With the prospect of nearly 1,700 new homes on the doorstep, you are probably wondering what the current situation is, what's already been done, what are the key dates and documents and what you can do.

We particularly need to have as many interested folks at the public consultation on the newest proposal for East Wolborough which commences 4:00pm on 29th October at Buckland Athletic FC. Your Parish Council has the view that there are too many of the wrong kind of homes being planned. 

NA3 Master Plan 2018 


The Teignbridge Strategic Plan is under a five year review and includes NA3 the development at Wolborough. 

Two separate developments are being proposed at Wolborough; West Wolborough, between the A381 Totnes Road, Priory Road and Kingskerswell Road comprises 1,275 homes and mixed development, and East Wolborough, either side of the Buckland Athletic FC on Kingskerswell Road, comprises 450 homes and other developments plus a road linking the A381 with the Kingskerswell Road.

More information is below.


The article below sets out the summary of the work that Abbotskerswell PC and the Worlborough Residents Association (WRA) have been doing in the last few months, as well as the current situation.

Responding to consultations has involved hours spent reading through thousands of pages, compiling thoughts, attending meetings and submitting formal responses to extremely tight deadline set by the respective authorities who issued the consultations. 


This work could not have been completed without maintaining close collaboration on matters of mutual concern with Wolborough Residents’ Association (WRA), Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) and during the year we have developed a closer working relationship with Teignbridge Planners by participating in quadripartite meetings between them, Wolborough Residents’ Association and Newton Abbot Town Council.


Devon Wildlife Trust & the Campaign to Protect Rural England– We have maintained the strong links built up with both of these organisations and will continue to do so to our mutual benefit. The Devon Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England made a generous donation to “CROWD” – now effectively the umbrella organisation for Abbotskerswell Parish Council and the Association. This will help defray some of the costs of obtaining expert opinion on aspects of the PCL Planning Application which need challenging.


Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project- Devon Wildlife Trust is continuing leading the five-year survey of how the Greater Horseshoe Bat uses the local environment throughout the South Hams Special Area of Conservation. WRA and APC continue to collaborate with Devon Wildlife trust on this.


Note: On 12 October 2018 CPRE Devon launched their independent review of Devon housing needs evidence and Government Housing Policy.


These two reports strongly argue that Local Plans are planning for far too many homes, and they fail to plan for enough homes of the right type and in the right locations. 

Copies can be obtained from CPRE: 

Tel: 01392 966737; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Address is: CPRE Devon, PO Box 26, Beaworthy, EX21 5XN


Review of Government Housing Policy front cover 213x300    image.png


Consultations responded to by APC  include: 

  1. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Draft National Planning Policy Framework (dNPPF);
  2. Teignbridge Draft Development Framework Plan for NA3 Wolborough;
  3. the draft South Hams Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Supplementary Planning Guide (SPG);
  4. the Teignbridge (TDC) Local Plan Five-Year Review;
  5. the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan and
  6. the potential impact the above might have.
  7. The PCL appeal for non-determination of last year’s Hybrid Application;
  8. the latest PCL Hybrid Planning Application for the development of NA3 Wolborough;
  9. the Change of Use Application for the Wolborough Barton Farm Buildings; and
  10. the new (access) Road off the Kingskerswell Road.
  11. Request for scoping opinion for residential led, mixed use development at Langford Bridge.

The Public Consultation on the East Wolborough development commences on the 29th October at Buckland Athletic FC. 



We can each continue to post our objections or support for the developments, but most importantly is to keep up to date with what is happening and respond in good time. We must attend public consultations en masse to make ourselves and our views known. 


Summary of Abbotskerswell Parish Council’s key submissions in response to the above:


Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Draft National Planning Policy Framework (dNPPF);

In collaboration with CPRE Devon and other bodies, our submission resulted in MHCLG rewording parts of the NPPF:


“Strengthened protection for ancient and veteran trees by including them as ‘irreplaceable habitats’, so that the ‘wholly exceptional reasons’ test in paragraph 175c) applies to both ancient woodland and ancient and veteran trees. ‘Aged trees’ has been changed to ‘ancient trees’ to align with existing terminology used by Natural England.”

“Reinstated wording that makes clear that National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty, and made clear the scale of development that may be appropriate within them.”

“Explicitly referred to locally designated wildlife sites in the policies relating to biodiversity.”


Teignbridge Draft Development Framework Plan for NA3 Wolborough (dDFP);

The consultation period for the draft DFP ended last Friday, 28th September. The DFP was produced by Teignbridge in conjunction with White, Young & Green. It provides a masterplan covering the entire NA3 allocation which recognises many of the constraints to building on this area; the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Wolborough Fen; South Hams Special Area of Conservation Greater Horseshoe Bat (GHB) flyways and foraging areas; traffic congestion, air quality and topography of the geologically iconic Rolling Fields to mention just a few.

APC submitted a detailed commentary strongly lobbying for the early completion of the link road, full and comprehensive surveys of the SSSI Wolborough Fen catchment and the GHB flyways, the status of the adopted masterplan (arguing that it should be a Development Plan Document that as a policy document, would give it more teeth).

The responses to the draft will be reviewed by TDC planners, revised and reissued as a formal consultation document in December 2018.

Abbotskerswell Parish Council urges all residents to read though this important document which explain the issues, identifies the environmental and human risks in developing Wolborough and makes recommendations. Click here to read.


Specialist assessment of TDC’s Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for Wolborough

APC and WRA have engaged BIOSCAN, one of the UK’s longest established environmental consultancies specialising in applied ecology. They have been delivering independent and highly respected ecological services and advice since 1984. Click here to read BIOSCAN’s report which has been submitted on to TDC as part of APC’s dDFP response. Note: BIOSCAN produced their report for APC without charge.


