Wednesday, 7 May 2014

East Devon draft Local Plan: working on delivering a revised Local Plan: Thursday 8th May: press reports

The District Council's planning committee will be meeting tomorrow, Thursday 8th May, to consider an 'action plan' to deal with the ongoing local plan process:
Futures Forum: East Devon draft Local Plan: working on delivering a revised Local Plan

The Express & Echo carries a report today:

East Devon councillors to approve plan to address "serious failings" in long term development plan

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 07, 2014
East Devon protesters

EAST Devon district councillors are due to approve an ‘action plan’ which seeks to address “serious failings” in its long term development plan, recently critiqued by a Government inspector.

After the three week public examination of the authority’s Draft Local Plan 2006-26, inspector Anthony Thickett concluded that the 15,000 housing target is not justified by evidence submitted, which is inadequate and not up-to-date. He also said the absence of an up-to-date Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) was a “serious failing” and made a full assessment of need difficult.

The delay to finalising the plan is set to cost the council a further £12,000, by way of consultants’ studies fees, on top of the 2013/14 inspection budget of £110,000 plus £50,000 in reserve funding.

No date has been set for when it should be completed, but the action plan outlines the following measures:

> Consultants are due to complete their work to produce an updated SHMA which will inform proposed housing numbers, by June.

> The production of a report to address the need to work jointly with West Dorset District Council, which cannot accommodate its housing need meaning there “should be an overspill” of development into East Devon.

> Further assessment on possible additional development sites to meet the next five years worth of housing need.

> A review of villages’ ability to accommodate development.

> Consideration over extending the Local Plan period from 2026 to 2031.

An accompanying report responds to a number of pertinent questions raised at the full council meeting to discuss the inspector’s conclusions, including why officers used 2008 population and housing predictions to base their housing recommendations on.

The report states that this “outdated” data was used due to concerns about the “statistical validity and worth” of the 2011 data in a Royal Town Planning Institute Research report which said “planning on the basis of latest projections could lead to an under-provision of housing”.

Councillors also complained that East Devon was having to help meet the needs of Exeter’s need for housing. No guarantee was offered in the report against the district accommodating the needs of Exeter, due to the constraints on development within the city’s boundary.

However the report states that the city council is reassessing its scope for development and “there is also scope to question” whether there are constraints that should limit what East Devon can cope with.

The report also explained why the council produced a 12 year, instead of the required 15 year, plan.

It clarified that it was considered “appropriate” to produce the plan in accordance with the now defunct South West Regional Spatial Strategy.

The report concluded that it is not possible to give a definitive completion date of the revised plan.

Vice chairman of the East Devon Alliance campaign group, John Witherington, said: “East Devon is caught between the hammer of Exeter city and the anvil of West Dorset and should be fighting for every bit of countryside it has rather than allow it to be nibbled away by neighbouring authorities. It is disappointing not to see a date by which the council will have laboured day and night to complete it by so it can be returned to the inspector – given that until a plan is approved the countryside is vulnerable.”

Councillors on the council’s Development Management Committee are due to approve the action plan on Thursday, May 8.

East Devon village launches share scheme for locals to buy its pub
Update: “Victory for common sense” as ecstatic East Devon residents win their fight at super inquiry
"Unsound": Government inspector's "disastrous" verdict on East Devon District Council's Local Plan

East Devon councillors to approve plan to address "serious failings" in long term development plan | Exeter Express and Echo

With comment on Cllr Claire Wright's blog:

EDDC local plan way forward debate takes place tomorrow

Wednesday, 07 May 2014


1. At 09:47 am on 07th May Damien Mills wrote:

Amidst concerns about the ‘statistical validity and worth’ of data from 2011, East Devon elects instead to use figures from 2008. Genius.

Can the great unwashed read the report which will inform tomorrow’s meeting anywhere? From the Echo story, it would seem it’s as much an attempt to justify the myriad failings of years past as address how they might be remedied moving forward - a suspicion given further credence by the council’s refusal to put any date on when it’s action plan might be completed and its revised Local Plan approved.

Lest we forget, this is the council that assured us by 2013 it would: ‘Have an Adopted Local Plan and Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule in place to manage, and draw benefit from, new housing and commercial development over the next fifteen years.’

Before they deny it, it’s written in black & white on Page 15 of the following publication:


It’d be hard to find a more unequivocal case of a council reneging on a commitment to its residents. So, once again I ask, who’s going to take responsibility for this abject failure [because someone sure as hell ought to]?!

2. At 10:03 am on 07th May Claire wrote:

http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/combined_dmc_agenda_080514.pdf - Hi Damien see the report from page 5 of these agenda papers ...

3. At 06:43 pm on 07th May Sandra Semple wrote:

AND when ALL the problems identified by the Inspector have been known about since 2007 and flagged up in the annual reports on the Local Plan annual strategy reports every year since 2009! Anyone would think .....

4. At 08:21 pm on 07th May Conrad Black wrote:

Am I alone in wondering how it is that a minor consultancy feels it has the authority to claim the work of the Census is inaccurate?

If the facts of the matter are that there have not been large increases in the indigenous population in some locations, and the Census have better actual data than any others from which to draw such conclusions, then so it must be.

Of course, this might be a pain in the back, or the side, of people with a huge building development desire, who want to build highest profit houses on the most attractive possible land. Hopefully these are not the people who offer funding subsidies that they later renege on because they “aren’t making the profit they expected” out of a development they signed up to. Given the propensity of corporations, or so it seems, to find ways of apparently adjusting profit to be whatever pays HMRC least, such agreements do not appear to worth even the paper they may have consumed.

But as we enter yet another property bubble risk, and the desire to control it by the release of “affordable housing” stock is being removed by the dash for profit of private industry, why not talk up the amount of high price property that can be built - but on brownfield sites and not on AONB!

EDDC local plan way forward debate takes place tomorrow.

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