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Dear Avon Estuary Forum participant or interested follower,
I am writing to invite you to take part in the project presented at the last AEF meeting (see notes – AEF March 2019 – SHORT).
What is this project about?
The criteria of ‘Natural Beauty’ underpin designation of the protected landscapes that cover 25% of England. Recent legislation (and guidance such as the 25 Year Plan for the Environment) increasingly focusses on ‘Enhancing Natural Beauty’.
But what will ‘Enhancing Natural Beauty’ mean in your area? Can you tell any ‘Future Stories’ of enhancement that you would wish for local places that are valuable to you?
What are the advantages of taking part?
You may find the project interesting and enjoy answering questions about your local landscape,
Once the study is finished it is hoped that your ‘future stories’ could help understanding of our connection to our local environment, which would be useful to the organisations and partnerships that protect and enhance it,
It might be possible to draw findings into a local exhibition, article, or online output.
What will you have to do if you agree to take part?
You will be asked to take part in one or more interviews, sometimes set in a location that you know and value. You will engage in discussion either alone or in groups and I will ask permission to record this interview.
Who: Anyone actively involved in living or working in or near the Avon Estuary
What: Interviews of at least an hour
Where: At a place of your choice, maybe even partly outdoors in the Estuary
When: Over the next few months: June – August
Please contact me to arrange an interview or ask questions: email@example.com
Looking forward to talking to you,
Postgraduate Researcher, Architecture
School of Art, Design and Architecture
It’s taken three years to shape, publish and consult on, but the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan has now been endorsed by independent Government Inspectors.
The ambitious plan for what Plymouth and South West Devon could be like in 2034 covering important issues like health, transport, homes, jobs and the economy, green spaces and infrastructure is now set to be formally adopted by the three councils later this week and early next week.
The Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan is being reported to the Full Council in each local authority on the following days:
South Hams – Thursday 21 March
Plymouth – Tuesday 26 March
West Devon – Tuesday 26 March
The Joint Local Plan looks at every aspect of how we want our cities, towns and villages to look and feel for years to come.
The plan area covers a population of 401,567 people who were all asked to contribute to its policies and development sites.
The councils have this week learnt that the Inspectors have endorsed the Joint Local Plan.
Councillor Graham Parker, from West Devon Borough Council, Chair of the Steering Group for the Joint Local Plan, speaking on behalf of the Joint Member Steering Group who oversaw the plan’s preparations said: “We are really pleased that the strategy set out in the plan and the supporting policies which will guide development in the next 20 years have been supported by the Inspectors.
“When this plan is adopted it will be only the 13th Joint Local Plan in the country and one of a very few that have meet the housing and employment needs for their communities in full. All three authorities are now committed to working together to deliver what we have set out in this radical plan.”
Councillor Judy Pearce, South Hams District Councillor on the Joint Member Steering Group added: “This really is an historic moment for all three councils. We came together three years ago because it just made sense to look at this entire area – all 2,126 square kilometres of it – as where people live, work and play are so interconnected. By doing this we have been able to put in place planning policies that will ensure we get the right development in the right place, and protecting the highly valued landscapes of our AONBs.”
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure at Plymouth City Council said: “The plan sets out an unashamedly ambitious agenda for what Plymouth and South West Devon could be like in 2034. The plan makes provision for 26,700 new homes, of which 6,600 will be affordable homes to rent and buy, with 86 per cent planned for brownfield sites in Plymouth. The plan also proposes 375,208 square metres of new employment floor space and along with other employment generating development will create around 20,400 jobs, with 71 per cent of the planned growth to be focussed on the Plymouth Policy Area.”
The Joint Local Plan is a big, complex document. Councillor Coker continued: “Young families will be interested in knowing what the future plans are for new schools and colleges, and how the city and surrounding area plans to build enough homes for people to live in as well as where play areas could be.
“Those passionate about the environment might be interested in the policies that protect important green spaces, parks and sports facilities and how we plan to cut carbon emissions.”
The plan gives clarity to investors about where new developments are supported, where infrastructure improvements are planned while companies looking to move to the area will have policies to support their expansion plans.
Shoppers can see how the city centre might develop or ideas to support more local shops in thriving towns and villages of South Hams and West Devon.
