Just seemed an appropriate time to post this info.
Be aware that despite it being TDC's policy that on housing developments over a certain size and in the more urban areas of the district like Teignmouth and Dawlish, that at least 30% of the units should be 'affordable' this does not always work out to be the case in the end.
We presently have three large housing sites with p/p in Dawlish in the Gatehouse area. One is presently being built and I believe it was eventually agreed that the developer should provide 25% 'affordable' (I have no idea of the size of these units). The second housing developer is yet to commence building but the % 'affordable' committment for this site I now understand to be a mere12%. The third development does indeed have a commitment to 30% but it will be interesting to see if that % remains at that level.
Not 100% sure as it seems that from previous posts the local plan meeting was not conducted in a legally binding manner due to no minutes being taken. However I'm sure that among those present including TDC, developers, etc we agreed that in these economic times 30% was not realistic and would prevent any developer committing. It was therefore agreed that 15% would be a more achievable figure. What is more important than the percentage of houses is the definition of affordable, this was left open ended and in the hands of the housing associations to decide.
You have to be realistic here for a couple with no reasonable and stable employment and therefore no fixed income, no property is affordable. The banks and mortgage companies have already learnt this lesson and this is a major cause of the states financial problems.
Like you MoH I'm a lay person when it comes to all of this but this is how I see the situation.
The Dawlish Neighbourhood Plan is not legally binding (and was never going to be) because the public consultations/steering group meetings etc all took place before the Localism Act came into force. Along with other similar schemes (some 200 or so I think) in the country it was pilot scheme designed to do......... what? I dunno. Presumably to show problems with consulting with/engaging local communities in the formulation of Neighbourhood Plans? Whatever, because all this predates the Localism Bill becoming the Localism Act the Dawlish Neighbourhood Plan is not legally binding.
There is also a further problem in that the recently published National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) says that Neighbourhood Plans (in this case Dawlish's plan) should be formed after Local Plans (District wide plans) have been formed, examined and found sound by an independent examiner. TDC does not have a Local Plan at present - there are in the process of forming one. When you hear the expression "preferred options TDC Core Strategy" that is the Local Plan. Therefore for Dawlish to put together a Neighbourhood Plan before the District wide Local Plan is in place was/is to put the cart before the horse and again not legal. No doubt lawyers acting on behalf of developers will drive a coach and horses through any arguments saying that Dawlish's N'bourhood Plan should carry clout. I heard them do that at the public meeting held the other week so have no doubt they will do exactly the same thing again if need be at planning meetings/Appeals.
I wonder if the TDC planners in attendance at the steering group meetings were aware of all of the above and if they were whether or not they told those present?
I agree that there does seem to be an issue about minutes of the steering group meetings. It seems that no official minutes were taken, only notes, and that the contents of the notes although disputed by some members of the steering group at subsequent meetings were never corrected. Not being a member of the steering group I cannot vouch for any of this first hand but I have been told that this is the case. Certainly I had hells bells to get those notes put into the public domain and had to resort to writing to our MP in order to put some pressure on TDC to get them available to the public.
I wonder if the suggestion of 15% 'affordable' was minuted/noted? I'll have to have a look at the steering group notes again (they are now online) and also ask those I know who were/are members of the steering group. But I do wonder why, if 15% was agreed, that Shutterton Park Ltd are offering 30% 'affordable' in their proposed planning application.
I also have a somewhat cynical take on the word 'affordable' which is why I always put it in inverted commas.