Draft South Hams Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Supplementary Planning Guide (SPG)

This Supplementary Planning Document is being prepared to provide guidance on the implementation of policies relating to the South Hams Special Area of Conservation, specifically on the population of greater horseshoe bats for which the site is (in part) designated.  It covers five Local Planning Authority areas, Dartmoor National Park Authority, Devon County Council, South Hams District Council, Teignbridge District Council and Torbay Council.

Briefly, amongst other points, APC argues strongly that the proposed “advice notes” referred to in the SPG are to be produce later. Without such advice notes, which gives the document its strength, the proposed document will allow widespread development across rural areas of Teignbridge and elsewhere. 


APC’s response can be read here.

Teignbridge Local Plan Five-Year Review

Teignbridge launched their statutory consultation on the Five-Year Review of the Local Plan (2013 – 2033) upon which we submitted detailed comments. At this stage the review is focussed on the policies. Hopefully, they will also consider the underlying assumptions, particularly on population estimates, before the exercise is completed. Our concern about population numbers stems from the manner that the 2033 population estimate for the District was overstated and adopted on a political whip and casting vote. Subsequent population estimates under the Five-Year Review give a lower number for 2040 by 1,500; for both years the Office for National Statistics estimate is lower than Teignbridge’s by around 5,000. We continue to challenge these numbers and are seeking the evidence that supports the Teignbridge estimates. 

The new review states a requirement for 6457 extra dwelling above the original 12,400, giving 18,857 dwellings in Teignbridge. APC argues that the figures are not sufficiently evidenced so cannot be objectively assessed. 

Read the following two consultation submissions: WRA formal response and APC overprovisioning paper.


Greater Exeter Strategic Plan

Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) – The GESP is a formal statutory document that will provide the overall framework for housing (additional 57,000) and employment land to be provided up to 2040 and by working together the councils aim to earmark the right locations for employment, new homes and infrastructure, while safeguarding the local environment. 


It covers the local authority areas of Exeter City, Mid Devon, East Devon and Teignbridge. WRA submitted detailed representations on the Issues Consultation. Unfortunately, the publication of the outcome of this consultation and the next stage of developing GESP has been delayed until summer 2019 putting the whole timetable back by at least twelve months.

One significant development has been the possibility of a “new village” of up to 10,000 homes. Logic suggests that the creation of a fully resourced community is a far better option than the current urban extensions around Newton Abbot if suitable land can be found, ideally closer to Exeter where the major employment growth is. This plan covers Exeter City, Teignbridge District Council; East Devon; Mid Devon District and recommends at least 57,000 dwellings are required by 2040.


However, Teignbridge Executive resolved that:

(1) the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan document “Our Vision and how we make it real” attached as Appendix A to the circulated report be approved as the basis for public consultation; and 

(2) modifications to the draft consultation document could be made with the agreement of the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, jointly with the equivalent Portfolio Holders in the other GESP local planning authorities.

GESP was passed by the TDC Executive.


In parallel, East Devon District Council resolved that: 

1. that before consultation, the consultation document “Our New Vision and How We Make It Real” be amended to: 

a. include reference to assisting the rural community; 

b. include reference to increasing healthcare provision in response to demographic changes; 

c. include entry level sports provision and sports hub; 

d. include provision of passing loop at Whimple, and other transport provision; 

e. include a review of energy needs and how to supply them; 

f. include an indication of forward funding; and 

g. include a clear set of questions that provide information that can be analysed. 

2. That before consultation, the amended document be considered at a future meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee.


Thus, GESP was rejected by the East Devon District Council’s Strategic Planning Committee. This may add further delay to the GESP programme. 


Note that East Devon’s resolution to GESP echoes our parish council’s ’s similar call for evidencing “information that can be analysed”.


No further comment can be made until a revision to the GESP plan is made.


PCL / REW family applications submitted for NA3 Wolborough (West)


  1. The PCL appeal for non-determination of last year’s Hybrid Application;
  1. the latest PCL Hybrid Planning Application for the development of NA3 Wolborough;
  2. the Change of Use Application for the Wolborough Barton Farm Buildings; and
  3. the new (access) road off the Kingskerswell Road.





CEG / REW family applications submitted for NA3 Wolborough (West)

  1. EIA Scoping Report – Land at Langford Bridge

NA3 - The PCL Planning Applications for the Development of Wolborough –  Last year we submitted a series of representations opposing the Hybrid Planning Application – outline permission for the NA3 development and full permission for the conversion of the farm buildings. Earlier this year PCL appealed the non-determination of this application. Again, we have submitted comments to the Planning Inspector supporting Teignbridge’s stance as there were so much crucial detail that was outstanding, not least the absence of a comprehensive masterplan. 


The Planning Enquiry will be heard:

26 March 2019


Forde House Offices, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX.


At the same time as lodging their appeal, PCL submitted a new Hybrid Application, effectively a straight copy of their 2017 application, plus separate application for the change of use of the farm buildings. Shortly after, PCL submitted a fourth application for an access road and hard standing off the Kingskerswell Road opposite the entrance to the Laundry; PCL’s favoured alignment of the link road.


Again, working closely with our neighbours and good friends in Wolborough, we have submitted objections to development on the geologically iconic “Rolling Fields”. 


We have also, with our good friends in Wolborough, submitted objections to developments at Langford Bridge, requesting that thorough studies are conducted under the Environmental Impact Assessment  

CEG are organising a public consultation at Buckland Athletic FC, Kingskerswell on 29 October 2018 between 4pm and 8pm. Exhibition boards will also be available on www.langfordbridgefarm.co.uk from 29 October 2018.






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