Neighbourhood Planning Forums will now have the strategic policy framework to take forward their own neighbourhood plans for their areas.
The Joint Local Plan in numbers:
It covers 2,126 sq.km, nearly 55 per cent in West Devon, over 40 per cent in South Hams and just four per cent in Plymouth
The plan area covers a population of 401,567 people
Plymouth has 70 per cent of the plan area’s population with 262,712 people
Plymouth’s economic output is £5.2 billion and 130,000 total jobs
The market and coastal towns of West Devon and South Hams, together with a wider network of towns, villages and hamlets provide homes for 138,855 people, 54,385 in West Devon and 84,470 in South Hams.
West Devon is one of the most sparsely populated council areas with a population density of 47people/km2 compared to 95/km2 in South Hams and 3,284/km2 in Plymouth
Over the last 10 years, Plymouth has seen 9,632 homes delivered and 90 per cent were built on previously-built land. Building is underway on a further 1,440 properties and 4,520 have permission to be built.
Since 2014, 5,826 homes have been delivered in the Joint Local Plan Area. At April 2018, there were 1,855 dwellings under construction across the three authorities and a further 13,397 with planning consent.
An initial 600 sites were put forward through the Plymouth Plan. 168 sites are allocated in the plan for mixed use, housing, retail, employment, sports, strategic greenspaces or other uses
117 sites are allocated for housing across the whole plan area.
20 sites are identified to include provision for new retail floorspace.
There are 40 sites where new employment floorspace can be provided In Plymouth’s City Centre and Waterfront Growth Area there are allocations for 3,802 homes and 82,445 sq.m. of employment.
In the Derriford and Northern Corridor Growth Area there are allocations for 4,171 homes and 100,180 sq.m. of employment.
In the Eastern Corridor Growth Area there are allocations for 7,043 homes and 326,625 sq.m. of employment.
The Thriving Towns and Villages have the following allocations:
Dartmouth – 576 homes; 10,800 sqm employment
Ivybridge – 1,078 homes; 4,600 sqm employment
Kingsbridge – 267 homes; 200 sqm employment
Okehampton – 775 homes; 77,700 sqm employment
Tavistock – 1,203 homes; 18,600 sqm employment
Totnes – 528 homes; 7,700 sqm employment
Smaller towns and key villages – 911 homes; 46,780 sqm employment.
Overall, the plan makes provision for 26,700 new homes, of which 19,000 are within the Plymouth Policy Area and 7,700 in the Thriving Towns and Villages.
Overall, the plan makes provision for 6,600 affordable homes of which 4,550 are in the Plymouth Policy Area and 2,050 in the Thriving Towns and Villages.
Overall, the plan makes provision for 375,208 sq.m. of new employment floorspace, equivalent to around 82 hectares of land
All the latest documents and the Inspectors Report together with various supporting documents have now been uploaded at http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/plymswdevonplan
The Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) broadband programme is now offering vouchers through the national BDUK Better Broadband Scheme.
All homes and businesses in the region with broadband speeds of less than two Megabits per second (Mbps), without a published delivery date for superfast broadband within the next 12 months, are now eligible to apply for an interim solution under the voucher scheme.
The Better Broadband Voucher Scheme, administered by BDUK, helps provide access to a broadband service offering download speeds of at least 10 Mbps. Vouchers worth up to £350 would contribute towards the cost of equipment and installation of a 4G, Fixed Wireless or Satellite solution.
Read the full story here – https://www.devonnewscentre.info/cds-now-offering-better-broadband-scheme-vouchers/
See link for details and to sign up for more information:-
Detectives Investigate Unexplained Death – Salcombe
two arrests have taken place
Police are investigating an unexplained death after a 15-year-old boy died.
Police were called at 12.45pm on Saturday 2 February to a property at Carr Close following reports of concern for the welfare of a boy, who is believed to have taken an unknown substance.
Emergency services attended the scene where he was pronounced deceased. His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
He has since been formally identified as 15-year-old Tyler Peck from Salcombe.
Detective Inspector Dave Pebworth from the Devon Local Investigation Team, said: “This is an incredibly sad incident and my thoughts are with the family of 15-year-old Tyler at this time.
