Vision for Northern Devon’s future to be put out to consultation

The map for Bideford

The map for Bideford - Credit: Archant

The plan outlines a need for 16,000 new houses and 157 hectares of employment land by 2031.

A JOINT local plan shaping the future of Northern Devon over the next 20 years will be put out to public consultation at the end of the month.

The draft plan, devised by North Devon Council (NDC) and Torridge District Council (TDC), outlines a vision including providing 16,000 new and affordable houses and 157 hectares of employment land by 2031.

The housing provision proposed in the plan is 25 per cent lower than the proposed 21,600 houses for North Devon and Torridge in the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS).

Kate Little, joint head of strategic development and planning, said: “We want to show Northern Devon is open for business and that turning off at Junction 27 was the right thing to do.


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“We have used the strategic housing market assessment to form this plan, which suggested we needed 12,500 to 15,000 houses in the area.

“But we have gone above this to account for areas which have expressed a wish to grow, such as Ilfracombe and South Molton.

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“We need to provide housing for everybody and all their needs, and where the market doesn’t bring affordable housing, the councils will have to do it themselves.”

Councillor David Lausen, lead member for housing at TDC, said he thought the projected number were a lot more realistic than those in the RSS.

He said: “The numbers are reasonable, but the real thing is getting the right design in the houses and having the right amount of affordable homes for local people.”

While the proposed housing numbers for most areas are to meet the needs of the population, projections for Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and South Molton account for a growth in the area.

Councillor Mike Edmunds, NDC’s executive member for strategic planning, said in consultations the towns had outlined a need for growth.

“We’ve been working on this for the last 18 months and this is what the people want and an important part for Ilfracombe is a southern extension of the town,” he said.

“With South Molton, it’s similar to Ilfracombe in terms of making the town a viable community centre and also making use of it’s placing near to the Link Road.”

Plans for the area include an additional four primary schools in the area, improved transport links and providing superfast broadband.

There is also an outlined need to focus on renewable energy sources as a focus for employment in the area.

“We are the first designated marine energy park in the country and there will be investment in this area, both in offshore and onshore technologies,” said Mrs Little.

“We need to build on that and make sure children coming through school are taught the skills to work in this area.”

The 300-page draft document will be put out to a six-week public consultation, beginning January 31.

After the consultation, the comments will be collated and put together to form an amended plan which will go out to consultation again in the summer before going to the Secretary of State at the end of the year.

Councillor Brian Greenslade, leader of NDC, said: “I urge everyone in the area who cares about its future to come forward and let us know what you think about it.

“If you have a different idea then please let us know, this is your chance to make a difference to where you live and work.”

Anyone wishing to view the local plan can do so by visiting www.northdevon.gov.uk/localplan or www.torridge.gov.uk/localplan, or paper copies are available at council offices, libraries and parish council offices to view.

Here’s a breakdown of the main proposals for each area:

Barnstaple

• 4,000 new houses and 45 hectares of employment space.

• Mixed use developments at Severn Brethren, Westacott, and Anchorwood Bank and housing at Tews Lane, Larkbear.

• Enhanced gateway to the town through Tews Lane and a new railway line from Barnstaple to Lynton.

Bideford

• 3,790 new houses and 30 hectares of employment space.

• Urban extension of Bideford West on Atlantic Park and Winsford Park sites to include 900 houses and land for commercial use.

• Housing at Moreton Park, land south of Clovelly Road, Cleave Wood and land next to Manteo Way and housing development and a 210 place primary school to be built on land south of East-the-Water.

Ilfracombe

• 1,550 new houses and 15 hectares of employment land.

• Southern extension of the town to include 1,000 houses, land for business use, a 420 place primary school, medical centre and extra care housing, sport facilities and green space.

• Mixed use development at the bus station on Ropery Road to include 40 houses, leisure and commercial facilities to enhance the seafront and alternative bus stop provisions along Wilder Road.

South Molton

• 1,100 new houses and 30 hectares of employment land.

• Western extension of the town focused on providing 665 new houses and a new 420-place primary school west of Exeter Gate.

• Expansion of the town centre with a new food store, additional leisure facilities, pedestrian and cycle links and further car parking provision.

Braunton and Wrafton

• 340 new houses and 10 hectares of employment space.

• Housing to be provided between Chivenor and Wrafton (Wrafton southern extension) and at Wrafton Glebefield.

Fremington and Yelland

• 370 new houses and eight hectares of employment space.

• Land at Fremington Army Camp to be identified for housing and Yelland Quay to be used for employment space

Great Torrington

• 470 new houses and nine hectares of employment space.

• Housing to be provided on sites at Hatchmoor Common Lane, next to Dartington Fields and on land north of Burwood Lane and enhanced employment space on land east of Hatchmoor.

• Leisure and recreation facilities at the Old Creamery.

Northam

• 1,550 new houses including 500 new homes, a 210 place primary school, a community centre and improved access to site at Daddon Hill Farm.

• Housing west of Buckleigh Road, to the south of Heywood Roundabout and housing and a new road link at Tadworthy Road.

Holsworthy

• 650 new houses and ten hectares of employment space.

• New Agri-business Park to provide employment with improved pedestrian and public transport links to the town.

• Land south of Under Lane to include 90 houses, a new convenience store and provision of green infrastructure.

What do you think of the draft local plan? Write to our letters page with your opinion by emailing newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk or send your letter to North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX33 8PB.

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