East Devon Local Plan consultation: feedback

“Clear support for the objectives of the plan”

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The District Council has embarked on a new local plan:

East Devon Local Plan consultation: VGS submission – Vision Group for Sidmouth

And the most contentious issue, unsurprisingly, has been housing:

East Devon Local Plan consultation: homes – Vision Group for Sidmouth

With the results of the consultation now out, the media is interpreting it so:

East Devon residents are divided on new home building | Sidmouth Herald

East Devon residents left divided over development in the district – East Devon Radio

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However, the feedback presented to the council’s Strategic Planning Cttee is a little more nuanced – now available in the minutes from last week’s meeting:

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Initial feedback report – Local plan issues and options consultation

From the 658 responses received detailed in appendix 1 appended to the report, the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management drew Members attention to some of the comments received which included:

  • Two thirds of respondents were supportive of the objectives for the plan;
  • There was an even split between the single plan option and the multiple plan option;
  • A wide support and consensus was shown for energy efficiency measures with much support for requiring net zero carbon development;
  • 60% of respondents supported the idea of identifying land specifically for renewables development, such as, solar farms;
  • There was a clear support for the need for housing for all stages of life;
  • There was a clear support for home working;
  • There was strong support for jobs growth across all the sectors;
  • There was a good support for a range of town centre uses, in particular, community and leisure centres and a mix of commercial uses;
  • There was a clear consensus for the importance of good design and protecting heritage, countryside and the natural environment.

Points raised during discussion included:

Ø  Comforted to see that people want more home working.  This statistically could be signs of patterns of change in the employment market due to Covid-19.  It was suggested that going forward the council should be tackling people’s desire to work from home more through the planning system.

Ø  Less people travelling to work by car would help climate change by reducing emissions.

Ø  Looking forward to a more detailed report to help understand some of the statistics.  Reference was made to the statistics to question 8 on page 25 considering the age range that completed the survey was mostly older people.  The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management agreed the age range could be better in terms of engaging with the younger population and advised he was in discussions with the Communications Team about how this can be done with future consultations.

Ø  The need to compare the demographic referred to in paragraph 7.3 on page 7 to the demographic of people in East Devon to help provide the appropriate housing requirements.

Ø  Clarification sought on whether there was any questions that should have been asked.  In response the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised in hindsight perhaps some of the split responses to some of the options could have been different but in general he could not think of any specific questions that could have been asked.

Ø  Clarification sought about how and when more detail can be put in the consultation about what people really think about the options available to them.  In response the Service Lead  …  view the full minutes text for item 129.

Agenda for Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday, 27th April, 2021, 2.00 pm – East Devon

1.Local plan issues rpt intiial consultation feedback ver 01.pdf

   
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