Venue: Phoenix Chambers, Phoenix House, Tiverton
Contact: Sally Gabriel Member Services Manager
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors: Mrs E M Andrews, S J Clist, S J Penny and A Wyer.
Public Question Time
To receive any questions relating to items on the agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Jamie Byrom – resident of Sampford Peverell referring to item 5 on the agenda stated that:
Just over three years ago, Policy SP2 was added to the Local Plan submission. It was a late and rushed addition caused only by the decision to develop Junction 27. Members of the Policy Planning Advisory Group who put it forward, quickly realised they had made a mistake. They led a move to have SP2 removed in December 2016.
Fearing that the Plan may be delayed, those in charge of the Review added safeguards to SP2. Two of these said
1. There must be no development at SP2 until work had started at Junction 27.
2. There must be no work at SP2 until west facing slip roads had been added to the A361 near the village.
The safeguards worked: enough Councillors were reassured. SP2 went into the Plan, but only with those safeguards … And today you are being asked to take them out. The Inspector has identified those two criteria as making the Plan unsound.
Besides, he says, the tie between SP2 and J27 ‘serves no purpose’. That is totally untrue. He is completely wrong. The purpose was explained very clearly in this room three years ago by Mrs Clifford. The audio of that meeting records how she told this Council that a member of the public had asked Cabinet …
“‘Is it possible to change the allocation so that it only happens in the event that land at Junction 27 comes forward because its need is based on Junction 27?’ And this amendment text now incorporates ‘to come forward following the commencement of development of the M5 Junction 27 allocation’. So we have sought to make a clear connection there and sequence between those two sites ...”
In similar vein, Cllr Chesterton who then held the cabinet responsibility for planning, told the meeting that
“if those west-facing slip roads are not built and are not done by Devon County, then I don’t see this site as being suitable or able to come forward”
Councillors, we are clear that Policy SP2 makes your proposed Plan unsound. But we are equally clear that removing the two safeguards makes it unfair.
Promises were made then and promises will be broken here today if you cut those safeguards and leave the rest of the policy in your plan. SP2 requires a Main Modification of some sort. By law, you can ask the Inspector at this stage to make your plan sound by a more radical and a much more fair solution: not by cutting the two safeguards, but by deleting the policy entirely.
You do not need the houses. The site is desperately unsuitable as your Planning Committee can tell you. There are strong planning reasons for cutting SP2. But there are even stronger moral reasons to take SP2 out of your Plan. Please will you do so?
Hayley Keary – resident of Higher Town, Sampford Peverell again referring to item 5 on ... view the full minutes text for item 96.
Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct (00-32-55)
Councillors are reminded of the requirement to declare any interest, including the type of interest, and the reason for that interest, either at this stage of the meeting or as soon as they become aware of that interest.
It was NOTED that all Members had been contacted by those interested in various sites.
Chairman's Announcements (00-34-44)
To receive any announcements which the Chairman of the Council may wish to make.
The Chairman informed the meeting that he intended to suspend Procedure Rule 16.3 (when a member may speak again) for the next item of business.
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.