SALCOMBE’S Neighbourhood Development Group have (on October 18th) posted out the second Community Consultation Survey to all homeowners in the Town.
The survey forms a key part of the Neighbourhood Development Plan which will shape the way that Salcombe develops in the future. It will consist of locally approved planning policies which will be taken into account when there are planning applications or new build proposals in the future.
Neighbourhood planning is a new way for communities such as Salcombe to decide the future of the places where they live and work. Across the whole of the UK over 200 Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs) have now been formally adopted by District Councils following a referendum of local people. This is further evidence that these Plans carry real ‘teeth' and give local people a voice. Many of these Plans include policies under which local people now have their say on, for example: Where new homes, shops and offices can be built in the locality - or indeed where they cannot be built. What any new developments should look like (e.g. respecting local traditional architecture or design).
So what is the status of the Salcombe NDP? As noted above we have just delivered via the Royal Mail (October 18th 2016) our second community survey to all ratepayers in the town. In April 2016 we undertook a Housing Needs Survey, which was carried out on our behalf (to ensure strict confidentiality of individual responses) by a team from West Devon Council. Simultaneously with that survey we also consulted every business in town to ask them about their challenges and opportunities, notably in respect of employment for local people and the prospects for their businesses. The summary findings from these surveys are referred to in the latest community survey.
The Local Plan: There is a statutory obligation on every Council in the UK to publish a ‘Local Plan’ which provides local people with a fifteen - twenty year view on how the local economy, housing and infrastructure (roads, telecommunication, health services etc etc) will be developed and managed. The Council is obliged to consult with local people as they draw up this Plan; past experience however is that the vast majority of local people either don’t respond, never get to hear about the consultation process or feel that “it isn’t worth the bother”. Indeed just 76 people responded to SHDC’sconsultation in May/June 2014. By comparison the local Salcombe NDP survey of May 2015 attracted over 570 responses. In 2016 South hams has joined forces with Wet Devon and Plymouth Council to establish a joint Local Plan covering a far wider area than just South Hams. An online consultation about that Joint Local Plan was launched in July/August and attracted 1123 responses from across all three District Council areas but only a handful of comments from Salcombe residents.
The Salcombe NDP Group decided to wait until after that consultation to issue our second community survey so that we had more information about the direction of the Joint Local Plan in respect of target housing numbers, possible site allocations etc. The NDP Group remains determined to give the people of Salcombe a voice through a Salcombe specific Neighbourhood Development Plan noting that this will inform (and should influence) the Joint ‘Local Plan’, but can also establish clear policies unique to Salcombe. Our two Salcombe Councillors (Judy Pearce and Simon Wright) are fully on board with that objective. Through our engagement with SHDC we are endeavouring to make it clear that (i) we have a voice and (ii) we expect that voice to be heard !! Is there still an opportunity to be involved? There certainly is: the next stage of the process will see us starting to draft the Plan and there could well be workshops at which specific topics will be debated during that process.
If you are inspired to shape the Salcombe of the future, please email email@example.com or call 01548 842282. Thank you!
SALCOMBE NDP THIRD NEWSLETTER - April 2016
A third newsletter will be hand delivered to every household in Salcombe in the coming weeks. Click Here for a copy of that newsletter.
SALCOMBE NDP SECOND NEWSLETTER - September 2015
A second newsletter was published in September and hand delivered to every household in Salcombe.
A newsletter was published in June 2015, at the end of Phase I, giving information about progress to date, and what's involved in Phase II. Click Here for a copy of that newsletter.
The newsletter includes the first draft of a vision for Salcombe:
A Salcombe where generations can prosper in both work and life, within a friendly and inclusive community; where development of land for employment or housing is achieved in harmony with the town’s character and the area’s distinctive natural environment.
The online survey closed on 10 May 2015 with 570 completed questionnaires. For the results, Click Here
There was an Open Meeting on 27 April 2015; for full details, Click Here