Devon joint strategic plan set for 16-month delay after councils change control

Preparation of a joint strategic plan in Devon looks set to be delayed by almost a year and a half after work was suspended to take into account changes in political administrations across the county.

Exeter. Image: Alison Day / Flickr
Exeter. Image: Alison Day / Flickr

The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) is being prepared by the councils for East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon and Teignbridge plus Devon County Council.

Consultation on a draft version of the plan was due to begin in June this year, as part of a timetable towards adoption in December 2021.

However, the exercise was postponed after the May elections, which saw changes of administration at Teignbridge, East Devon and Mid Devon councils.

A report due to be considered by East Devon councillors next week states: "With changes in administration arising from the recent elections it has been necessary to ensure that the GESP is proceeding in a way and on a timetable which continues to meet the objectives of the four councils."

Lead officers and members at the five authorities have since agreed the following proposed revised plan timetable:

  • Draft Policies and Site Options - June 2020
  • Draft Plan - November 2020
  • Submission Draft - February 2022
  • Submission - July 2022
  • Examination - September 2022
  • Adoption - April 2023

The proposed changes to the timetable must now be agreed by the constituent authorities.

In September last year, a consultation on the GESP was delayed after East Devon councillors refused to endorse a draft of the plan.

In May, three of the councils involved in the plan's preparation were awarded £750,000 by the government to develop plans for a 20,000-home 'garden community' in and around Exeter.

A feature examing how joint strategic plans are progressing across England, including Greater Exeter, and the obstacles that they face can be found here.

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