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What does the Parish Council do?
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A new Plan for West Devon

Our Plan is a new 'Local Plan'.  Despite being called 'Local' it's not the neighbourhood plan that's currently being worked on.  This one is produced by West Devon Borough Council and covers the whole of the Borough. It has all the Borough Council's planning policies in it, or it will have.
It is in draft form at the moment and now is the time for anyone interested to make their views known to the Borough Council.  You can find out more at http://www.westdevon.gov.uk/ourplan
and you can comment at www.westdevon.gov.uk/response
The Parish Council's views
 
The Parish Council has considered a report by the Acting Parish Clerk, that concentrated on those issues that might affect an area like ours.  They have now sent their response to the Borough Council and you can find the full version of that at:
http://www.chillaton.net/files/7614/2685/9685/Minutes_2015_03_04_-_Appendix.pdf

Here's a brief look at what they said:
Sustainable development

The Parish Council accepts that larger villages with some facilities will have to have some new housing, if the overall target for new homes in the Borough is to be achieved.

 
One of those villages is Milton Abbot, which has been given a target of a minimum of 20 new homes.  As Milton Abbot no longer has a shop, the Parish Council feels that a minimum of 15 houses would be more sustainable and would also have less impact on the village centre.
Micro developments
 
The Parish Council is supporting new policies aimed at allowing very small developments of, say, one or two homes that will meet defined local needs.  There are a lot of criteria to meet and safeguards against speculative development.  This seems to be a sensible way of helping people who want to stay in their community, to do so.
Village shops and pubs
 
The Parish Council accepts that if a business has failed and can't be sold, then it may need to have a change of use, often to residential. However, it wants to see Our Plan amended so that such a property has to be marketed as a business proposition for a minimum of 12 months, before an application for a change of use will be considered.
HGV traffic
 
There is a proposal to create a new employment site near the Strawberry Fields at Lifton. The Parish Council doesn't have a problem with that, but as the site will be right next to the A30, it is asking the Borough Council to apply whatever constraints it can to require HGVs to use the trunk road and associated major road network, instead of coming through Lifton and Chillaton.
Our landscape
 
We have an outstanding landscape all around us, but because it's not protected like Dartmoor, it's under pressure from demand for new developments like wind turbines and solar panels.  Another local council has used Landscape Sensitivity Assessments to create a more objective look at the impact of these developments on their landscape and the Parish Council thinks that West Devon should do so too.
Renewable and low carbon energy
 
The Borough Council is expecting new developments to be as energy efficient as possible.  The Parish Council thinks that West Devon should be making that a requirement, if legally possible.
Homes and turbines
 
The Borough Council has a new policy that will require wind turbine developers to assess the impact of their proposals on residential amenities, if there are houses within a specified distance of their sites.

 
The Parish Council thinks it would be wrong to get a developer to assess the impact of their own project on people's homes and wants a more objective test, probably involving a minimum distance between turbines and houses.
Second-hand book sale
 
PLEASE BRING JUST A FEW BOOKS THAT YOU’VE FINISHED WITH

Pop in to the Post Office at the Church Hall at Marystowe
 
Thursday, 9th April between 2.30pm – 4.30pm
 
Bring your friends and neighbours by car or walk up together. Treat yourself to a new book and enjoy a chat over a cup of tea or coffee.

 
Raising money for Tavistock Area Support Services (TASS)
 
If you have any books for the sale, but can’t come on the day, please contact Deborah Asbridge on 01822 860378
Vodafone Mast coming next week
 
One of the Vodafone 'Rural Open Sure Signal' mini masts should be installed at Chillaton Garage next week and trials will then begin to see how the local mobile signal has been boosted.
Speed warning signs coming this month
 
The vehicle activated speed warning signs should be erected before the end of the month. 
Mobile shop - Milton Abbot
 
A mobile shop now visits Milton Abbot on Fridays between 2pm and 4.30pm.  It sells just about everything, including fruit and veg, fresh meat, frozen food, household goods, sweets and more.

For all enquiries, please call 08443 303881.
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