PEOPLE in North Devon and Torridge are being given the final chance to comment on Government recommendations on the number of new homes to be built in the region between now and 2026. The revised draft South West Regional Spatial Strategy, issued by the S

PEOPLE in North Devon and Torridge are being given the final chance to comment on Government recommendations on the number of new homes to be built in the region between now and 2026.The revised draft South West Regional Spatial Strategy, issued by the Secretary of State, is open to public consultation until Friday, October 17.The document sets out the planning framework to guide the scale, location and nature of development across the region.Key features of the proposed changes to the draft include a substantial increase in the proposed housing requirement for the region from 23,000 to 29,600 per year, including 10,000 as affordable homes. The revised draft proposes to increase the Torridge new homes requirement from 4,800 to 10,700. The North Devon development requirement is also increased, from 8,100 to 10,900 dwellings, of which 7,200 is required to be provided in (4,800) and around (2,400) Barnstaple. The two local authorities are also required to identify new gypsy and traveller sites.Over the next few weeks Torridge and North Devon Councils will carefully examine the proposed changes to Regional Spatial Strategy to assess their potential impact on the future of northern Devon. Cllr Gaye Tabor, Torridge District Council's chairman of community development committee, said: "TDC continues to support the views and needs of its residents. "Therefore we welcome the consultation which gives the opportunity to the public to engage with the planning process. It is important that we work together to ensure that our rural landscape is not compromised."Cllr Des Brailey, North Devon Council's lead member for community and spatial planning, said: "Future planning for northern Devon is very important and needs to be done with full public backing and sensitivity to make sure we maintain our beautiful countryside."n All relevant documents are available at the main council offices at Riverbank House amd the Civic Centre, Barnstaple, or online at www.gosw.gov.ukComments on the proposals must be sent to the Government Office for the South West.