Big Changes May be Coming

September 25, 2020 4:44 PM

You may just be noticing references in newspapers and on TV to the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP). You may be wondering what it is, and if it will affect you. It could have big implications for logoMid- and East Devon, Exeter and the Teignbridge areas affecting house building, roads and infrastructure. As such it is likely to be controversial, with some in favour, some very strongly against. We will try to set out here what the big picture is, and how it may affect us, without taking sides. This is likely to be a big local issue over the next few years, so you may want to take the time to learn a little more.

What is the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan?

The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) is part of a planning process that seeks to predict the housing and infrastructure needs of the 'greater Exeter' area up to 2040. It builds upon, and may supersede, current long term 'neighbourhood plans' being developed by local Councils. As such it involves those local Councils, and the people of the region, in a detailed consultation. That consultation started in 2017 and has now resulted (June 2020) in the publication of a 'Draft Policies and Site Options' consultation document of some 202 pages. This document can be considered to be the draft plan, it is detailed, lengthy and requires careful consideration. In general terms it proposes 4 development areas (see map):

  1. North - Tiverton, Cullompton & Sampford Peverell
  2. Central - Exeter & Crediton
  3. East - Whimple, Feniton, Honiton & Axminster
  4. South - Newton Abbot

gesp

As envisaged all areas are likely to see significant development. Current plans are to build 33,390 new homes, under GESP this could increase to 53,260, an extra 19,870 (an increase of 59%). The plan envisages both 'brownfield' (existing built areas) and 'greenfield' (new land) development.

houses

Pros

  • Significantly more new homes available which may benefit first time buyers and local people
  • Improvements to local rail and bus networks and services
  • Improvements to some roads
  • A faster internet infrastructure (in the development areas)
  • Employment prospects may improve
  • Existing 'brownfield' sites redeveloped

Cons

  • Possible over provision of housing - which may impact property values
  • Loss of 'greenfield' sites and impacts on the natural environment
  • Increased pressure on local services (hospitals, schools, shops)
  • Busier roads
  • Significant changes to the nature of some local communities - a more urban less rural environment

The consultation process on GESP is lengthy and involves 5 different local councils. For those of us who live here it will bring significant changes - even for those not directly in the proposed development areas. As Liberal Democrats we will champion changes that improve local communities, but not at the expense of the quality of people's lives.

We will be bringing you more information as plans become clearer. In the meantime we'd encourage you to visit the GESP website to see how you may be affected.

bulldozer

Find Out More

If you would like to find out more about the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan please go to:

https://www.gesp.org.uk

You can download 'Draft Policies and Site Options' here:

https://tinyurl.com/y45xu4ch

Keep up to date here:

https://www.gesp.org.uk/stay-informed/

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