To consider a report of the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Economy considering options available to Council for the scope, approach and timetable for the preparation of a new Local Plan for Mid Devon.
The Cabinet had before it a *report of the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Economy considering options available to Council for the scope, approach and timetable for the preparation of a new Local Plan for Mid Devon.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration stated that there was a legal requirement for the Council to complete a review of the Mid Devon Local Plan 5 years from the date of its adoption. The current Mid Devon Local Plan was adopted in late July 2020 and was examined through transitional arrangements in relation to the 2012 NPPF.
In order to meet the legal requirement for a review there was a need to start preparing a new local plan for the district now which would
· be in conformity with current national planning policy in the 2019 NPPF,
· maintain a 5 year supply of housing sites to meet future housing needs,
· provide planning policy for the Culm Garden Village proposal; and
· which could respond to the Council’s policy priorities.
There was also a need to start preparing a new Local Plan following the decisions made by Councils not to progress the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan and for a joint non-statutory strategy and infrastructure plan to be prepared instead.
The paper before members also considered the merits of 6 alternative approaches for preparing a new Local Plan. These included an option for no review needed, a partial plan review and a full plan review. These are weighed up in terms of their advantages and disadvantages. The report also highlighted:
· that a delay to plan making could risk the strategic policies for Mid Devon becoming out of date, an inability to demonstrate a 5 year supply of housing land and the ‘tilted balance’ being applied to planning decisions for housing proposals on sites not identified in the Local Plan; and
· that while future planning reforms set out in the Government’s White Paper could affect a number of the options, the Government had strongly encouraged local authorities to continue the preparation and adoption of local plans and not to delay this in the expectation of those future planning reforms
He outlined the recommendation within the report stating that this could be achieved through current resourcing and budgetary provision, with a potential adoption in mid-2025.
He added that the report also recommended that a non-statutory interim policy statement on planning for climate emergency be prepared alongside the new Local Plan – Option 3. This could supplement current adopted Local Plan policies and help inform the policies in a new local plan.
Consideration was given to:
· The involvement of the Planning Policy Advisory Group in bringing the report forward
· The interim policy statement for climate emergency would act as a bridge and that the new Climate Change officer would guide this further
· The timeline for the plan and whether it would take too long and that key issues should be considered within a shorter timeframe
The preparation of a new Local Plan for Mid Devon ... view the full minutes text for item 304