The number of homes that have to be built annually in Teignbridge could be doubled under changes to planning rules currently included in a national consultation.
The Government set 1st October as a deadline for comments and Teignbridge Council will be opposing the proposed approach, believing that the numbers are undeliverable.
Views are being sought by the Government on how the method of assessing local housing need might change, how developer contributions might fund discounted homes for first time buyers and other planning system changes designed to speed up and streamline the building of new homes.
Separately the Government has published a White Paper and is consulting until 29th October, on the future of the planning system which would reduce the scope for local people to comment on specific planning applications, providing a plan that had community input was in place.
Councillors are being briefed on the possible changes and invited to identify issues which should be raised by the Council in its response to both these consultations. Portfolio Holder for Planning, Cllr Gary Taylor said: “One of the most contentious issues is the suggestion that housing numbers will be based on a nationally set formula where more homes have to be built annually in areas where open market housing is often not affordable to local residents.
‘In Teignbridge, the changes mean that our housing requirement could increase by 101% to 1,532 homes, double the current requirement to build 760 houses a year. This is a figure which I am sure councillors will consider unacceptable.”
Cllr Taylor said that within the consultations there is a suggestion that the identified annual housebuilding figure would be varied by the availability of land and could be reduced if there was evidence of the lack of suitable space in Teignbridge for building.
“This is a consultation and no final decisions will be made by the Government until later in the year,” he added. “But as a Council we will be responding to the consultation, welcoming changes designed to make the planning system more responsive but strongly opposing the housing numbers which will adversely impact on our communities and environment.”