Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual meeting, Strategic Planning Committee - Wednesday, 16th September, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Online via the zoom app. All councillors and registered speakers will have been sent an appointment with the meeting link

Contact: Wendy Harris  01395 517542; email  wharris@eastdevon.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

54.

Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

Minutes:

A Democratic Services Officer read out a brief statement from Councillor Copus, Chairman of the Planning Committee of Ottery St Mary Town Council which read as follows:

 

As Chairman of the Planning Committee of Ottery St Mary Town Council the Council’s views on the Planning White Paper were made clear in the minutes of the last Planning Committee and the local press.  Our council’s chief concern is the lack of democratic accountability that the White Paper proposes.  I would strongly ask the District Council to write to our MP asking him to fully address this matter.

55.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 189 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee held on 23 July 2020 were confirmed as a true record.

 

Councillor Howe offered his heartfelt apologies to the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management and committee members for his comments made at the last meeting advising his behaviour was an effect of low blood sugar from diabetes.

56.

Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest

Minutes:

Item 59. Changes to current planning system August 2020 consultation.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Clerk to All Saints, Chardstock and Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Councils.

 

Item 60. Planning White Paper - implications and proposed response.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Clerk to All Saints, Chardstock and Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Councils.

 

Item 61. Adoption and implementation of the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule.

Councillor Dan Ledger, Personal, Seaton Town Councillor.

 

Item 61. Adoption and implementation of the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule.

Councillor Eleanor Rylance, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor.

 

Item 61. Adoption and implementation of the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule.

Councillor Kevin Blakey, Personal, Cranbrook Town Councillor.

 

Item 61. Adoption and implementation of the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule.

Councillor Mike Howe, Personal, Bishops Clyst Parish Councillor.

 

Item 61. Adoption and implementation of the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule.

Councillor Olly Davey, Personal, Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Item 61. Adoption and implementation of the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Clerk to All Saints, Chardstock and Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Councils.

 

Item 61. Adoption and implementation of the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule.

Councillor Sarah Chamberlain, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor.

 

57.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

There were no matters of urgency discussed.

58.

Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the Press) have been excluded. Thereare no itemswhich officersrecommendshould be dealtwithin thisway.

 

Minutes:

There were no items that officers recommended should be dealt with requiring exclusion of the public or press.

59.

Changes to current planning system August 2020 consultation pdf icon PDF 614 KB

The report outlines some of the potential implications of the proposed changes and seeks to agree the Council’s response to the consultation.

Minutes:

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management referred to an 8 weeks consultation document issued by Government on 6 August 2020 on the proposed changes to the current planning system and outlined to Members the proposed responses to the consultation.

 

Members noted some of the potential implications from the proposed changes:

·         New methodology for the standard method for assessing housing need with a greater emphasis on affordability which drives up the housing need in East Devon to potentially 1614 homes per year;

·         25% of all affordable homes should be first homes. The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management referred to 2 options for the remainder of the affordable housing requirement.  Option 1, to distribute the remaining affordable housing provision in accordance with local authority policy, which in East Devon’s case would be a 70% - 30% split or option 2 to negotiate the tenure mix separately;

·         First homes would not be required on sites for build for rent homes, specialist accommodation, sell for custom build or exclusively affordable housing.

·         Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans that have been submitted for examination within 6 months would be exempt from including First Homes requirements;

·         Pre applications currently going through the development management process would also be exempt;

·         To include local level varied discounts - The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management emphasised the importance as the standard 30% discount was unlikely to make homes affordable to many people but highlighted a potential opportunity to increase the discount up to 50% which could have a significant impact on delivering affordable homes in East Devon.

·         To raise the threshold for affordable housing from 10 or more unit sites to up to 50 unit sites in urban areas.  In East Devon these sites would include Exmouth, Honiton, Seaton and Sidmouth. – Members noted the number of affected sites was likely to be small therefore the loss of affordable housing would not be significant.  Members also noted a wider implication about whether this would generally help the smaller or medium sized developers;

·         Permission in principle was proposed to extend to sites to over 10 dwellings in size and to introduce a new fee structure and publicity arrangements.  Members noted that East Devon had not received a single application for permission in principle and that customers favoured the outline planning permission route.

 

The Chairman thanked the Service Lead – Planning Strategy Development Management and welcomed non-committee members to speak.

 

The Portfolio Holder Sustainable Homes and Communities raised the followings points:

·         Clarification was sought on first homes in East Devon and the 30% discount of market value.  Concerns were raised that there was a great need for social housing and affordable to rent housing which would reduce the number of affordable housing we have available to rent.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy Development Management reassured members that the proposed response was answered in consultation with the Housing Service who had raised some concerns about how this would impact on housing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Planning White Paper - implications and proposed response pdf icon PDF 826 KB

The report outlines some of the potential implications of the proposed changes to the planning system for the district and seeks to agree the Council’s response to the consultation.

