Devon council expands planning team to meet housing needs

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 14 Jul 2014


North Devon Council is recruiting a senior planning officer in anticipation of increasing workloads related to housing.

The planning policy team, working with neighbouring Torridge District Council, has just published a joint local plan, which is out to consultation.

Joint head of strategic development and planning for the two councils Kate Little told Planning: “The new post holder will look at housing needs statistics and population projections. The person will also work on evidence bases that back up our policy work.”

She said North Devon planned 16,000 new homes, which was quite a large amount for a remote area stretching from the Cornish and Somerset borders.

“We have have high housing demand including retired people but it is a poor area and has the lowest GDP per person in the country. So there's demand but not much ability to buy.

“We have to balance issues of affordable housing with the need to promote economic development and investment to help poor areas and safeguard what is a beautiful part of the country.

“All the villages are willing to take new development, from five to 10 houses, because it meets their objectives to protect schools, shops and pubs.

“So our policy is about protecting the golden egg that is our lovely environment but accommodating the need for development.”

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