NORTH Devon Council and Torridge District Council have jointly published a report that re-affirms the councils can show a sufficient supply of land for housing to meet the target for the next five years.

The report on the so-called five-year housing land supply, published on November 30, shows the councils can demonstrate a housing land supply equivalent to 5.18 years.

Demonstrating a housing land supply is important because if councils are unable to do so, they are required to look more favourably on housing proposals that would not usually be considered appropriate.

This can often result in the grant of planning permission for housing in locations that were not expected to see development through the plan for the area’s future.

The five-year housing land supply for northern Devon was re-established in April after a period of three years where it was not possible to demonstrate it.

The importance of this was shown in September when North Devon Council was able to successfully defend the refusal of 161 homes in Fremington at appeal, with the Planning Inspectorate agreeing the councils could demonstrate a sufficient land supply for housing.

This latest report brings the information on the housing supply up-to-date and incorporates lessons learned from defending the recent appeal.

Continuing to demonstrate a sufficient supply means the councils can look to support proposals that contribute towards the long-term vision for northern Devon and the plan for the area’s future, whilst being able to deflect other proposals that fail to do so.

Lead Member for Planning and Development at Torridge District Council, Councillor Rosemary Lock, says: “Being able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land goes to show that the planning system and the planning teams at the councils are playing their part in the delivery of much needed housing for northern Devon’s communities.”

Lead Member for Economic Development and Strategic Planning Policy at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse, says: “It is really positive for the communities of northern Devon that we continue to be able to demonstrate a sufficient supply of land for housing.

"This hopefully means we will see housing come forward to address the very real housing crisis facing northern Devon’s communities, helping to provide housing for local families, whilst still being able to balance that with the ability to protect what people find most special about the areas in which they live.”

The Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement is available to view at: and: .