New plan to build East Devon back better after the pandemic

East Devon offices

East Devon District Council offices - Credit: LDRS

A  blueprint to make a greener and healthier East Devon after the Covid pandemic has been revealed by council chiefs.

East Devon District Council has published its 'council plan' - focusing on three top priorities 

Better homes and communities for all:  £500,000 has been set aside for a housing task force to build better-quality new homes in areas where residents have access to the amenities they need – like open spaces, healthcare, job opportunities and leisure facilities. 

A greener East Devon: EDDC is focused on achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, the council will be reducing its carbon emissions to the minimum. 

Another top priority is to look after East Devon’s green spaces, natural environment and biodiversity, like Seaton Wetlands. 

A resilient economy: Through the Covid pandemic one third of residents were furloughed, with the longer-term unemployment rate forecasted to increase. 

During the first half of 2020, more than 1,000 jobs were lost, with companies going into administration or relocating, including the collapse of Flybe. Many jobs that have been lost have been high value and skilled engineering roles but just as many are in the lower paid sectors. 

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With more people working from home, the council will also focus on better broadband in rural areas. And schemes to get people back shopping in the town centres to support local businesses.  

EDDC’s leader, councillor Paul Arnott said: “This council plan sets a course for the authority to follow for the immediate future. It is imaginative but realistic as our finances, like so many other councils across the country are limited and this places limitations on how many of our aspirations we can deliver.

“We have quite rightly prioritised delivering on our promise to get more social and affordable homes built, as we face a housing crisis across the country. We have also prioritised our actions to tackle climate change, because if we don’t, as climate change champions say, there is no Planet B. And our third priority is to have manage our finances and to budget in a responsible manner and to work to create a resilient local economy across the district.” 

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