Agenda and draft minutes

Strategic Planning Committee - Tuesday, 1st November, 2022 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Blackdown House, Border Road, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton EX14 1EJ

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

Media

Items
No. Item

50.

Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

Minutes:

Mr Ray Levy spoke on item 10 – Consultation on the draft East Devon Local Plan – updated draft as follows:

“I would like to raise my objections and concerns about the recent inclusion of AONB land south of the Heathfield Estate known as Honi_01, as an option for development within the new draft local plan.   

 

This site was recently subject to two previous planning applications which were roundly and unanimously rejected by the town council and East Devon District Council delegated officers with nearly 200 letters objections from residents across Honiton and beyond. I would encourage the committee to review its multitude of refusal reasons which the majority should still stand and give adequate grounds for removal of this site from the draft plan.

 

Looking at the developer’s latest presentation it suggested constructing 79 dwellings, this would indicate it’s still a significant development within an AONB and would set a precedent not only for this developer to gain further expansion into the adjoining fields, which would require construction regardless, due to the need for access to this centre field site, but also for clear future expansion across to other adjoining areas in this, and other localities.

 

The land at this site rises steeply from the northern existing residential boundary, which already increasingly suffers from run off from the site, flooding gardens and driveways due to increasing climate change, and building over this will only exacerbate the issue.

 

The other major concern due to its steeply rising topography, will be the loss of privacy and amenity to the current residents all along the boundary, as these proposed two story properties will be positioned to gain full advantage of views across to the Blackdown hills AONB (basically ripping up one AONB to give owners views to another!) quite an odd way of preserving our beautiful natural environment.   The Developers would also use the fact it’s within an AONB as their unique marketing strategy, negating the fact they destroyed part of it in the process.  

We are aware of the pressures on the authority to provide enough land to develop for future housing, but AONB and National parks should always be the last resort, not just included to make up numbers to meet erroneous government targets.

 

These areas are of great importance to our economy and the enjoyment of all residents and visitors and should be preserved at all costs.  Your own draft plan goes to great lengths about protecting and enhancing our outstanding landscapes, biodiversity, habitats and species, which this site has in abundance, so this inclusion for development seems to greatly contradict your own document.

 

Could the committee or officers also confirm if Natural England or East Devon AONB were consulted about a variation order with regards to the redrawing of the Settlement boundary on the latest policy map to include this site or the development of it?

 

I thank the committee for allowing me the opportunity to speak this morning and hope you can reverse your decision to include  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Minutes of the previous meetings pdf icon PDF 505 KB

To endorse the minutes of the previous meetings held on:

·      29 September 2022

·      4 October 2022

·      7 October 2022

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee held on 29 September, 4 October and 7 October 2022 were confirmed as a true record.

52.

Declarations of interest

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

Minutes:

Minute 56. New Community Options Appraisal.

Councillor Dan Ledger, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Property would be next door to proposed development.

 

Minute 56. New Community Options Appraisal.

Councillor Philip Skinner, Directly relates Non-registerable Interest, Close associate of the owners of Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park.

 

Minute 57. East Devon Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment 2022.

Councillor Dan Ledger, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Lives next to where development is being proposed.

 

Minute 57. East Devon Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment 2022.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Employee of Axminster Town Council.

 

Minute 58. Consultation on the draft East Devon Local Plan - updated draft.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Employee of Axminster Town Council.

 

Minute 58. Consultation on the draft East Devon Local Plan - updated draft.

Councillor Philip Skinner, Directly relates Non-registerable Interest, Close associate of the owners of Greendale Business Park and Hill Barton Business Park.

53.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

There were no matters of urgency.

54.

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 confidential/exempt items.

55.

Presentations from invited developers/agents/landowners promoting sites in the west end of the district pdf icon PDF 136 KB

The running order of presentations and scheduled time slots will be available by the end of the 28 October.

