A new draft to update the district Local Plan up to 2040 is looking to create areas of new homes around the Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton ‘Garden Communities’ where it is hoped there will be greatest access to jobs, public transport, shopping, cultural, social and leisure activities.
Teignbridge Council’s proposed submission for the next phase of the local plan is due to go before the full council today (Thursday).
The submission to be discussed by councillors says says both towns are at the heart of Teignbridge and provide the focus for employment, education, health services, leisure facilities and retailing.
Home to more than 34,500 people, the towns are served by a link of A roads and benefit from public transport services, and the railway station in Newton Abbot.
Both towns were awarded ‘garden community’ status in 2019, recognising local ambitions to revitalise neighbourhoods, boost economic prosperity, and support infrastructure.
Policies in the new submission have been developed following a programme of consultation to understand the views and aspirations of the local community, technical experts and other partners. This has led to objectives for specific projects, development sites and wider ambitions.
One of the aims to ‘drive forward high quality growth’ is to help secure much-needed housing and deliver a range of projects.
While there are constraints due to flood risk from the River Lemon, mineral safeguarding areas, air quality and site availability, the proposals say there are various options for new development.
Sites included are both greenfield on the edges of the towns and brownfield regeneration sites which will help to revitalise town centre neighbourhoods and improve Newton Abbot as a destination centre.
The submission says the allocations are ‘accompanied by a range of policies’ in line with the garden community status to connect people to nature, encourage more people to use active travel and improve local infrastructure while ‘protecting, conserving and restoring’ biodiversity.
Two areas for development already exist at Houghton Barton and Wolborough, both supported by detailed masterplans and either have, or have submitted applications for, planning permission.
There are several Neighbourhood Plans which affect the area covered by the Garden Community policies: Newton Abbot, Abbotskerswell and Ogwell, which should be considered alongside policies when determining applications.
Plans should feature new and improved cycle and walking routes to follow active travel routes such as Newton Abbot town centre to the railway station and enhancing quality and connectivity of the National Cycle Network.
Other suggestions included as priorities include linking the Teign Estuary trail and Exe Estuary trail to Dawlish and Teignmouth, as well as other routes between Newton Abbot, Kingskerswell, Kingsteignton, Teignmouth and Bishopsteignton.
Bus improvements are also required with a focus on improved stops and greater connections. Improvements to Sherborne Road would create a transport interchange hub.
The submission is also to take opportunities to improve active travel, public transport and highways on the A382 and A383, including at Jetty Marsh and widening up to Ilford Park and Drumbridges.
It also features highway improvements for vehicles where there would be improved access, air quality and safety and reduced congestion.
A further aim is to ‘contribute to the creation of green spaces and routes’ including creation of a Newton Abbot Hilltop Countryside Park with pedestrian links; establishing the Aller Brook Nature Reserve as an area of biodiversity value with quiet recreation opportunities; improving quality and accessibility of green corridor routes; requiring and enabling ‘feature’ tree planting through new developments and the town centre to create a Garden Community-wide arboretum.
Other wildlife areas include restoring the River Lemon to create wildlife and flood compatible green spaces.
Proposals are looking at allowing the Teign Estuary to become a ‘hub’ for stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and other river-based activities.
There is an aim to deliver a new strategic sports pitch hub with supporting facilities, on suitable land, likely to be on either the A382 or A383 corridor out of Newton Abbot.
Education goals are to allow for future expansion of provision with land at Decoy, allocated for a new education campus.
This will seek to incorporate and upgrade the nearby Buckland Athletic facilities into the campus for shared use; provide safe road crossing points or a footbridge over Kingskerswell Road and safe active travel links to surrounding communities.
Regeneration of town centres includes are area from Halcyon Road to Courtenay Street including the Market Walk and Market Hall.
The area will continue to be regenerated to take advantage of its location as a town centre focal point to enhance the public realm and spaces, enable the regeneration and extension of the market hall to encourage more visits and a high quality indoor public space and retail area; encourage creation of a ‘cultural quarter’ attracting residents and visitors through a mix of day and night uses, including a cinema.
It also includes opportunities to provide town centre living on upper floors; opportunities to reduce or manage flood risk and provide future resilience to flood risk; and plant new street trees and replace lost street trees.
Newton Abbot’s cattle market is allocated for residential-led mixed use redevelopment of 50 homes.
Plans will require buildings to be designed to conserve or enhance the significance of heritage assets and sited according to vulnerability, current and future flood risks.
See more on the Local Plan 2040 Review at teignbridge.gov.uk.