Are we overdeveloped enough already?
There has been a huge fuss all week after the Council officers responsible for planning strategy issued a document identifying 'preferred' land for 800 new homes along the Yalberton valley. Unfortunately this document had not yet been seen by any of the elected representatives (from any party) who will in fact make the decision.
An apology for this has been quickly given by the Council officers concerned but not before a great deal of stress and alarm has been caused to residents and businesses nearby.
Firstly, there is no way this proposal is going to get anywhere without a full and open public debate and if the level of public hostility demonstrated to far is continued I suspect this proposal will wither quite rapidly.
But the central issue remains, the council is under huge pressure from the Government to find room for several thousand new homes over the next 20 years and there just isn't going to be enough brown land available. There is pressure to build more homes here and in Newton Abbot while protecting most of the South Hams from much development and Dartmoor National Park from any at all.
My view is that while we need new homes, and new homes that people want, there is a limit to how much land can be found in Torbay Borough to build on.
The answer to me is obvious.
The Kingskerswell bypass, if given the go-ahead, will throw up parcels of unviable agricultural land all round it which could easily provide the escape-valve for pressure for building land; in addition to the brownfield sites we already know about.
That is the right place to look for new space to develop; not the unspoiled countryside that we so need to protect.