Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 09:08 UK

Houses plan 'needs roads first'

Sustainable homes
The Exeter area is earmarked for 56,000 new homes

A government master plan for future housing development in Devon has been criticised by the county council.

Ministers are proposing 56,000 extra homes in the Exeter area, as well as thousands more around Newton Abbot, north Devon and Plymouth.

But the authority says they can only be built if there is government money to put infrastructure such as roads and schools in place first.

The master plan will cover expansion in Devon for the next 20 years.

Publication of the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) marks the start of a 12-week consultation.

Proposals include 56,000 extra homes in Exeter and the surrounding area, 4,000 at Newton Abbot and 8,500 in Plymouth.

Each house requires about 40,000 of infrastructure and it will be really difficult to get that with the housing market in the doldrums
Councillor Humphrey Temperley

Eleven thousand homes are earmarked for Torridge in north Devon, and 15,000 homes are suggested for Torbay - down from 20,000 in earlier proposals.

Councillor Humphrey Temperley, who is responsible for strategic planning matters, told the BBC: "We came up with areas around Exeter that could accommodate about 40,000 houses, but 16,000 extra is really, really worrying."

He said poor rail and roads access, especially in north Devon, meant the number of houses proposed was unsustainable.

He said: "The government should provide new roads, schools and transport.

"For instance, each house requires about 40,000 of infrastructure and it will be really difficult to get that with the housing market in the doldrums and developers trying to save money."

The DCLG said when it published the latest proposals for consultation that it was "committed" to ensuring that the necessary infrastructure was in place.

The deadline for formal responses to the changes proposed by the Secretary of State is 17 October.




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