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In a departure from tradition, when planning policies were largely developed in isolation, four councils in the Greater Exeter area are in the process of finalising an agreement that will see them work together for the first time. Mid Devon, Teignbridge, Exeter and East Devon councils are expected to begin work on a single Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP), which will set out the planning policies that will shape the nature and location of development in the region for the next 20 years.
Despite National Policy supporting cooperation between councils, until now joint working has largely been on an ad-hoc basis, with the variations in time taken to get various planning policies in place hindering closer working. With this move, the authorities are clearly indicating their desire to work together to ensure a well-planned growth strategy that will meet the needs of all parties and drive a positive economic picture for the area into the 2020s.
The popularity of Exeter and its environs as a place to live and work continues to grow, with no sign of this trend slowing. The eastern part of Devon, in particular, continues to see the highest levels of growth, thanks, in no small part, to its excellent transport links to the rest of the country and as such, is expected to present many exciting opportunities for businesses, landowners and residents. According to Alister King-Smith, Head of Stags Planning Services, now is a very exciting time for landowners and businesses. ‘Getting involved at the very start of the plan-making process gives the greatest opportunity to have your voice heard. All too often an opportunity is missed, simply by not getting involved in the process early enough’. According to King-Smith, it is the four councils’ intention to launch a ‘call for sites’ in February 2017, with the results of this helping to form a list of sites available to them under the GESP.
To find out more, or to discuss putting your land into the ‘call for sites’ list, please call Stags Planning Services on 01392 439046 or visit www.stags.co.uk