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Crucial planning meeting to be beamed on to big screen

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 04, 2012

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LIVE streaming of meetings is being set up so people can watch Teignbridge councillors debate a crucial planning document.

But only 70 members of the public will be allowed into meetings on the controversial topic.

Teignbridge Council has set up the video link from Old Forde House into its main headquarters next door so people can watch forthcoming committees debate the updated Plan Teignbridge.

The document, which will replace the out-of-date Local Plan, sets out how homes, jobs, town centres, roads, schools, healthcare services and green spaces will be provided over the next 20 years.

The strategy will go before the overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday.

It will be the first of a series of committee meetings where the updated plan will be considered by councillors.

After overview and scrutiny, it will go before executive on Thursday, September 13, at 10am and a special full council on Friday, September 21, at 10am.

If approved, the draft will be opened for public comment in November before it goes to an independent Planning Inspector for scrutiny.

Only after that can it be formally adopted — if the inspector deems it sound.

The authority anticipates the September meetings will attract an 'unusually high number' of visitors and says it is taking steps to make it easier for people to watch proceedings.

Public access to the council chamber will be limited to 70 people.

Tickets will be issued by staff at a Plan Teignbridge desk in Forde House's reception area on a first come, first served basis on the day of each meeting.

When the chamber is full, visitors will be directed to Old Forde House where a live video and audio stream of the meeting will be beamed on to a big screen.

It will boost capacity to around 170 people.

A council spokesman said: "Parking may be limited on site but Teignbridge is doing all it can to make sure space is available.

"Water will be made available for all public viewing areas as the meetings are liable to run for several hours."

Refreshments will be available from Devon Deli's café on the top floor of Forde House.

The food company will also have a stall in Old Forde House's main hall.

People with queries can contact the council on 01626 361101 or by email at comsec@teignbridge.gov.uk

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