DRAFT LOCAL PLAN – A Neighbourhood Plan will be the next major piece of work for the Parish.
This will bring together our aspirations for the Parish that have been described in the Village Design Statement and the Parish Plan for Lympstone. Both of these are now adopted as supplementary Planning Guidance, although we do have to remind East Devon District Council (EDDC) about this from time to time.
A Neighbourhood Plan comes out of the Localism Act 2012 and should have greater standing in the planning process. The process for achieving this is much more rigorous. The Plan has to take into account national Planning Guidance and the Local Plan for the area. At local level, the Plan process must clearly demonstrate that it contains the wishes of the community as stated by you. To achieve this there will need to be more consultation events and involvement of groups in the Village. The Plan has to be supported by EDDC and vetted by an independent inspector. If it contains provisions that have the effect of granting planning permission in some cases then there has to be a local referendum.
EDDC are still holding back on giving guidance or providing funding to assist with this and so we could be on our own for the time being. This will not stop the Parish Council moving forward to create its own Neighbourhood Plan.
At its meeting on 6th February 2012, the Parish Council received an informative presentation from ‘Design for Localism’ led by David Hawes of David Hawes Urban Design. David lives in Lympstone and so he is aware of local planning matters. The presentation was informative and offered to give support through any or all of the stages to achieve a Neighbourhood Plan.
The Parish Council has produced a draft housing sites plan and will start looking at a draft Infrastructure Plan in the coming weeks. This has been achieved without professional support so far, but if this Working Group or the Parish Council feel that extra help is needed, it is good to know that this is at hand in the village.
A Neighbourhood Plan will also need to work with our adjacent Parish Councils of Woodbury and Exmouth, so that we have clear statements of intent agreed by both sides. From this it has been suggested that a joint Plan might also be a possibility.
As everyone in the Village knows, the appeal against the determination of the planning application for land off Courtlands Lane was heard last week. Don Mildenhall was part of the Village ‘team’ and he reported on how the appeal went. Presentations from the team were generally regarded as being of high quality and well put. However, the team had one leg knocked off their stool when Devon County Council (DCC) withdrew their objections on highway grounds just a few days before the appeal started. EDDC did not perform much better when it came to light that they had already considered this land for future development for housing or a new secondary school. District Councillors Ben Ingham and David Atkins will be pursuing this at the highest levels at EDDC. It was also made clear at the appeal that if planning permission was granted on appeal, then a S106 Agreement would provide considerable funds for improved amenities in Exmouth and not Lympstone. This is clearly not on and strong opposition to this will be put to EDDC this week. The decision on the application is now in the hands of the Inspector and is expected in 4 to 6 weeks.
EXTRA PARKING AT THE VILLAGE HALL
There was a Public Consultation event for this on Saturday 4th February 2012. It was a very cold morning with the first snow of the winter but some brave souls turned out to look at the plans. Briefly, the project will provide about 10 new spaces on a triangle of land between the tennis courts and the school garden, a new path from the school to Candy’s Field and a new path from the school to the Village Hall. Both of these paths will have a fence to protect those using them from traffic.
During the daytime, the new spaces will be used by school staff and in the evenings they will be available for use by residents. A permit scheme will be used to allocate these spaces for which a modest fee may be charged.
When the spaces are in place, DCC will consider implementing a parking ban on School Hill as an extra safety measure and to improve access for larger vehicles.
Nearly everyone who commented at the Public Consultation felt that the whole scheme was a good idea to provide more parking and more safety for children and users of the Village Hall. The only adverse comment was in relation to the proposed parking ban. All of the other comments will be considered by the Parish Council and implemented if this is possible. DCC are the main sponsors of the scheme. They have provided £8,000 through the ‘Invest in Devon’ programme using funds from the sale of Exeter Airport and by providing road planings (chips) free of charge, which would otherwise have been sold. The school and the Parish Council will meet the remainder of the cost.
NEW ENTRANCE SIGNS FOR THE VILLAGE
DCC have been asked about new entrance signs for the village. There are six entrances to Lympstone and it is felt that there should be new signs on at least three of these if not all of them.
Cllr Chris Carter is looking at the options, including extra text for each sign. If you have any suggestions to put forward please get in touch with Chris: tel 274104.
EXE ESTUARY CYCLE / WALK WAY
At last, a record of the meeting when Officers and members of DCC came to the Village in November has been received. They have suggested that a Group of Parish Councillors and residents be set up to meet with DCC Officers to fine tune the recommendations for changes to improve behaviour of cyclists and to improve safety.
A J Le Riche