Agenda item

Planning position update


A position statement had been prepared by Ed Freeman, Service Lead for Planning Strategy and Development Management.  The statement outlined:

a.     The current position for site wide redevelopment – outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the Queen’s Drive area having now lapsed therefore there is no extant planning permission for the redevelopment of the area, and

b.     Planning permission for temporary uses expires on 15 February 2022 therefore a decision is needed on uses, if only temporary, post February.


Members’ views were being sought particularly on what actions should be undertaken in respect of the renewal of the planning permission for temporary uses in order to enable Officers to progress actions for next season.


Mr Freeman also advised that the Queen’s Drive site has been put forward in the housing and economic land availability assessment as part of the new Local Plan process.  The timetable for the Local Plan production was included in the report and if proposals for the redevelopment of the Queen’s Drive area are to be incorporated into the Local Plan, there needs to be clarity very soon about the nature of the redevelopment in order to meet the time constraints of the Local Plan production timetable.


Discussion included the following points:

·        Regarding the outline planning consent granted in 2014, the flood risk existed at that time and would not necessarily prevent further consents being granted for hotel and residential use.  Detailed flood risk assessment and sequential tests would need to be carried out for regeneration sites going forward.

·        There is a risk of challenge should temporary use consent be granted again as this is arguably contrary to government guidance but the risk of such a challenge was considered by Officers to be relatively small.

·        Permanent consent for a site with temporary attractions could be sought which would allow flexibility of use in the longer term without the need to continue to seek temporary use consent.

·        Regarding carrying out flood risk assessments and habitat regulations assessments, there would be a need firstly to understand the mix of uses and type of developments proposed for a site as the assessments are specific to the nature of the development.

·        There is a need to make the temporary uses permanent for clarity going forward.

·        If proposals for redevelopment are able to be incorporated into the new Local Plan as a site allocation, there would not be any need for an outline planning application for the site.

·        Regarding the 2011 Master Plan, Members’ views would need to be sought as to whether the Master Plan should be reviewed on a wider scale within the town, or whether the remit should only cover Queen’s Drive.  Wider scale regeneration of Exmouth, including re-visiting sites which were considered in the 2011 Master Plan would pose significant issues for production of the new Local Plan.

·        There was frustration that previous plans for the site had not come to fruition and it was suggested that alternative uses and investments which had been proposed previously are re-considered together with any current proposals.

·        Regarding moving forward, Tim Child advised that once resourcing is in place, over the winter months and into spring, there will be engagement and consultation with stakeholders, the public and Members about future uses and that all options would need to be considered.  No ideas should be dismissed at this point, including ideas put forward in the past.

·        It was noted that, in the six months since the Delivery Group had last met, for a number of reasons, the Council had not yet been able to appoint the two new Officers to work on the Exmouth Place Making project.  The appointment of the new Corporate HR Manager should now help with moving the recruitment process on quickly as it was noted that the Delivery Group is now under-resourced in terms of Officer support.  Internal recruitment was to be considered alongside other resourcing options.

·        It was also noted that the work, some elements of which have already started, does not solely relate to Queen’s Drive, but covers Exmouth, and Members will be presented with a series of options next summer.

·        Ed Freeman advised that the timetable for this work on regeneration projects in Exmouth does not fit with the timetable for Local Plan production and yet key projects like this should be included in the plan indeed they could have significant implications for the plan in terms of the growth strategy for Exmouth and the assessment of impacts on protected habitats etc.

·        There is now a real need to move forward with ensuring that planning permission is in place for next year to enable the temporary uses to continue.



That, in order to provide certainty moving forward, permanent planning consent for temporary uses on the Queen’s Drive site be sought as soon as possible.

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