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Greater Exeter Plans – Request for more detail

Newton Abbot Council News

Date: 05/08/2020

Town Council still seeking details of extra homes plan

NEWTON Abbot Town Council has called for further information about proposed additional housing for the town.

The Teignbridge Local Plan, adopted in 2014 and already in action, demands that 621 new homes are built across the district each year until 2033.

More than 4,200 of the properties are going up in Newton Abbot.

But the Government has increased the district’s annual build figure to 760 with the plan likely to be extended to 2040.

Where the extra properties could be accommodated is being considered under a scheme called the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP).

One of the areas earmarked is Houghton Barton West along the A383 Ashburton Road.

The GESP states: ‘The wider Newton Abbot, Kingsteignton and Kingskerswell area is a significant employment and housing location… and there is potential to continue to develop its role with additional homes and employment.’

On July 7 Teignbridge District Council’s Executive agreed to proceed with GESP public consultation starting in September.

Two weeks later, Newton Abbot Town Council voted in favour of creating a task force to consider the draft plan when published.

One Newton Abbot member, Cllr Mike Hocking, told colleagues that he feared Newton Abbot becoming ‘a suburb of Exeter’.

Days afterwards one of the GESP partners, East Devon District Council (EDDC), announced it was withdrawing from the scheme.

Then on July 29 Teignbridge Council declared that its GESP involvement was on ‘pause’ while it considered the implications of EDDC’s action.

But Teignbridge warned that the higher annual build figure of 760 would still have to be met.

The two other GESP partners, Mid-Devon District Council and Exeter City Council, have yet to announce their positions.

Now Newton Abbot Town Council has confirmed its intention to scrutinise any further expansion of the town.

Mayor Cllr Richard Jenks said: ‘We acknowledge Teignbridge’s decision to put GESP on pause but Newton Abbot remains a contender for more homes.

‘We will look at the details when available and work to ensure the best outcome for the town.

‘Our powers are limited but we will be the voice of Newton Abbot, loud and clear.’