“We are at the early stages of this investigation and, at this time, enquires are ongoing to determine the circumstances which lead to Tyler’s untimely death.
“I would stress that this is currently being treated as an isolated incident and that we do not believe there to be any increased risk to the wider community.
“I’d like to urge parents and guardians to talk to their children about the risks and potential dangers involved in taking drugs. Safeguarding is a priority and we do not wish to see anyone else in our community go through this ordeal.”
A 39-year-old man from Kingsbridge was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs. He was released on police bail and has since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
A woman in her 30s was arrested on Wednesday 6 February, on suspicion of manslaughter and being concerned in the supply of drugs. She was released on police bail until Wednesday 6 March.
Investigating officers are keen to hear from anyone who has information in connection to this incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting CR/010319/19.
Steady as She Goes
South Hams District Council presents its budget for the next financial year. A budget to maintain front line services, invest in the local economy and navigate the uncharted waters of uncertain government finances.
Sound financial management by South Hams District Council over the last few years has left the Council in a strong financial position. But uncertainty from central government means that there may be more turbulent times ahead.
Cllr Simon Wright, Deputy Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “Four years ago the Government told us how much money they would give us every year for four years.
“We have known since then that we would not get any more Revenue Support Grant. But the four year settlement did give us certainty that we would continue to get the Rural Services Delivery Grant, which is basically extra money because they recognise it is difficult delivering services in a rural area.
“This agreement ends next year and we have no information about what money, if any, the Government will give us after that.
“It appears that they will be basing future funding figures on the number of people living in an area, and with so many second homes in South Hams, this could prove a real problem for us. We are currently lobbying government to recognise the increase in our seasonal population.
“So without any certainty, we present this budget, a stable, steady budget that helps us to maintain the status quo, allows us to invest where we can, but keeps some money in reserve for an unpredictable future.”
South Hams District Council remains committed to doing everything it can to support residents and businesses. They recognise income generation and local investment will be key to keeping their finances healthy and their services protected.
This is reflected in the budget that they have put forward:
The Council continues to make a £3.9 m saving every year by working with West Devon Borough Council. By working together they save the taxpayer £6 million a year.
This year South Hams has secured an extra £80,604 from Government as part of its Rural Services Delivery Grant, which they have been lobbying for, but this is just for one year.
The Council wants to invest in a programme to replace play park equipment across the District, with a budget of £190,000.
This budget also continues to support the five year programme of repairs to the Council’s coastal assets, worth £300,000 per year.
By signing a contact with FCC Environmental to provide waste, recycling and cleaning services, South Hams District Council will save £286,000 this financial year.
To support the new waste contract, this budget has put money aside to make improvements at the waste depot in Ivybridge and to increase the amount of money the Council is putting away for new waste and recycling vehicles
Work will take place in the village of Ermington to provide new (and improve, existing) business units.
Money has also been put aside to provide improvements to Batson Creek car park.
Resurfacing of a number of car parks has also been included in this budget alongside honouring a commitment made to resurface the South Devon Tennis Centre’s outdoor courts, which are owned by the Council.
Alongside these investments are a programme of development opportunities which will support the local economy and provide jobs. Subject to obtaining planning permission, these include a Hotel in Kingsbridge, a Health Hub in Dartmouth, improvements to the quay and new business units in Batson and Beach Huts at Beesands. The Council also approved a new Commercial Property Strategy which will see it consider prudent commercial investment within the district in the forthcoming year.
This year, the councillors have also agreed to increase Council Tax on the proportion of money that the District Council gets. This amounts to a £5 a year increase on a Band D property or 10 pence a week. This makes the Band D Council Tax for South Hams District Council £165.42 for the year.
Sophie Hosking, South Hams District Council’s Chief Executive, said: “Our finance officers have worked really closely with councillors on this budget. Their careful management of the budget was recognised by the Peer Review team, a independent group of officers and councillors from across the country, who we invited in to observe everything we do.
“They said that sound financial management had put us in a good position. But as Cllr Wright has said, there remains some tough challenges ahead. Next financial year we are still predicting a budget gap of £0.47m and we do not know what our funding from Government will be. So there is clearly a lot of work to do.”
Visit the South Hams District Council Committee for Budget Reports
Visit the transparency pages on our website to read the Peer Review Report