The Boundary Committee for England has today issued its draft proposals for how Devon should become a Unitary Authority (disposing of the current district councils and having only one, or two councils in Devon apart from those already in Plymouth and Torbay).
The full report is here
Its major recommendation is that there should be three unitary councils in Devon: Plymouth and Torbay should remain as they are (currently independent unitary councils in their own right) and the rest of Devon should be covered by one unitary council for the whole of the county.
It says that they also saw merit in one other scenario - four unitary councils:
1. Plymouth (remaining as it is)
2. Torbay (remaining as it is)
3. Exeter AND Exmouth - new
4. One unitary council for the rest of Devon - new
In both these options, East Devon District Council ceases to exist in 2010.
If you wish to give your opinion on either of these scenarios or to comment on the Boundary Commission's report on Devon you can do it here
East Devon District Council proposed a scenario that increased its own area by including Exeter and taking it beyond the M5 and over the Exe estuary to Teignmouth. This was one of many scenarios proposed by various District Councils in Devon, all of which have been discounted in this report.
The report has implications for the Seaton Regeneration Area. If planning proposals have not been decided by East Devon District Council by 2010 they will all pass over to the new unitary authority for decision-making. Reading the proposals for the new unitary authority, there is almost no mention of how the planning system will work in a Devon-wide authority - which will be the largest unitary authority by area in the in the country.
Whatever happens it looks like - quite soon - The Knowle could become available for development - perhaps for housing and a large supermarket!