Extra land must be found for 383 houses in Torridge

12:30 05 March 2014

Kate Little, North Devon and Torridge

Kate Little, North Devon and Torridge's joint head of planning.

Archant

Councillors told they must find extra allocations for 383 houses in Torridge for joint draft local plan.

TORRIDGE District Councillors have been told they must find extra sites to allocate 383 houses in the joint draft local plan.

The draft plan, comprised with North Devon Council, sets out land allocated for thousands of new houses across both districts until 2031.

But the sites set out in Torridge will not accommodate as many houses as previously estimated, according to the Strategic Housing and Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) panel.

This means space must be allocated for an additional 125 residential units in Bideford, 170 units in Northam, 28 in Torrington and 60 in Holsworthy.

Kate Little, joint head of strategic development and planning, said: “The SHLAA panel assesses all submitted potential housing sites and it has advised that the proportion of land within any identified residential site likely to be capable of physical development for dwellings is lower than had previously been estimated.

“This is particularly the case for sites in ‘critical drainage areas’ (CDA).

“Identified CDAs cover all of Holsworthy and parts of Bideford and Northam.

“The consequence is that our draft chosen sites will not accommodate as much housing as we had hoped and we therefore need to increase our land allocations to meet our housing need figures, which are themselves not changing.”

Ms Little said the council had an obligation to put in place a sound local plan to avoid having development being driven by the development industry itself.

She said: “The housing figures we have are the result of extensive research and we will be tested to ensure we meet our housing need figures, by a planning inspector, when our local plan comes up for examination. The figures are therefore a matter of evidence rather than of choice.”

The joint draft local plan is set to go out to consultation shortly after Easter, with the aim of putting it before the secretary of state in the summer.

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