After several years preparing the local plan for Dartmoor, which identifies potential housing and redevelopment sites in some of the larger towns and villages, we took our first steps last week towards delivering a site in Chagford.
The 3.7 hectare site at the northern approach to the town has been talked about for many years, and was identified by the community in the 2009 Chagford Design Statement. The site should deliver a mix of housing including affordable housing and homes for older people, as well as a community car park and public open space.
Given the size of the site the Authority wants development to come forward via a ‘masterplan’. The masterplan process should engage the community and other stakeholders in the process of identifying the key issues for the site, leading to a ‘blueprint’ scheme which should be a template for any future planning application.
The week started by gathering a mass of information from Chagford residents at a very well attended meeting in the Jubilee Hall on the Tuesday evening.
Through the week a group made up of community representatives, DNPA staff, representatives of the developers and others, were led by the Prince’s Foundation through a process of site investigation, identifying key issues for the site and the town, and exploring the characteristics of Chagford (positive and negative!). By the Friday we started to consider potential solutions, and a rough plan setting out ideas for the site was presented back to the community at another well attended meeting on the Friday evening (a big thank you to Chagford Primary School for the last minute use of your hall!).
The presentation was well received, and the thoroughness with which issues and solutions were explored at the workshops is testament to the time and effort put in by the community to positively engage with this process.
There will be several more opportunities to have your say on the development, through consultation on the draft masterplan and then planning applications on the site. We’re still at the beginning of the process; the next step will be a report of the workshops by the Prince’s Foundation, which will inform the draft masterplan for the site; we’ll publish this on the DNPA web site at www.dartmoor.gov.uk/chagfordmasterplan. Watch this space for the next steps after that!