures in the current Local Plan could be out-of-date.

If you are a landowner and would like to explore the potential of your land for residential development please contact the experienced team at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s Development Land and Planning Department.

The knowledgeable team operates throughout the South West. Please ring 01823 334466 for more information.