Agenda and draft minutes

Strategic Planning Committee - Tuesday, 20th July, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Blackdown House and online via the zoom app

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

Media

Items
No. Item

14.

Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

Minutes:

There were no members of the public present.

15.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 334 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee held on 22 June 2021 were confirmed as a true record.

 

A question was raised by Councillor Bailey about the HELAA panel and sought clarification on when to expect the report as detailed in the minutes.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised a report would come before Members at the next meeting on 7 September.

16.

Declarations of interest

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

Minutes:

Minute 19. Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund.

Councillor Eleanor Rylance, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor.

 

Minute 19. Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund.

Councillor Kevin Blakey, Personal, Cranbrook Town Councillor and a member of the Cranbrook Strategic Delivery Board.

 

Minute 19. Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Daughters live in Cranbrook and may benefit from the Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund.

 

Minute 19. Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund.

Councillor Sarah Chamberlain, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor (ward next to Cranbrook).

 

Minute 20. Planning obligations securing financial contributions to health care.

Councillor Eleanor Rylance, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor and a development in my ward is named in this item.

 

Minute 20. Planning obligations securing financial contributions to health care.

Councillor Jess Bailey, Personal, West Hill Parish Councillor and Devon County Councillor.

 

Minute 20. Planning obligations securing financial contributions to health care.

Councillor Mike Howe, Personal, Parish Councillor and Ward Member for Clyst St Mary.  Also owns a business in Clyst St Mary.

 

Minute 20. Planning obligations securing financial contributions to health care.

Councillor Olly Davey, Personal, Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Minute 20. Planning obligations securing financial contributions to health care.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Pecuniary, Spouse works for the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Minute 20. Planning obligations securing financial contributions to health care.

Councillor Sarah Chamberlain, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor.

 

Minute 21. The Role and Function of Settlements - draft report.

Councillor Eleanor Rylance, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor.

 

Minute 21. The Role and Function of Settlements - draft report.

Councillor Jess Bailey, Personal, West Hill Parish Councillor and Devon County Councillor.

 

Minute 21. The Role and Function of Settlements - draft report.

Councillor Mike Howe, Personal, Parish Councillor and Ward Member for Clyst St Mary.  Also owns a business in Clyst St Mary.

 

Minute 21. The Role and Function of Settlements - draft report.

Councillor Olly Davey, Personal, Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Minute 21. The Role and Function of Settlements - draft report.

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

 

9. The Role and Function of Settlements - draft report.

Councillor Philip Skinner, Personal, Owns land in Talaton that is in the HELAA process.

 

9. The Role and Function of Settlements - draft report.

Councillor Sarah Chamberlain, Personal, Broadclyst Parish Councillor.

 

In response to a question raised by Councillor Skinner about the make-up of a pecuniary interest, the Deputy Monitoring Officer advised it was for Members to consider the facts of each interest and the item to which it applied to.  She advised that failure to disclose a pecuniary interest is a criminal offence and if Members considered something was pecuniary it should be declared and for that Member to leave the room when the item was discussed.

 

 

17.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

With the agreement of the Chair, Councillor Philip Skinner raised an urgent item about the plethora of solar panels coming into the area and asked that relevant policies be discussed at the next meeting.

18.

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 press and public.

19.

Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund pdf icon PDF 219 KB

This report puts forward a proposal for the establishment of a revolving infrastructure fund to support the delivery of critical infrastructure in step with new homes.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Cranbrook New Community Manager and Service Lead – Growth, Development & Prosperity’s report seeking an in-principle agreement to borrow up to £40m from the Public Works Loan Board to capitalise the Cranbrook Infrastructure Fund.  If approved, this would both benefit residents and help to address ongoing viability challenges in relation to the expansion areas for Cranbrook.

 

The report advised that high up front infrastructure costs could potentially be a barrier to the delivery of large scale development and the Service Lead – Growth, Development & Prosperity reported that Cranbrook had overcome that barrier by the use of revolving infrastructure funds to accelerate the upfront delivery of critical infrastructure with the costs recovered on a roof tax basis.  He referred to St Martin’s Primary School as an example of infrastructure delivered through a revolving infrastructure fund enabling it to be opened with just 30 homes occupied in Cranbrook ensuring the attractiveness of Cranbrook to young families.

 

The Cranbrook New Community Manager advised that the Cranbrook Development Plan Document was in the process of Examination in Public and was out for consultation to the viability participants.  Members’ attention was drawn to the potential of upwards of six different developers to negotiate with to secure agreement on the delivery of infrastructure.  They have welcomed the potential cost savings of approximately £9m from the overall development costs that could be saved in interest payments from the £30m infrastructure fund.

 

The Cranbrook New Community Manager outlined the importance of the infrastructure fund that would be required to help fund items including the first additional primary school as well as leisure provision and potential highway upgrade works.  Other items could also be included such as additional education provision and the delivery of enhanced public transport, depending on how the fund revolved.

 

Comments raised by Committee Members included:

·         Concern raised about the eye watering amount of money the district council would borrow and how little detail in the report about what the £30m was going to be used for.  Comfort and reassurance was sought on the risks and to learn what other councils were doing.  In response the Service Lead, Growth, Development & Prosperity acknowledged the concerns raised and highlighted that £32m of revolving infrastructure funds had gone into Cranbrook which had been secured through legal agreements, bonds and parent company guarantees.  He referred to potential risks but said these were mitigated through the use of legal agreements and updated Members on the upgrade of Long Lane next to Exeter Airport that was using the forward funding of infrastructure and advised the payments for future development was secured by bespoke legal agreements. 

