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North Devon Council and Torridge District Council have been working together to prepare planning guidance to applicants, developers and other interested parties on how the councils will support the delivery of affordable housing in northern Devon. 

Launching today (Thursday 31 March), everyone is being invited to have their say on the draft Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The SPD provides detailed guidance on how the councils intend to implement the policies in the existing North Devon and Torridge local plan to help maximise the delivery of affordable housing and ensure that it best meets the needs of northern Devon’s communities.

The document provides a range of technical guidance to help professionals support the delivery of affordable housing, including advice on matters such as how development viability will be considered, the different types of affordable housing that can be considered and how affordable housing should be managed.    

Alongside the affordable housing guidance, the Councils are also consulting on a draft of guidance that is used to establish what information is required in order to submit a valid planning application. The Validation Checklist (VC) provides details of the information and documents required to accompany planning applications in order for them to be considered by either of the Councils.

Chair of the Joint Local Plan Committee Cllr Malcolm Prowse says: "Everyone in northern Devon deserves a safe, secure home with enough space to live comfortably. I hope that through this consultation, residents will take the opportunity and voice their thoughts and help us to work together to provide more affordable housing within the districts."

Vice-Chair of the Joint Local Plan Committee Cllr Robert Hicks says: "Affordable housing is probably one of the key issues facing any Council in the Country but is particularly relevant in desirable areas such as ours where house prices are often beyond the reach of so many of our residents. Ensuring an adequate supply through future development is therefore vitally important and urgent and we would ask that as many people as possible respond to this request to participate.”

The Affordable Housing guidance and the Validation Checklist are both currently available for consultation, running for a six week period until Friday 13 May. They are both available to view on Torridge's website, or alternatively copies can be viewed at the Council offices for North Devon Council at Lynton House, Barnstaple and Torridge District Council at Riverbank House, Bideford.

Responses to the consultations can be made online, emailed to localplan@northdevon.gov.uk and localplan@torridge.gov.uk or posted to, Planning Policy, North Devon Council, Lynton House, Commercial Road, Barnstaple, EX31 1DG; or Planning Policy, Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford, EX39 2QG.

Comments should be submitted by 4:45pm on Friday 13 May to qualify for consideration.

For further information, please contact the planning policy team at North Devon Council via 01271 388317, at Torridge District Council via 01237 428700 or using the email addresses above.