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Published on 17 June 2021

Brownfield sites a key part of consultation

Newton Abbot cattle market
Newton Abbot cattle market site

A priority in the preparation of the local plan site options consultation has been to make sure that all opportunities to build on previously developed, brownfield sites are fully exploited.

Explaining this approach, Executive member for Planning Cllr Gary Taylor said:  “No one wants to see fields being built on ahead of vacant or under-used land. The more we can use such sites and to build in towns, the more people can be close to jobs, services and sustainable travel links and the better it is for the environment”.

But despite what many people think, there isn’t that much brownfield land available in Teignbridge which would be usable for employment or housing said Cllr Taylor.

A recent Urban Renewal Study has identified brownfield sites in Teignbridge with the potential to deliver up to 1,400 homes – about 20% of what is needed.  “If responses to the current consultation and further evidence supports development in these areas, we hope to work with landowners to encourage as many of these as possible” said Cllr Taylor.

Many brownfield sites have significant constraints such as risk of flooding and may only be able to accommodate a limited number of properties.  Others are not on the market and many have complicated ownership structures where a number of sites would have to be acquired to enable viable development to take place. 

Cllr Taylor said:  “During the preparation of the Draft Local Plan, we looked at sites that might be developable if for example current business occupants could be encouraged to relocate and we have been particularly robust in examining council owned sites, even exploring whether some of our carparks could be developed”.

Another obstacle to developing on brownfield sites is that if the land has been contaminated in the past it might not be viable to restore it for housing if numbers that can be accommodated on it are low.

This doesn’t necessarily rule sites out forever, said Cllr Taylor, but as it would take time before they could come to the market they do not help meet immediate needs or help us at this stage to meet the requirement to have five years housing supply land always available.

As a result all possible sites in and around the main population settlements of Newton Abbot, Kingsteignton, Kingskerswell, edge of Exeter, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Bovey Tracey and other settlements with good local facilities need to be considered and Cllr Taylor urged everyone to look at the options and respond in the consultation feedback survey.

Consultation documents and the feedback survey are available at