·         It is unclear about what is happening with the town centre.  In response the Service Lead – Growth, Development and Prosperity advised he would provide a full report on the town centre after Cabinet on 28 July.

·         Clarification sought on the £10m for electricity.  In response the Service Lead – Growth, Development & Prosperity advised the Council would be looking at a wholesale upgrade of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Planning obligations securing financial contributions to health care pdf icon PDF 324 KB

This report advises of discussions officers have been having with representatives of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) about securing financial contributions from development to address the impacts of developments on the services provided by the trust.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed David Tarbet, Business Development Director, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust who was available to answer any specific specialist questions raised by Members.

 

The report presented by the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management updated Members about securing financial contributions from large scale residential development to address the impact of those developments on health care services in the area.  He referred to a land swap application at Exeter Science Park in 2019 which, although there was not sufficient evidence to justify seeking a contribution at that time, had set the path for working with the Trust to develop a robust methodology to enable funding to be collected from future major residential developments.

 

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management referred to the Wolborough Barton case decision on page 29 where the Secretary of State felt that contributions towards health care could only be justified where developments were not planned for at the stage of infrastructure developments.  He also referred to the Herefordshire case which slightly contradicted the Secretary of States previous decision and broadened the scope where contributions could be sought.

 

As a result of a clear evidence base for seeking contributions and a clear methodology for calculating those contributions based on activity data that the Trust hold, the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised there was now a robust calculator and referred Members to the calculation of contributions as detailed in the report.

 

He drew Members’ attention to the recommendations requesting Members’ to note the discussions that had taken place between officers and Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and agree the proposed approach.

 

Committee Member discussions covered:

·         Support was shown for the report.

·         Clarification sought on whether funding was retrospective to the time of year a person moved in and whether there was a lag between the time and numbers. It was suggested there was a need to lobby Central Government.   In response, the Business Development Director advised that there was a shortfall of a period of 12 – 18 months from when a person moves into the healthcare area and takes occupation of a property.  He referred to lobbying and advised that all NHS Trusts lobby to get a proper fair settlement

·         Support was shown for figure 74 where the diagram shows where residents had moved from.

·         The need for the Healthcare Service to be properly funded, particularly in an area with a rising average age.

·         The need for a mandatory check list.

 

Councillor Ben Ingham supported the recommendations except for two words in the second recommendation.  He referred to the wording in recommendation 2 and suggested that the words ‘(where requested)’ be deleted as the trust should not have to request the funding, it should be automatic.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that it was necessary for the trust to make a submission and request the contributions because their contributions would be calculated on a case by case basis and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

The Role and Function of Settlements - draft report pdf icon PDF 303 KB

This report explains how settlement hierarchy is a key element of the strategy for distributing development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report presented by the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management updated Members’ on how the settlement hierarchy was a key element of the strategy for distributing development. 

 

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management outlined the responses received from the Local Plan Issues and Options consultations which were finely balanced between either retaining the current settlement hierarchy or having fewer villages within the hierarchy and 83 respondents proposing an alternative approach.  He referred Members’ to the role and function of Settlements draft report appended to this report which looked at relevant issues to defining a settlement hierarchy.  Members’ noted that settlements with a higher population, a greater range of jobs for the community and transport facilities would sit at the top of the hierarchy.  Small settlements with a lower population, fewer jobs and a smaller range of facilities would sit lower.  Members’ also noted that while some settlements may have a wider range of services and facilities within the parish it was also factored in as to whether those facilities are within easy walking distance of the settlement.

 

The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management highlighted a minor error in the report as the work had not factored in an additional bus service in Exton and the table on page 35 should include ‘yes’ under ‘less than hourly bus service’.

 

Non-Committee Members comments included:

·         It was an excellent report and was welcomed.

·         It was suggested that playing pitches was added to the criteria in the table on page 69 of the agenda to see which settlements had playing pitches.

·         It was suggested that additional wording be added to the recommendation to read ‘ that Strategic Planning Committee consider the finding of ‘The Role and Function of Settlements – Draft’ and endorse its use as evidence to inform production of the emerging Local Plan.  In addition, to it being informed by other work on factors such as housing, housing employment need, land availability and environmental constraints’.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that constraints was a separate issue and would be looked at later in the preparation of the Local Plan.

·         It was also suggested to include transport constraints.  It is vital that terrible transport links in East Devon is taken into consideration.

·         It was noted that Exmouth would be a tier one settlement.

·         Concerns raised about overdevelopment in tier one and tier two.

 

The Chair invited Committee Members to comment.

 

Councillor Ingham proposed the motion as written which was seconded by Councillor Blakey.

 

During a debate on the motion Committee Members comments included:

 

·         Clarification sought on how certain places had ended up in certain tiers and referred to Budleigh Salterton and Broadclyst being in the same tier when they were not comparable in the services they offered.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management referred Members’ to the comparative table on page 33 appended to the report which detailed the services and facilities  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.