An appeal has been dismissed on land between Colyford and Seaton which threatened to erode the gap between the two settlements.
The decision, announced today, came surprisingly early following a public inquiry just before Christmas.
The application (12/1185/MOUT) was for a mixed use development, comprising a business development unit (BDU); offices, workshops; residential development (170 units); play area and sportsfield with 2 football pitches, multi use games area (MUGA), pavilion and parking, with all supporting infrastructure, including a spine road.
East Devon District Council agreed in advance of the inquiry that the Local Plan had not been adopted and there was not yet a 5-year housing land supply in plan. Despite this, under the NPPF (current national planning policy or ‘The Framework’), where the Local Plan is not in place and there is a shortage of housing land, then the guidelines state that the decision should be made in favour of sustainable development.
The Planning Inspector for the case, Geoffrey Hill, looked carefully at the situation and stated ‘The housing shortfall although significant is – arguably – relatively short term …’.
In his conclusion, he said ‘I consider that this indicates that the proposed scheme cannot be regarded as fully meeting all three of The Framework’s roles for sustainable development, and that the shortfall in housing land supply is not so severe as to justify overriding these concerns at this stage.’
This is a case which residents of East Devon and of Feniton, in particular, have been watching closely. The Super Inquiry being held into 235 more houses in Feniton (on top of the 50 already won at appeal) is currently taking a breather following 2 weeks of intense debate. The inquiry will take a further two days (4 and 5 February) to complete the presentation and cross-examination of evidence.
Residents await the result with more than a little interest.