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Town Council’s West Dart Decision

Dartmouth Town Council has no statutory power to decide Millwood Homes’ West Dart planning application (15_51/1750/14/O), but part of the mainly Stoke Fleming scheme of 240 homes is inthe Parish of Dartmouth, and Dartmouth Town Council is a consultee. There is concern about this application and at its meeting last week the Planning Committee of the Town Council was briefed by David Kenyon the Chief Planning Officer of South Hams Council and afterwards they voted to defer their planning opinion to a later date.

Mr Kenyon said his instruction was to present a balanced professional opinion of the scheme to elected councillors on the District Council’s Development Control committee. He was seeking the maximum possible affordable housing and industrial usage from the allocated space, and to help him do this he had commissioned Lovell Consulting to carry out an independent viability assessment in the next 10 days. This might include sensitive data protected by the Data Protection Act in which case a modified report would appear on the District Council website for the public and the Town Council.

A key question is the 14% (36) affordable homes proposed in the application, and referring to the council’s target policy of 55% Mr Kenyon said he was waiting for a report from South Hams Council’s affordable housing manager about this. Until then he had no advice to give town councillors and he recommended they could not be fully informed without that information and they should delay their decision. And if the application is to be rejected on this issue, the District and Town Councils would need evidence to support their decisions.

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