On Saturday morning 3 National Park planners; Stephen Belli, David Lillington and Dan Janota, spent several hours in Ashburton town hall talking with local people about development in the town. Two members of the National Park Authority Philip Vogel and Stuart Barker were also there to listen to local people.
A bit of background – in July the National Park Authority published a draft Plan for Dartmoor that, once adopted, will include the policies we use to make decisions on planning applications, and also identifies areas of land in some of the larger towns where affordable housing could be built. You can find out more at on the forward planning pages of our web site. During consultation on the draft Plan several landowners in the Chuley Road area of Ashburton came forward with proposals to redevelop, so this meant we needed to go back into the town to find out what people think of this idea.
The turnout was fantastic, we think over 150 people came to give us talk with us and look at the plans. Unfortunately, so many people came along we didn’t even have a chance to take a photo for the blog (let alone soothe our weary voices with a cup of tea!).
So what were they saying? A lot of locals support the idea of redevelopment of this industrial area, and think it could be an opportunity to improve the appearance of the town, provide affordable housing and some parking. Lots of people completed forms and left them with us; if you want to have your say you can download the form on our web site but you have to get this back to us by Friday the 2nd December.
So what happens next? Once the consultation period has passed we can look at what the everyone has said and decide whether the draft Plan needs to be amended to include this area. The next version of the Plan will be published next year.
Any lessons learned? Next time, we’ll bring a flask…and maybe a cameraman! But a huge thank you to everyone who turned out.