DAWLISH pressure group Dare this week revealed fears that fresh procedures planned by Teignbridge Council could lead to rogue planning applications.

The council's planning process has seen delays in publishing the second deposit local plan, which was due in October.

Further delays have come about because of the announcement of possible new planning procedures.

Two options are available to the council – should it discontinue the local plan, which began in 2001, in which 700 houses were proposed for Dawlish, or should it await new legislation and publish a Local Development Framework Plan?

Val Mawhood, for Dare, who attended the council's executive meeting on Monday, gave a statement to the committee in which she said: 'We wish to express our dismay and concerns over delays leading to the current proposals before you and the potential abandonment of the local plan procedure.

'Without a local plan there can be no departures from such and we wish to voice concern that this could lead to rogue planning applications being submitted and approved on appeal. We wish to be assured that TDC Planning Department already have in place a system to prevent such proposals being considered and accepted. If not, we urge TDC to continue with the local plan procedures.'

She went on: 'Should you decide to adopt the Local Development Framework approach, we seek assurance that the council will approach the distribution of housing according to local needs ie "from the bottom up", as recommended by Professor Crowe at the recent Examination in Public regarding the Devon County Council Structure Plan to 2016. This would thereby not impose excessive housing over and above the needs of the local community.'

She repeated Dare's assertion that extra housing should be in the Newton Abbot area.

'We should draw the attention of the council to the Regional Planning Guidance for the South West policy SS7 that states that "policies should resist the substantial expansion of residential development at small dormitory towns within easy commuting distance of the principal urban areas."

'We expect the new procedure to follow guidance as in the Green Paper which says, "all parts of the community, individuals, organisations and businesses, must be able to make their voice heard". Therefore Dare expects to be involved in the consultation process and its views to be taken into account.

'We anticipate that your decision today will herald a fresh start providing an opportunity to encompass all relevant studies and to produce a sustainable solution which involves the whole community.'

Neil Agget, principal committee administrator, said that he was impressed with Dare's professionalism, the quality of their statement and the relevance of the questions.

Head of planning Steve Robinson said: 'It's not an abandonment of the local plan and on the matter of safeguards, the basis still remains the adopted plan.'

The council gave a verbal response acknowledging the concerns and gave their assurance that they will respond in due course.

Chairman of Dare, Sally Webster said later: 'Dare's three questions were not answered satisfactorily by the head of planning and we await TDC's written responses which they have promised we will receive in the next few days.

'So, will they or won't they change the plan and how will this affect Dawlish?'