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  • Devonia Site Redevelopment Consultation Responses

    Posted on July 11th, 2012 Steve No comments

    Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) have made available an initial summary of the consultation responses to their consultation on the redevelopment of the Devonia site.

    They provide details of all of the responses, but their summary of the consultation is as follows:

    In addition to the initial feedback at the meeting with the Town Council and Community Forum the Authority received 50 written responses to the consultation on the site. 98% of those responses thought the site should be redeveloped.

    A significant majority thought business uses would be appropriate on the site, most considering small business units to be most appropriate, including units at affordable rents, units suitable for artisan uses, some consideration of more high-tech uses. Teignbridge District Council Economic Development Officer would support the redevelopment of the site and has discussed with DNPA officers the opportunity for the provision of start-up or incubator type light industrial and serviced office use.

    In respect of retail the majority were in favour. Views on the type were more mixed however, with many not supporting a large supermarket, some supporting a medium sized convenience store to improve the existing provision and many suggesting small stores including a pannier or farmers market.

    Many supported community use for the site with a range of suggestions for potential community, visitor and leisure uses.

    The majority would support residential uses on the site with support for affordable housing and many favouring a mix.

    Other comments generally expressed support for the site noting issues such as the need to consider the heritage value of the site, flood risk and the need for a sustainable development.

    DNPA’s view on this consultation is as follows:

    In addition to the consultation the Authority commissioned site screening work in respect of the South Hams SAC.  This concluded that whilst the redevelopment of the site could have an impact on the SAC this impact could likely be mitigated, noting that that redevelopment could present an opportunity for an improvement of this area in respect of its value to the SAC.

    We would continue to consider the site positively. There is clear community support for the mixed use redevelopment of the site.

    In line with Policy DMD45 we would consider a development brief or masterplan would play an important role in shaping the redevelopment of this site.  In particular this would enable the consideration of the flood risk and SAC matters in the distribution of different land uses, and the opportunity for community engagement in order to ensure that the redevelopment of the site best meets the community’s aspirations.

    Given this we would consider the allocation of this site in the plan would be acceptable.  We would consider this to be a minor modification to the Plan given the site is already referenced in the Plan.  Its allocation could be a positive step in line with policy and would not, in the Authority’s view, prejudice the housing strategy and allocations proposed in Buckfastleigh at Barn Park (BCK1) and Holne Road (BCK2).

    One interesting comment that was apparently made by the Teignbridge District Council Economic Development Officer was as follows:

    Some years ago, Teignbridge DC looked at the provision of ‘ ‘hub and spoke’ incubation space on this site, the ‘hub’ being the Business Centre at Heathfield. We looked at two of the coastal towns and Ashburton and Buckfastleigh.  These units would be a mix of both office and small industrial space, to be let at full commercial rents but on an ‘easy in, easy out’ basis.  We would hope to encourage people working from their homes into this more formal workspace as a next step. We would wish to allow for the site to be developed in two stages.  A training/learning centre would be part of the provision as we would want to link with local training providers, business advice and mentoring and further education providers to be part of the project.  Raising household incomes is one of the Councils goals and training for both school leavers and others seeking employment and upskilling those already in work would be part of the offer.  This space could also be used by the community outside normal working hours. We would hope this project might be funded by a variety of partners using both public and private monies.

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