The Committee considered the Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management report that addressed some cross boundary issues relating to the Teignbridge Local Plan Regulation 19 Consultation which included the European designated wildlife sites of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths and land designated for windfall sites.
Members’ attention was also drawn to the following concerns:
· that their Local Plan does not set out a minimum housing requirement figure for the whole plan period.
· there was a lack of clarity about the potential risk of unmet housing need in the Teignbridge Plan area
· no allowance has been made for small windfall sites;
· housing supply within the Teignbridge part of Dartmoor has not been taken into account;
· the need to plan for more buffers which has not been addressed in the Plan;
· the level of housing requirement to accommodate any unmet housing from the adjoining authority Torbay Council has not been addressed;
The Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that in response to these concerns he had had a useful and productive meeting with Teignbridge District Council who had accepted that minor modifications were needed to address these concerns and further information needed to be made available and as such asked Members to consider the proposed response as detailed in the report.
Questions and concerns raised by Members included:
· Clarification was sought on the response from Exeter City Council. The Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that although he had not read it he understood they have objected quite strongly;
· Concerns raised about EDDC being made a scapegoat for Teignbridge’s housing allocation;
· A comment was made that perhaps our response was too polite and whether there was a need for stronger recommendations. In response it was advised EDDC would have a ‘seat at the table’ and its position would be protected by raising representations to the Inspector at the examination stage if the issues highlighted in the report were not resolved in the meantime;
· Clarification was sought on EDDC’s position with the duty to co-operate. The Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management highlighted to members that Teignbridge District Council had circulated a draft duty to co-operate statement in advance of their consultation that this council did not sign as it was deemed inappropriate considering our concerns;
· Clarification was sought about who would have a ‘seat at the table’. It was advised it would be done through a public forum with a Planning Inspector to Chair the meeting and other parties would be able to attend including an officer from this council to make representations;
· Clarification was sought on whether EDDC had commented on their Regulation 18 Consultation and whether these issues were raised by us or anyone else at that stage. It was advised a response was sent to their Regulation 18 Consultation and that none of these issues had existed at that time.
1. That the proposed representations to the Teignbridge Local Plan consultation that are set out in this report be endorsed and for them to be submitted to Teignbridge District Council be agreed.
2. That officers continue to work with officers at Teignbridge District Council to secure further evidence and potential modifications to the Teignbridge Local Plan in the hope that the concerns can be withdrawn at a future date be agreed.