The Govt Inspectors Advice Note w.r.t. the Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon Local Plan is now published:-
The joint Councils have received the Inspectors’ Advice Note which is now live on the examination web page, document EXC15
Please note paragraphs 4 to 7 viz:-
Further potential main modifications
As discussed within the hearings we have concerns with regard to some allocations proposed within the TTVPA, in particular those which are located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
It is stated in the NPPF that the AONB should be given the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. The available evidence does not demonstrate that sufficient weight has been given to this requirement when allocating some sites for housing. Unless clear evidence is available now, sites within the AONBs should be deleted as housing allocations. Exceptions to this are TTV6 (Dartmouth); TTV13 and TTV15.2 (Kingsbridge); TTV29.1, TTV29.2 (Bere Alston) and TTV29.19, TTV29.20 and TTV29.21 (Salcombe) which should remain as allocations. 2
Those housing sites within the AONB where planning permission has been granted and has not lapsed should still be included as commitments in the housing trajectory but should not be included within the JLP as allocations.
In relation to Policy TTV30 the JLP appears to be reliant on the delivery of 650 dwellings within the sustainable villages. This should be clearly set out within policy. The addition and removal of villages from the Figure 5.8 list of sustainable villages must be set out as a MM. In addition some of the villages listed within Figure 5.8 are located within an AONB. Whilst paragraph 5.159 recognises this, the available evidence does not demonstrate that sufficient weight has been given to the AONBs when determining whether settlements are suitable for housing. Unless clear evidence is available now, settlements within the AONBs should be removed from Figure 5.8 and this should be set out as a MM.
As in previous Appeals SHDC have been found not to be giving enough weight to the AONB and therefore this could be used by any village in the AONB which is concerned about a current or future planning application.
Further the Inspector is recommending removing all such villages from fig 5.8 and therefore the JLP.
The power of these “Advice Notes” from an independent Government Planning Inspector should not be under-estimated nor should they be left unstated in any planning item in the villages.
There are a couple of other nuggets in the advice so they are worth reading.