Minutes:

The Service Lead – Strategic Planning and Development Management gave a brief overview of the problems with the current planning system and the government’s vision for the system as detailed in the White Paper.

 

Members noted the consultation seeks to focus on net gain rather than harm, to move democracy forward in the planning process to give neighbourhoods and communities a more meaningful voice, help businesses to expand, support developers and promote improvements to the countryside and prosperity in our villages, towns and cities.

 

The Service Lead – Strategic Planning and Development Management referred Members to the three main pillars detailed in the consultation.

 

Pillar One - Planning for Development which sets out the key proposals relevant to land use plan making, including setting out a national set target of 300,000 homes per annum, removing the 5 year land supply and duty to co-operate, identifying growth renewal and protected land areas and updating the NPPF so that it becomes the primary source of development control guidance.

 

The Service Lead Strategic Planning and Development Management addressed a number of key issues which included:

·         It was unclear how local constraints were to be taken into account and by whom;

·         A lack of strategy for where growth is accommodated across England;

·         The calculator only focused on growth where it previously occurred and where the affordability gap is at its greatest without consideration as to whether or not that is the appropriate response or a clear methodology for doing so.

 

Members noted that although simplified local plans were to be welcomed it was unclear exactly how the 13 months process could be achieved and it appeared to show less engagement with our communities on planning issues and also the welcome of the single sustainability test but lacked detail about how this would operate and how it would differ from the current system.

 

Pillar two – Planning for beautiful and sustainable places sets out to improve the quality of new development coming forward and proposes a national model design code and a revised manual for streets to complement the existing national design guide and for each authority to have a chief officer for design and place making

 

Two key issues had been raised:

·         Although a greater emphasis on design was clearly welcomed the upfront design coding appeared to be in conflict with a 30 months’ timescale for local plan preparation.  Members noted for local plans design coding was time consuming and to try and complete this within a 30 months’ timescale was problematic;

·         A significant lack of resource issues.

 

Pillar Three – Planning for infrastructure and connected places.  Sets out to improve the way in which contributions towards infrastructure associated with new development is made, to improve certainty and transparency by introducing a new fixed rate infrastructure level which would replace the S106 legal agreements and community infrastructure levy.

 

The key issues raised included:

·         The lack of detail in terms of the new infrastructure levy and how that would work and whether it would achieve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Adoption and implementation of the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule pdf icon PDF 191 KB

The report sets out the process for bringing the revised Charging Schedule into effect, including the date for when the new charges will apply.

Minutes:

Members considered the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management’s report summarising the outcome of the examination into the revised Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedule.  The report also detailed the final version of the Charging Schedule for approval setting out the process for bringing the revised Charging Schedule into effect.

 

Members noted the revised Charging Schedule had zero rated Cranbrook resulting in infrastructure being delivered through S106 agreements to ensure greater onsite delivery by developers to ensure more timely delivery of infrastructure.

 

Points raised during discussion included:

·         Clarification on the motivation for encouraging out of town centre retail.  In response the Service Lead – Strategy and Development Management advised that the charging schedule did not seek to encourage out of town retail but that the charges were to be levied based on their viability to ensure that developments were paying the appropriate rates towards delivering infrastructure;

·         Concerns raised that Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton will have no affordable housing;

·         Clarification on why there is a flat rate of higher CIL being applied to Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised the evidence taken from the viability assessment work showed that those areas can afford to pay a higher rate of CIL and still achieve policy compliant levels of affordable housing;

·         Clarification sought on the shortfall of infrastructure funding referred to in paragraph 1.6.  It was advised CIL was never designed to be funding for all the infrastructure requirements, we would need to look at other funding sources from central government, Homes England etc.;

·         Concerns raised on the impact of Covid-19 and government expenditure;

·         Clarification sought on the figures in figure 1 on page 76.  It was advised retail within town centres have never been charged to encourage retail units to be built within the town centres where we want them to be built;

·         People actually want affordable homes instead of care homes so surprised to read care homes will have zero CIL contributions considering we all know they make a good profit.  The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that the viability of all types of care homes meant that they could not afford to pay CIL.

 

The Chairman, Councillor Dan Ledger proposed the motion and was seconded by the Vice Chairman, Councillor Olly Davey.

 

The motion was put to the committee and carried with no abstentions.

 

RESOLVED:

1.    That the outcome of the Examination into the Community Infrastructure Levy Draft Charging Schedule be noted.

2.    Recommend to Full Council that the revised Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule attached to Appendix A be approved with effect from 1 February 2021.

 

The Chairman closed the meeting.