To receive the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting on 21 November which will include a recommendation with regard to the Lcoal Plan Examination – Main Modifications.
The Leader presented the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 21 November 2019; he highlighted minute 86 (Local Plan Examination – Main Modifications) and the importance of members approving the main modifications so that a sound or legally compliant plan could be achieved.
1. Local Plan Examination – Main Modifications
The Leader MOVED, seconded by Councillor G Barnell
THAT the recommendation of the Cabinet as set out in Minute 86 be ADOPTED.
The Cabinet for Planning and Economic Regeneration addressed the Council highlighting the importance of the recommendation before Council, the proposed 55 main modifications which had followed the inspector’s advice in his post hearing advice note in order for the plan to be found safe and the process that would follow any decision of the council.
The Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration was invited to provide answers to questions posed in public question time.
She outlined the history of the plan and the journey to date including the Inspector’s advice note following the examination hearings in May 2019 and his concern for the housing trajectory in the early years of the plan and that the plan could be unsound without main modifications. Within his advice note he clearly set out a series of mitigation measures that could address the shortfall: 1. Bringing forward allocated sites restricted by time for not good reason which included Policy SP2 (Higher Town, Sampford Peverell). 2. Bringing forward the contingency sites Policy CU11 (Colebrook Lane, Cullompton) and TIV 13 (Tidcombe Hall, Tiverton). 3. Extending existing allocations or increasing their densities or 4. Allocating a new, large site not constrained by the link road to come forward quickly. The main modifications sought to address the shortfall in supply through the first two measures (Colebrook contingency site only, not Tidcombe Hall) to reduce risk and delay, taking a steer from the Inspector.
With regard to policy SP2, many of the issues raised by members of the public present had already been the subject of detailed representations put before the inspector at the examination hearing; he had looked at the need, the numbers, highway safety, J27 connection, the site selection, the impact on heritage assets including the canal conservation area and had considered the policy criteria, highway safety and pedestrian access. He had also visited the site. The outcome of those considerations were received in the inspector’s advice notes of October 2018 and May 2019. He did not share the view that the site selection was flawed and was content with the Council’s conclusion that the development could take place with very little or no harmful impact on the setting or significance of the canal conservation area was not an unreasonable one and proposed that the tie to J27 could be severed. It was the officer’s view that the main modifications must go forward to allow the plan to be sound or legally compliant, modifications could not come forward for any other reason. The deletion of any policy at this ... view the full minutes text for item 99
To consider a report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration seeking a recommendation from Cabinet to Council that Proposed Main Modifications and Additional (Minor) Modifications to the Mid Devon Local
Plan Review, Addendum to the Sustainability Appraisal, Addendum to the Habitat Regulations Assessment, and Addendum to the Equalities Impact Assessment 2017 are approved for public consultation and, with the exception
of the Additional (Minor) Modifications and consultation responses on these, these documents are submitted with consultation responses received on them to the Planning Inspectorate together.
The Cabinet had before it a *report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration seeking a recommendation from Cabinet to Council that Proposed Main Modifications and Additional (Minor) Modifications to the Mid Devon Local Plan Review, Addendum to the Sustainability Appraisal, Addendum to the Habitat Regulations Assessment, and Addendum to the Equalities Impact Assessment 2017 are approved for public consultation and, with the exception of the Additional (Minor) Modifications and consultation responses on these, these documents would be submitted with consultation responses received on them to the Planning Inspectorate together.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration outlined the contents of the report stating that a package of 55 Main Modifications were proposed. The package followed the Inspector’s advice in his Post Hearings Advice Note in order for the Plan to be found sound and for it to be capable of being adopted by the Council.
The Main Modifications followed the Inspector’s suggested remedies to overcome his significant concerns about the housing trajectory in the early years of the Plan. They were based on realistic assumptions about the delivery of the Town Centre Relief Road and housing allocations at Cullompton, and they avoided looking for new housing sites and the risk this would bring of further significant delay to the Local Plan through the need for technical assessment work and the potential for further examination hearings to be held.
The Main Modifications included:
· Bringing forward development on the allocation at Higher Town, Sampford Peverell sooner because the Inspector had found there were no good reasons for restriction in terms of timing and where he had made clear that the tie to J27 and the requirement for the completion of improved access works to the A361 should be removed. This had followed the Inspector’s careful consideration of the site allocation policy including two specific hearing sessions.
· Bringing the contingency site at Colebrook Lane, Cullompton into the early years of the housing trajectory following Devon County Council’s highway advice,
· Providing some flexibility for allocated Gypsy and Traveller pitches to be provided off-site away from urban extensions provided that a more favourable outcome for Gypsies and Travellers could be achieved.
· Making necessary modifications to clarify the requirements of some development management and other policies in the Plan
The strong feelings of residents of Sampford Peverell and others about the inclusion of SP2 in the Local Plan Review were noted. Those strong feelings had also been recognised by the Inspector. However, Members should be aware that once the plan had been submitted for independent examination further changes could only be made if they were necessary to make the plan sound and/or legally compliant, provided that such modifications were recommended by the Inspector (highlighted within Section 23 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act). The Inspector had already provided his conclusions in relation to the site at Higher Town, Sampford Peverell. There was therefore no provision in the legislation which allowed the Council to replace all or part of the submitted plan with ... view the full minutes text for item 86