Consultation on the Teignbridge Local Plan Part 1 is to be extended by four weeks following updated Government guidance.
Launched on 23 March, the consultation will now close on 13 July, giving residents a total of 16 weeks to comment on the proposed policies and principles to be applied to all new developments – almost triple the statutory requirement.
In the updated guidance published on 13 May, the Government reiterated its support for local authorities continuing to consult on issues during the pandemic: “We continue to want to see Local Plans progressing through the system as a vital means for supporting economic recovery”.
It also suggested that it was good practice for councils to update Statements of Community Involvement to expressly set out the different ways in which people would be included in consultations.
Portfolio Holder for Planning Cllr Gary Taylor said: “From the outset, we have been clear that we would use a variety of ways to highlight the key elements of the local plan and to seek residents’ views. We have also said that even though the consultation period had been extended at the outset, we would keep the end date of the consultation under review. I am now very pleased to be able to offer a further extension.
“We have been pleased with the number of people who have participated in the consultation which has been greater than in previous consultations.”
Formal responses have already been received by 100 people and the consultation pages on the council’s website have been viewed more than 2,000 times. The consultation videos on YouTube and Facebook have been viewed more than 2,500 times and 21,000 people have been reached through social media. In addition, the weekly resident’s update, which goes to 15,500 people, has focused on different aspects of the plan.
Cllr Taylor said: “We believe in following best practice and we are updating our Statement of Community Involvement to expressly set out more details of our approach in the light of the Government’s guidance.
“Although this will not affect the substance of the consultation, residents will benefit from an extension from the scheduled closing date of 15 June to 13 July – a statutory period of six weeks from the date the update will have come into effect.
“I would like to thank everyone who has responded to our consultation to date – and to encourage residents to continue to participate and complete the feedback questionnaire on our website.”
The Local Plan Part one does not deal with the number or location of developments which will be subject to additional consultation later in the year.
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