Minutes:

Mark Dyson, Mark Dyson Property & Nick Wheeldon, Waycotts

GH/ED/56 – Land at Coxes Farm, Sidmouth Road, Clyst St Mary

The landowner owns and lives at the property known as “Denbowe”, and has an interest in the Langdon Business Park, both at the NW side of the site.  These properties have the potential to add to the submitted land, to form part of a larger development, either as further commercial or mixed use, or to access the overall site.  Otherwise there is a good access directly onto the speed restricted zone of the A3052, with good visibility for and of oncoming traffic in both directions.  This is level site, slightly sloping to the west end with loamy and clayey soils.  The site is tree-lined to the SW boundary and between the two land parcels.      The site lies in Environment Agency’s Flood Zone 1, at very low risk of flooding.   A low voltage power line on poles, crosses the western part of the site.

 

This 8.63 ha (21 a) site, which has been put forward in the landowner’s updated (2022) HELAA submission for employment use and now it is suggested it would be ideal for a mixed employment and residential use.  At least 2 ha (5 a) at the western end already has a semi-industrial outlook, bordered as it is on two sides by commercial development, the Langdon Business Park to the North and the Enfield Digester site to the South.  Access will either be directly from the A3052 or through the existing business park.  The remaining 6.63 ha (16.3 a) could be allocated as residential development, SANGS and public open space (POS) delivering up to 150 residential units with a viable percentage of affordable housing.  The development would also include naturalised SuDS features, cycle ways and other community facilities to benefit the local area.

 

Mark Dyson, Mark Dyson Property & Nick Wheeldon, Waycotts

Clge_03 – Land at Clyst Road, Clyst St Mary & Clg_05 –

Land to the west side of Blue Ball, Clyst St Mary

Both sites are under the same single ownership bordering the M5 and separated from each other by Old Rydon Lane.

Clg_03

The land shown comprises 1.75 ha (4.3 acres) which is the subject of this submission.  The whole land parcel (SX9690 5266) includes a further frontage strip of about 30m wide totalling approx. 0.75 ha which belongs is represented by Nick Wheeldon.  This has been selected by officers for consideration separately under reference Clge_04.

 

The site is gently sloping, south-facing land on light, well drained soils with frontage to the motorway on the west side and to previously developed residential land to the North.  There is a wide neighbouring evergreen shelter belt immediately to the South screening the existing light industrial site there.

 

The 1.75 ha part would be suitable for 40-50 residential units, including a reasonable viable percentage of affordable and self-build housing.  This represents a medium density development to include Public Open Space, naturalised SuDS features and probably a LEAP play area.  The density and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

New Community Options Appraisal pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Prior to the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management presenting his report Councillor Mike Allen called a point of order with a request to change the order of the agenda items to discuss item 10 first so that the Committee could have an opportunity to vote whether to delay the draft Local Plan in order that it could be modified as a two stage process which would allow a proper consultation with town and parish councils prior to the public consultation.  The Chair advised that in his opinion he could see no justification to why the agenda items should be changed in order to defer an item for later discussion.  He reminded Members that the public were watching online and would expect the Committee to follow the published order of items.  A discussion then followed between the Chair and Councillor Allen and in response to that discussion the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised it had been listed in the particular way to follow a logical order as there was a need to discuss the new community first as it was a key component to what goes into the draft Local Plan and the HELAA which was a key evidence document would also need to be discussed before the draft Local Plan.

 

The Chair took the decision to adjourn the meeting for lunch.

 

The meeting resumed and the Chair sought clarification from Councillor Mike Allen as to whether he wanted to move forward with his proposal to change the order of the items.  In response Councillor Allen advised that he no longer wished to proceed with his proposal.

 

The Committee considered the report that updated Members on the summary of work undertaken by consultants to assess the 3 options obtained from the Call for Sites for a new community that would form part of the spatial strategy for the new Local Plan.

 

The 3 options were:

 

·         Option 1 – land between the A3052 and A30, around the Hill Barton Business Park and up to Exeter Airport

·         Option 2 – spans the A3052 and the southern part of option 1 and the east of Crealy and Greendale Business Park

·         Option 3 – South of the A3052 north east of Clyst St George

 

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management acknowledged some key issues raised from the morning’s presentations including landscape impact for Greendale Business Park, sewage capacity and its implications and highways capacity, which he advised, had all been addressed in the assessment work.

 

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management highlighted that out of the 3 options identified it had been officer’s opinion that options 1 and 3 had scored higher, with option 1 slightly ahead.  As both options scored very closely it was considered appropriate to consult on both of these options although only one of them would be allocated.

