Blueprint for future is delayed
THE major document due to outline the future of Teignbridge for the next 20 years has been delayed.
The authority was due to submit Plan Teignbridge in February but says it is facing a 'disappointing' three-month delay to meet planning regulations.
The move has been criticised by Cllr Alan Connett, chairman of the authority's overview and scrutiny committee.
He said: "The Conservatives should be acutely embarrassed. Developers must be licking their lips because without a plan they have unfettered access to the green fields of Teignbridge.
"Until the plan is agreed we do not have a shield against developers in a system where the presumption is in favour of development."
The lengthy document is the development blueprint for the district until 2033. It sets out the number of houses, and allocates available space for employment, schools and roads, which prospective developers must pay heed to.
It was due to be submitted to the planning inspector in February but that has now been delayed until June.
Cllr Philip Vogel, Teignbridge District Council's executive spokesman for housing and planning, said: "It is crucial for Teignbridge to have an approved plan to guide our decisions over the next 20 years and the route to achieving this becomes ever more complex.
"This is disappointing but we have to operate within guidance which is constantly evolving.
"We are determined that, when we come to present our case before an independent inspector, we will have done everything possible to ensure that we have left no room for a challenge of our procedure. It may take us a bit longer to get there but we are still on the right track."
The plan needs to go before an Independent Planning Inspector for a public examination before it can be declared 'sound' and fit for adoption.
The authority said the process has been slowed by changing advice on the Community Infrastructure Levy, a new levy that local authorities can choose to charge on new developments in their area.
A planning inspector advised in October that Teignbridge could submit its plan ahead of the CIL proposals, which are still being formulated. But it has now been told that it is preferable to submit the two together.
The matter will go before the overview and scrutiny committee meeting on April 3.