Agenda and minutes

Virtual meeting, Strategic Planning Committee - Thursday, 23rd July, 2020 5.00 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


No. Item


Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online



Councillor Ray Steer-Kemp spoke on behalf of Bishops Clyst Parish Council and addressed the prospect of traffic chaos and gridlock at Clyst St Mary.  He advised following an investigation, interview surveys and resident questionnaire the parish council presented a report to Devon County Council in February which included recommendations for urgent safety measures along the A3052, a reduction in speed and urgent works to alleviate traffic congestion at the Clyst St Mary roundabout. 


Councillor Steer-Kemp raised concerns that the proposed GESP plan would propose major development at Hill Barton, Greendale and Oil Mill Lane which were all along the A3052 causing more traffic congestion and suggested this could be alleviated by a proposed link from the A3052 to the A30 and a possible link from the A3052 to A376 Exmouth Road.  The parish council urge that positive and funded proposals are submitted to relieve congestion on the A3052 and A376 roads before consideration of any major development.


Dr Nick Hodges spoke on behalf of Farringdon Parish Council and raised concerns on Policy 16 in relation to housing target and distribution on the suggested sites at Hill Barton, Greendale and Oil Mill Lane and addressed the inadequate bus and train links and that they are on entirely Greenfield Sites.  Dr Hodges reminded members that the global vision of the GESP was to produce an economy that was carbon netural and productive, to celebrate the areas of beauty and to provide homes we need.  Dr Hodges addressed the proposal for 14,000 houses in Farringdon when Farringdon does not have a local housing need.  Farringdon should not be taking a proportion of the national housing need, it would lose a special natural and historic environment while supporting ecological devastation.


Mr David Daniel sought clarification of the GESP and referred to economic growth and referred to two House of Commons Briefing Papers that gave an average growth in the South West of 1.6% and a forecast of future growth to 2026 of 1.9% and that these figures were nowhere near the 3.2% assumptions of the GESP baseline and suggested these economic ambition were unrealistic, unsustainable and undeliverable.  Mr Daniel highlighted these forecasts were now outdated due to Covid-19 and the new Permitted Development Rights which came in from September and urged members to pause to take stock and to rethink.


Mr Anthony Sayers spoke on behalf of Farringdon Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Committee and advised members they had spent over 3 years producing a Neighbourhood Plan which had been approved by the parish council and submitted to East Devon District Council this week.  This was a stark contrast to GESP which appeared to have a disproportionate influence by landowners and developers and sites have been proposed without any consultation with local communities. 


Mr Sayers raised concerns for the historic listed buildings in his parish and also referred to tourism being vital to the East Devon economy and emphasised that GESP should be sustainability led and not site led which would lead to environmental damage  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 305 KB


The minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee held on 25 February 2020 were confirmed as a true record.


Declarations of interest

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


Minute 53. Greater Exeter Strategic Plan: draft policies and site options consultation.

Councillor Eleanor Rylance, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor and sit on the Broadclyst Neighbourhood Plan Overview Committee and Ward Member for Broadclyst.


Minute 53. Greater Exeter Strategic Plan: draft policies and site options consultation.

Councillor Kathy McLauchlan, Personal, District Councillor.


Minute 53. Greater Exeter Strategic Plan: draft policies and site options consultation.

Councillor Mike Howe, Personal, Bishops Clyst Parish Councillor and live in East Devon surrounded by these developments;.


Minute 53. Greater Exeter Strategic Plan: draft policies and site options consultation.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, As Parish Clerk to All Saints, Chardstock and Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Councils had attended meetings when GESP had been discussed.



Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online



There were no matters of urgency discussed.


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.



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


Greater Exeter Strategic Plan: draft policies and site options consultation pdf icon PDF 361 KB

To seek Members support for the on-going engagement of East Devon District Council in the production of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan.


The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management presented a detailed presentation to the committee outlining the purpose of GESP to set the scene for debate.


Members noted the advantages of GESP including having a greater opportunity to influence the growth strategy of other administrative areas within Great Exeter, enable better co-ordination of the delivery of infrastructure and access to greater resources, knowledge and expertise through joint working on the plan.  The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management illustrated common issues between the partner authorities such as climate change and habitat protection and that joint working had helped to deliver mitigation for the impacts of developments on the pebblebed heaths and exe estuary.


Members also noted the disadvantages including the lack of control over the rate of progress and risk of a delay if partners cannot agree, the perceived delay to production of a new Local Plan while waiting for GESP as well as technical difficulties around the relationship between the GESP and Local Plan.


The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management referred to key evidence documents which had been assessed against environmental, social and economic impacts; a consultation statement that included feedback on the issues consultation in 2017 which had been considered and had informed the work since that time and a equalities impact assessment which looked at the impact on protected groups.  All these documents are proposed for consultation alongside the main policies and site options documents and appendices to the report.


The proposal before Members was for an 8 week consultation starting 21 September 2020 with opportunities to consider and discuss the issues raised before a further consultation on a draft plan.


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


Discussions covered:


·         Concerns raised that Members have no say over the overall matters being considered;

·         GESP is progressing behind closed doors and Members have been excluded from participating;

·         A lot of emphasis was placed on building new homes but did not focus on first time buyers.  Research showed that new homes are 20% smaller with limited storage space with smaller gardens and not built to passivhaus standards;

·         It is important that the public get to comment on the document with regular communication with those communities where the sites are located;

·         Comment that at the GESP meetings Members were presented with what was going to happen and took no part in contributing towards the debate;

·         Clarification sought on Policy 35 Woodlands Creation and how it relates to this Council’s declared climate emergency.  Planting the right trees in the right places means that trees would be carbon sinks for their lifetime.  Protecting old established trees is the most important thing that we can do;

·         Concerns raised on the potential impact on villages including Aylesbeare;

·         Concerns raised that  approximately 25,000 houses are in the site options for East Devon;

·         Members concurred that it was important for the public to see the document and respond with their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.