THE Executive committee of North Devon Council has approved planning guidance setting out how it believes the North Devon College site at Sticklepath in Barnstaple should be redeveloped. Earlier this year the council prepared a draft development brief and

THE Executive committee of North Devon Council has approved planning guidance setting out how it believes the North Devon College site at Sticklepath in Barnstaple should be redeveloped.Earlier this year the council prepared a draft development brief and asked residents to give opinions on proposals that could lead to new homes, cycle paths, on-site parking and public open spaces, once the college was relocated to Seven Brethren. A brief describes how the council thinks an area of land should be used and gives builders and developers guidance when they are preparing plans to develop an area.The site measures just under eight hectares and could see 400 new homes built on it, about which the brief says at least 30 per cent should be affordable.Earlier this year the held a public consultation asking residents to give views on how the land should be used. It received 99 comments on the draft, including 50 representations of support, and has amended the brief to take into account these views."The residents of Sticklepath will be pleased to see the college move not least because of the parking problems caused," said Councillor Des Brailey, Lead Member for Community and Spatial Planning."The new development brief for the college site is important to assist with that move. I am also pleased to see we are aiming to make the new builds more environmentally friendly, albeit the more detailed planning will follow later."The Executive also approved guidance prepared to help developers cut the carbon emissions of new buildings. In 2006 the Council approved a policy which stated any major development must be able to generate at least 15 per cent of the energy it is predicted to use through renewable sources on site.The supplementary planning document, called Guidance on the Use of On-site Renewable Technologies, gives examples on the types of renewable energies that can be used, such as biomass heating, heat pumps, wind turbines, and solar panels. It gives developers an indication of how much extra it may cost to incorporate them into their designs. It will generally increase overall building costs by no more than two or three per cent.Both documents can be viewed on the council web site at www.northdevon.gov.uk. Alternatively, copies are available for inspection at Planning Reception, Civic Centre, Barnstaple, at The Ilfracombe Centre, or the South Molton Community Office, during normal office hours. Copies can also be viewed at all public libraries across North Devon.Anyone wishing to discuss the documents in more detail should contact the Planning Policy Team on (01271) 388392 or 388409 or email localplan@northdevon.gov.uk.