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Inquiry into district council’s Local Plan will last a month

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

THE timetable for a major inquiry that will decide the shape of planning in East Devon for the next decade and beyond has been announced.
Government inspector Anthony Thickett will start his 19-day public examination of the Draft Local Plan, submitted by East Devon District Council (EDDC), on February 11th.
Full details of the programme, showing the dates and subject matter of each session, are available on EDDC’s website
Proceedings will last for just under one month and, in that time, the inspector will hear evidence from EDDC, from community organisations and protest groups and from land-owners and developers in the district.
The inquiry will cover all aspects of the Draft Local Plan, looking at how EDDC proposes to tackle issues such as housing and affordable housing, employment, tourism and retail, climate change, gypsies and travellers and the natural environment. There will also be sessions focusing on each of the seven towns in East Devon.
The inspector’s role is to consider whether EDDC’s Local Plan meets the requirements of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and associated Regulations and whether it is sound in accordance with the guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). To be sound, the plan must be positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy.
Councillor Helen Parr, chairman of EDDC’s Development Management Committee, said: “After many years of painstaking research and consultation, we welcome the arrival at last of the public examination of our plan. This is the last round of a process that is being repeated all over the country as councils formulate and amend their plans before finally putting them to the test.
“We have done our best to capture the essence and the detail of how people believe East Devon should develop over the coming years whilst aiming for compliance with the latest nuances of Government policy. But the acid test comes when the plan is held up to scrutiny by a government inspector – and that is what will be happening in February.
“This inquiry is clearly of great importance for the future of East Devon. It will help to determine how many homes may be built for our young people, whether they have jobs, how we deal with climate change, how we handle pressure for development and how we protect the environment. At stake is the future prosperity, well-being and living standards of everyone living and growing up in East Devon, as well as those from elsewhere who want to come here and share this special place with us.”

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