The Teignmouth Planning Steering Committee met for the first time last Thursday evening at Bitton House, Teignmouth.
About twenty of us representing various groups in the town – councillors, Residents Association, Community College, Youth Services, medical services, and so on – listened to Tristan Peat, Principal Planning Officer – Planning Policy, Spatial Planning and Delivery, Teignbridge District Council – outlining and answering questions on TDC’s planning strategy. Tristan explained that this latest strategy is due to the Localism Bill currently passing through Parliament. This Bill is intended to devolve decision making power down to neighbourhoods but does not, apparently, give any guidance on how this should be done. TDC, along with every other Planning Authority, I expect, are learning as they go.
Tristan presented a draft copy of ‘Your Teignmouth (summary report)’ dated December 2010 for discussion and feedback. I have asked Tristan for an electronic copy and in the meantime I have a paper one if anyone wants to read it shortly. The meeting agreed that comments should be returned by Friday 8th April.
Several people observed that they have been consulted on more than one occasion already but there had been no response by TDC, and Tristan acknowleged this. There were also suggestions to involve the whole demographic in Teignmouth and keep the local, free paper well briefed.
A couple of the more experienced councillors cautioned that although the funding sources include the Community Infrastructure Levy from Developers and the New Homes Bonus from the Government, unless Developers can build and sell at a profit, no money will be forthcoming for any infrastructure projects. And, of course, the more affordable homes Developers have to provide, the less profit they make; plus Teignmouth has not got a great deal of land to develop anyway.
Having said all that Tristan also spoke with enthusiasm about the Transition concept, and mentioned local resiliance, and peak oil to the meeting, so it was great that we could be represented there to support him.
The next steps are:
- Comments on the ‘Your Teignmouth’ report returned to TDC by the 8th April. I shall circulate the report as soon as I can.
- A Steering Group to develop a workshop style planning meeting for a wider, although still by invitation only, group of community interests in Teignmouth. Date to be arranged; it will probably be an early evening weekday.
This is all very relevant to ideas of Transition, but sadly, I cannot give as much time to it as it deserves. If there is anyone who has a particular interest in this area and who would like to take this on, or perhaps take part in a sub-group of Teign Estuary Transition, please get in touch.