 

Councillor Skinner briefly addressed the Committee and then left the room.  He did not take part in the debate or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

East Devon Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment 2022 pdf icon PDF 282 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management presented a report that updated Members on further work that had been done on the East Devon Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) to satisfy Government guidelines.  Members noted that the majority of information provided had also been provided as an interim report at the 3 May 2022 meeting however since this meeting there had been a further call for sites with all the key findings being incorporated into this report.

 

In response to a request to check the numbering of the 2022 call for sites the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised this would be checked paying particular attention to West Hill.

 

RESOLVED:

1.    That the East Devon Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment November 2022 report for use as evidence for the purposes of the new Local Plan and other spatial plan making, for development management, and in support of achieving East Devon District Council’s corporate objectives be endorsed;

2.    That delegated authority be given to the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management in consultation with the Chair of Strategic Planning Committee, to finalise the HELAA for consultation.  To include making any minor changes to correct possible factual or grammatical errors, ensure links to background reports are made and other minor amendments that do not materially change content.

3.    That the East Devon Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment November 2022 report be published on the Council’s website as part of the new Local Plan evidence base.

58.

Consultation on the draft East Devon Local Plan - updated draft pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management presented the report which addressed the issues raised by Members at a previous meeting and addressed the need for resources for face to face engagement events during the plan consultation period.

 

The report highlighted the track changes summarising the main changes.  The most significant changes were:

 

·         Policy 2 – housing numbers have been recalculated to record preferred allocations and 2nd best allocation sites (previously just preferred sites were listed);

·         Policy 8 – a preferred site is identified (shown on the Policies Map) for a new town on the western side of East Devon (alternative not preferred site options are also shown);

·         Policy 21 – Honiton – Policy is amended to include two additional areas of land for allocation for housing development on the western side of Honiton (the officer intent was to have shown these as allocations but they were omitted from the 1 October draft);

·         Feniton and Whimple – in line with conclusions reached at Strategic Planning Committee on 7 October text has been added to clarify that the plan does not suggest or allocate land to accommodate a strategic scale housing development at these two villages;

·         New policies are inserted into the plan in respect of:

o   Telecommunications development;

o   Contaminated land;

o   Pollution control’

o   Aerodrome safeguarding areas;

o   Vehicular access to sites and land; and

o   Service yards.

 

Members noted that the sustainability appraisal was an ongoing piece of work and further evidence gathering would extend into 2023.

 

Members’ attention was drawn to section 6 of the report which detailed the resource implications for face to face engagement in the main towns between mid-afternoon to early evening.  The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management welcomed Members comments on how this could be facilitated and advised enquiries had already begun on venue availability.  Members’ views were also sought on whether to include other areas including Feniton and Whimple following a request received from Feniton Parish Council for an event in their parish as a result of the scale of growth proposed.

 

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management referred to the recommendations noting that the third recommendation had excluded Cranbrook as it has its own Local Plan and would not be included in the new Local Plan.

 

Councillor Philip Skinner who spoke before the Committee went into debate addressed the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management and sought clarification why Plymtree had not been included with Feniton and Whimple as he would like the village to have the same opportunities as other areas and how the face to face drop in session would be conducted and whether it would cover wards.  In response it was advised that Feniton and Whimple had been included following a resolution by Members at the last meeting.  Members did not resolve to include Plymtree.

Councillor Skinner left the room and did not take part in the debate or vote.

 

Points raised during discussion included:

·         The detail  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Proposed response to consultation on the evolving Local Plan for Torbay pdf icon PDF 373 KB

Minutes:

The Committee was asked to consider the proposed response to Torbay Council’s local plan consultation as set out below.

“Thank you for providing the opportunity for East Devon District council to comment on Torbay Local Plan 2022 – 2040: ‘A Landscape to Thrive’ (your local plan consultation that concludes on 21 November 2022).  I would advise that this council has no specific comments to make on the current consultation.  There appears to be no evidence published to support the approach to housing numbers or how the proposed shortfall would be addressed and so we are unable to comment other than to reiterate points raised in the previous round of consultation that we set out below and would request you fully take into account in respect of your future work on plan making”

 

RESOLVED:

That the Council respond to the Torbay Local Plan Consultation advising of concerns around their current policy position in respect of housing provision in line with the text set out in this committee report be agreed.