Venue: Phoenix Chambers, Phoenix House, Tiverton
Contact: Sally Gabriel
Link: audio recording
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies.
Declaration of Interests under the Code of Conduct
Councillors are reminded of the requirement to declare any interest, including the type of interest, and reason for that interest, either at this stage of the meeting or as soon as they become aware of that interest.
Cllr R L Stanley declared a Personal Interest as he had received correspondence from residents of Sampford Peverell.
There were no other interests declared.
Public Question Time
To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Mr P Drew, referring to item 5 on the agenda, said I am a Chartered Town Planner and I live in a house on Turnpike, within the Grand Western Canal Conservation Area.
The NPPF says the significance of a heritage asset, such as a conservation area, can be harmed through development within its setting and that great weight should be given to an asset’s conservation.
Policy SP2 refers to conservation area, in the singular, which is a reference to Sampford Peverell Conservation Area at the top of the hill. The reason it does not refer to areas, plural, is because the Council did not notice the Grand Western Canal Conservation Area. One year ago when I asked the most senior officer representing the Council at a local plan consultation event in the village hall what the red line was around my property he wrongly identified it as the Sampford Peverell Conservation Area. As the Council did not identify the Grand Western Canal Conservation Area in its SA it has not assessed the impact of the proposal upon it. This was not addressed in the Historic Environment Appraisal. The Council has refused to apologise for this elementary error, which means the evidence base is not only unsound but leaves the Council in breach of its statutory duty.
I naively assumed that the Council would take this opportunity to correct this clear and highly material error but, astonishingly, it has not. The full appraisal on page 405 of the report pack still envisages access being derived from Turnpike. That led the company, Place Land LLP, which was formed within a week of the Cabinet meeting on 15 September 2016, to propose a gash in the hillside opposite my driveway, comprising a 100 foot wide cutting, and housing on the opposite side of Turnpike on land that is around 9 m above the level of my house. Since a 2-storey house is typically 9 m to the ridge that would mean built forms on even the lowest level of the site would be around 60 feet above the entrance to my house within the Grand Western Canal Conservation Area. The new dwellings would define the skyline and destroy the open rural setting of the Conservation Area, for example when viewed from the towpath to the south-east. However this form of development would fully accord with your unsound policy and the inadequate evidence base on which it is founded.
I am far from reassured this highly partisan additional work is fair or thorough. It is a blatant attempt to justify an earlier decision that your QC had major concerns about. Moreover if the Council seeks to draw any comfort from the consultant’s report, Appendix 1 sets out the various EU requirements and in almost every case it says: “It is assumed that this requirement was met in the earlier SA report for the proposed submission local plan”. In other words, the scope of the consultant’s review did not extend to the very ... view the full minutes text for item 125.
Members to consider whether to approve the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 1st February 2018 – to follow.
The Minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To consider a report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration providing an update on the Local Plan Review, specifically information on the findings of the review of Mid Devon District Council’s Sustainability Appraisal Update 2017 (SA Update 2017).
The Cabinet had before it a report * from the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration providing an update on the Local Plan Review, specifically information on the findings of the review of Mid Devon District Council’s Sustainability Appraisal Update 2017 (SA Update 2017) carried out independently by a consultant. This had been commissioned to advise whether the SA Update 2017 met the legal requirements and to consider matters of reasonable alternatives.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration outlined the contents of the report, reminding Members of the context for why the report was before the meeting and why the resolutions sought were important to Mid Devon.
Mid Devon needed an adopted up to date Local Plan. There was a legal requirement for this, and a public expectation that the new local plan was adopted as soon as possible.
The new Local Plan would be used to guide the development of new homes, jobs, and the infrastructure that was needed to the right places across the district. It would help to protect valued countryside from speculative unplanned development. It would help the Council to achieve its corporate priorities.
He reminded Members that decisions taken by the Council on 22nd September and 1st December 2016 had given approval for the content of the Mid Devon Local Plan Review (incorporating proposed modifications) and for the submission of this plan to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.
He said that he accepted that not all Members had supported all aspects of the plan, but he wished to make clear that the decisions taken reflected the position of the Council as a whole. The Council had approved what it believed to be the best plan for Mid Devon.
The preparation of the new Local Plan had involved significant work by the Council, and had already been subject to extensive consultation with the Mid Devon community over the last 4 years. There had been ample opportunity throughout for comments to be made on this plan. There had been ample opportunity for Members to consider the plan as this had evolved, to have their say and shape its content. He asked Members to recognise the need to progress this through its examination without further delay.
The Cabinet Member further explained that the report in front of them was regarding process and procedure in relation to the Sustainability Appraisal. It was about additional work that had been undertaken by officers in relation to the Sustainability Appraisal. The Sustainability Appraisal was technical evidence that was required to support the Local Plan.
This had followed a Barrister’s legal advice to the Council, and a need for confirmation that the Sustainability Appraisal work that had helped shape proposed modifications to the Plan and decisions taken on these had complied with the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA regulations).
The Cabinet Member stated that Members would recall that the Local Plan was subject to proposed modifications approved by the Council, prior to its submission to the Planning Inspectorate. The Plan ... view the full minutes text for item 127.
Amendment to Minute 127
The inclusion of an additional bullet point to the bottom of page 75 (Minute 127 - Local Plan Review Update) stating that “The views of the local Ward Member with regard to the need to move the Local Plan Forward”,