The Committee considered the report outlining some initial feedback on the consultation that had been undertaken. Members noted that although it was too early to provide an exact total number of responses there had been around 2,500 responses through the Commonplace software and around 1,000 in an email or letter format.
From the statistics detailed in Section 4 it had been identified that the Commonplace software had enabled engagement with a much wider age group seeing over 22% from the age group 35-44 or younger and around 94% of respondents living in the district.
The Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management drew Members attention to some key issues including the 300 responses received to the three options for a new settlement of which 23.3% supported option 1, 11.11% for option 2 and 8.7% for option 3 proving that early conclusions indicated there was a low level of satisfaction for a new community.
Members’ attention was also drawn to paragraph 8.4 detailing specific questions about scales of growth for Feniton and Whimple and noted that a lot of the responses were yet to be analysed including letters and a petition but early indications suggested that only low levels of growth were welcomed in those locations.
Finally the Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management drew Members’ attention to paragraph 9 detailing more general matters raised in responses to the consultation and paragraph 10 about what happens next advising that a full consultation feedback report would be presented to Strategic Planning Committee later this year in the early Summer.
Questions raised by Committee Members included:
· Clarification was sought about why the 500 responses received from Feniton residents in a petition had not been included in the consultation as promised by the Chief Executive. The Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management confirmed that officers had not yet had a chance to review all the comments and advised that a full consultation feedback report detailing comments from all the petitions received would be brought back to the Strategic Planning Committee later this year;
· Clarification was sought on the number of houses proposed for Whimple as the public consultation that took place in Whimple Village Hall held by officers was misleading as it only suggested 35 additional houses but the draft Local Plan is suggesting much higher numbers. In response the Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management emphasised the consultation was a ‘draft’ Local Plan and that further work was needed including levels of growth at Whimple. He advised that the consultation had contained specific questions relating to specific levels of growth for Feniton and Whimple which respondents had answered;
· Clarification was sought on whether the statistics could show additional information such as where respondents live, work or which particular area they were commenting about. The Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that although respondents did not have to give full details he referred to paragraph 4.4 which detailed the total number of respondents giving their address details.
The contents of this initial feedback report be noted.