To receive and consider reports, minutes and recommendations of the special meeting of the Cabinet held on 21 November 2016
The Leader presented the report of the special meeting of the Cabinet held on 21 November 2016.
1. LOCAL PLAN REVIEW (MINUTE 96)
The Head of Planning and Regeneration was invited to give a presentation to Members. She stated that it was her intention to provide a summary as to how the Council had arrived at this position and to explain in some detail the main changes in relation to the plan.
Quoting from the National Planning Policy Framework 2012 she stated that ‘Local Plans were the key to delivering sustainable development that reflects the vision and aspirations of local communities.’ There was a legal obligation upon the Council to produce a Local Plan and for Mid Devon it would lead to the creation of over 7,860 homes including over 2,000 affordable homes. It would also create 212,416 square metres of commercial floor space attracting investment into the district and creating approximately 2,500 new jobs. Additionally there would be improvements to transport infrastructure which would address existing capacity and safety issues as well as meeting future needs. There would be an implementation of strategic environmental enhancement schemes including flood alleviation, air quality and traffic management.
The Plan would deliver new, improved and enhanced public open space. There would be a protection of designated local green space as well as recreational land and buildings. Enhancement of built and historic environments including heritage assets and town centre regeneration. The Plan would also deliver the provision of new and improved schools, doctor surgeries, community buildings and libraries. The plan would seek to establish a strong basis for managing development through the re-establishment of the Council’s five year land supply which would guide development to the most sustainable areas in line with the district’s spatial strategy, protect our countryside and make the best use of land.
The background to the whole process was then briefly summarised. A major consultation exercise had taken place between 9 February and 27 April 2015 when 971 submissions had been received, including 2434 specific comments. The intention had been to submit that plan later that year but more technical evidence had been needed. On 22 September 2016 Council had considered the allocation of land at J27 for leisure, retail and tourism and the associated additional housing required. Since the 2015 consultation there had been changes to national guidance, the local plan evidence base and highways advice. The plan had therefore been proposed to be modified to reflect the representations received and the changes since 2015. The Council now had before it an updated version of the proposed plan showing the tracked changes. She went on to list the decisions made by the Council so far in relation to the draft plan.
It was proposed that consultation, solely on the modifications to the plan, be undertaken between 3 January 2017 and 14 February 2017 and then it be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate before the end of March 2017. The Department for Communities and Local Government had stated ... view the full minutes text for item 94
Report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration requesting consideration of suggested modifications to the proposed submission local plan and to make appropriate recommendations to Council.
The Cabinet had before it a report* of the Head of Planning and Regeneration requesting consideration of suggested modifications to the proposed submission Local Plan and to make appropriate recommendations to Council.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration outlined the contents of the report highlighting the consultation process that had taken place in 2015, following the consultation additional technical work was required prior to submission to the Secretary of State to ensure that the position was robust. The additional technical evidence had resulted in a delay in submitting the plan. The external technical work, reliant on statutory consultees’ involvement, had taken longer than anticipated to complete. Agreement on the flood modelling work for Junction 28 of the M5 at Cullompton was now expected to coincide with the proposed further round of consultation commencing in January 2016. Also since the last round of consultation in 2015 the Council had proposed to allocate land in the Local Plan for tourism, leisure and retail use at Junction 27 of the M5 and related residential allocations. This had resulted in making the necessary amendments to the plan to reflect this decision, there was also a need to consider changes to Government guidance, updated permissions, completions data and additional evidence.
He outlined the decisions already made by Council in December 2014 and the additional decision in September 2016 to allocate land at Junction 27 and the masterplanning exercise north west of Cullompton. Therefore it was only the modifications to the plan that required approval.
He then provided a list of changes which had been highlighted by track changes within the Cabinet report.
With regard to the additional housing sites required in connection with the proposed allocation at Junction 27, he reported that the Planning Policy Advisory Group had requested that officers give further consideration to whether there was a need to allocate land at Higher Town, Sampford Peverell (SP2).As Members noted that the proposed allocation at Blundells Road, Tiverton (TIV16) was for 200 houses only; whereas the adopted Local Plan allocation was for 200 dwellings together with 7,000 square metres of employment floorspace. Members therefore wished to understand whether there was scope to increase the housing numbers since the employment floorspace was not proposed to be included in the new policy. Officers had reviewed the Blundells Road proposed allocation, if increased to 260 dwellings, the density would rise to approximately 43 dwellings per hectare. The allocation as a whole included land subject to flooding, increasing the number of houses above that proposed would give less flexibility in the design of the flood mitigation measures and would be likely to position housing closer to areas that would remain subject to flooding. A higher residential density could also lead to a less satisfactory residential environment and leave less land available for a sustainable urban drainage system. Importantly development of the site must also safeguard a strategic road route through the site to serve as a road access for future development needs beyond the ... view the full minutes text for item 96