I am contacting you to update you about the neighbourhood plan, because you have either been a member of the MACKPlan team or have previously shown an interest in it.
Having reached the point where we needed to create the evidence base that would underpin MACKPlan’s policies and development proposals, we failed to make further progress.  However, after some considerable time had elapsed, I prepared a draft evidence base, centred around housing, which of course is the major development issue for the MACKPlan area.

A copy of the draft can be found at
Unsure as to whether or not my work was sufficiently competent, I sent a copy to WDBC planners who have since informed me that:
Your document seems to be fine and progressing very well.   You are quite right to acknowledge the need for local evidence which is proportionate such that your group should not feel obliged to undertake comprehensive and detailed studies in order to try to explain the local situation.
Although there has been considerable delay in progressing MACKPlan, that may turn out to be of some benefit as WDBC’s Local Plan [Our Plan] is now going to be part of a Joint Local Plan produced in conjunction with South Hams and Plymouth City Councils.  One key effect of that is to reduce the amount of new homes to be built in West Devon, because there will be a common housing pool across the three authorities and Plymouth intends to build 21,000 new homes.
Consequently, had we proceeded at our original pace, MACKPlan might have over-delivered on new homes or we would have had to re-do some of our work.
The Parish Council is currently being consulted on the new Joint Local Plan [JLP].  The JLP will not contain specific proposals for new housing in villages, but will rely on neighbourhood planning teams to identify where and how such growth can be achieved.  Where neighbourhood plans are not being produced or are unlikely to deliver in good time, West Devon Borough Council could issue Village Site Allocation Plans that identify suitable sites.
Therefore, against a background of increasing importance being placed nationally on neighbourhood planning [the Government intends to strengthen their role soon] and an assumption by the JLP that local people will decide where new homes go, the Parish Council has to decide whether or not MACKPlan should continue or to request Village Site Allocation Plans as an alternative.
I should therefore be grateful if you would let me know whether or not you are willing to be a member of the MACKPlan team, should it continue.  For my part, I am prepared to contribute to the work needed to complete the evidence base, create the household questionnaire, etc., but I cannot devote sufficient time to be able to continue to lead the team as well.
I look forward to hearing from you by 31st July.  Please email me at

Best regards
Howard Asbridge


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