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General Discussion

Dawlish - so just how has its future development been determined?

16 Jan 2014 10:10

Letter from this week's Dawlish Gazette:


"Town is violated by developers

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


John Wilkinson, chairman of Dare, writes:

This year started off much the same as the end of 2013 and I am not referring to the weather. I refer to the confusing state of Teignbridge Council’s Local Plan, sometime called the Local Plan or Plan Teignbridge and supposedly influenced by the Dawlish Parish Neighbourhood Plan.

As we now know the DPNP was found unsound and little has been fed into the Local Plan.

The new Local Plan has in one form or another been in the making for some 12 years. It started out as the Local Plan, then called the Local Development Framework, before returning to the Local Plan. Despite the 12-year period, developers were adding or amending to the plan during the second day of the examination by government inspector Geoff Salter at TDC (Forde House). This was astonishing.

Late in December 2013, Mr Salter stated the plan can be adopted subject to main modifications and a further six weeks’ public consultation period to accommodate recent changes to the Local Plan by TDC. These changes include an additional 350 houses at Shutterton and a large tract of land at Langdon Hospital for mixed use development.

The plan being proposed is considerably different from what many residents of Dawlish will have seen – this is of great concern.

The Dawlish Gazette of December 18 reported TDC selling off land and facilities to raise millions of pounds. In the same edition TDC threatened the compulsory purchase of Warren Farm, Dawlish Warren, to provide a coastal park. In our opinion, this has the potential to jeopardise a third generation family farm.

It is perfectly clear TDC cannot neither afford nor have the desire to maintain land currently in its ownership – Sandy Lane being a perfect example of this. The inclusion of a coastal park is a requirement to off-set additional footfall on sensitive areas at Dawlish Warren from the proposed 1,500 new homes coming to Dawlish soon.

According to one council officer, the coastal park would be predominantly for dog walking. The location of this site is probably the furthest point away from the new homes – this is unacceptable.

In the early stages of the Dawlish plan, the reason so many new houses had to be built was due to the much needed affordable housing; you hear very little of this now. What you do hear is, the new houses will provide much needed funds probably to cover a shortfall from central government.

I do wonder if this is why one of the council’s officers driving the Dawlish plan forward has had a title change from service manager spatial planning and delivery to business manager strategic place. Both are interesting titles themselves, do you not agree?

I am not sure, if like me, you feel confused, disappointed and totally let down with localism and the current planning system, but frustratingly these officers are not elected, merely salaried council staff.

It is not the people of Dawlish who have failed to produce a sound Local Plan but the council aided by central government and now Dawlish is being violated by developers."

2 Agrees
16 Jan 2014 13:31

Dawlish is a nice place to live, why not build more homes so others can live here as well. Just plain selfish to stop people coming here.

1 Agree
16 Jan 2014 14:22

I don't think the issue is whether new homes should be built here Paul but rather how many and where.  This present government made great claim that locals could be involved in how and where their communities would be developed courtesy of the Localism Act but this in fact is not necessarily the case and is most certainly not the case with regard to Dawlish. 

In the case of Dawlish in particular and TDC in general it is still the developers and planning legislation/policies that are determining what gets built, where it gets built and how much of it gets built.

Localism? Lovely idea - but just a big con as far as I am concerned.   

1 Agree
16 Jan 2014 16:04

I understand the concern people have about developers carelessly building houses anyway, potentially wrecking the whole area and running off with the profits.

However when some people moan about it, it comes across as if they just don't want anyone else living here.

1 Agree
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