Area could accommodate 25,000 new homes

Joseph Bulmer

Major land study maps the potential for thousands of new homes across North Devon and Torridge between now and 2026

A NEW report published today (Wednesday) has identified suitable land in North Devon and Torridge with the potential to accommodate up to 25,264 new homes across the two districts.

The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) has been produced by North Devon Council and Torridge District Council to highlight sites that could be used for housing development over the next 15 years.

The report has identified suitable land for 13,057 new homes in North Devon and 12,207 in Torridge between now and 2026. It is likely that space available would be enough to meet potential requirements.

In North Devon, the study found that Barnstaple has the potential land for up to 2,340 homes, with a further 302 in Pilton West. Other significant areas include Fremington (2,807); Landkey (2,086); Ilfracombe (1,549); South Molton (1,400); Tawstock (1,141); Braunton (185); Bishops Tawton (165); and Heanton Punchardon (134).

In Torridge, Bideford could accommodate 6,285 homes. Other significant areas include Northam (2,142); Holsworthy (1,399); Torrington (639); Abbotsham (313); Beaford (137); Hartland (135); High Bickington (126); Pyworthy (125); Monkleigh (117); Dolton (110); and Frithlestock (108).

The actual number of new homes needed is yet to be decided but a democratic decision – based on land space evidence and the two districts’ predicted growth – is likely to be made by elected members later this year.

“This is a real opportunity for North Devon and Torridge to choose how it wants to develop over the coming decades,” said North Devon Councillor Mike Edmunds, Executive Member for Strategic Planning.

“We are now able to plan the future the way we want it rather than being told what to do by London – it’s important that we get it 100 per cent right.”

The SHLAA has been produced to replace the former Labour Government’s Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), which was revoked last year under the Coalition Government’s “Localism Bill”.

It will form a key piece of evidence that will be fed into a revised version of the North Devon and Torridge Joint Core Strategy, a report that will set out future development guidelines for the region.

Ian Rowland, Torridge planning policy officer, stressed that no decisions had been made about the amount, location or type of housing that should be built.

He said: “The SHLAA simply provides technical evidence to help make those decisions in the future.

“It will help communities to deliver a balance of housing that meets their own local needs alongside infrastructure and employment opportunities.”

The full report is available to view from today on both councils’ websites. Follow the link at top right of this page.