A report was considered that set out how the Council would meet the requirement of the Government to maintain an up to date Local Plan and, in accordance with the resolution of the Council, to prepare a Joint Local Plan (JLP) with South Hams District Council and Plymouth City Council.
In his introduction, the lead Hub Committee Member for Strategic Planning took Members through each Section of the JLP and the erratum that had been circulated since the agenda had been published. The Member also informed that this was a historic moment for two reasons:
1. The significant level of co-operation that had been carried out between officers and Members across the three local authorities to reach this point; and
2. The JLP set out a spatial strategy for the sub-region that put the three local authorities at the forefront of local planning in the UK.
In the subsequent discussion, reference was made to:-
(a) the Infrastructure Needs Assessment. A Member referred to the comment in the JLP whereby ‘to support the identification and delivery of infrastructure across the Plan Area, an Infrastructure Needs Assessment had been produced’ and questioned when this document would be published. In response, it was intended that this would be published at the same time as the JLP;
(b) settlement boundaries. Assurances were given that local Members would be consulted in respect of the development of settlement boundaries;
(c) the success of the process to date. A number of Members wished to put on record their thanks to the lead officers and Members of the Joint Steering Group who had each put in a tremendous amount of hard work and effort to deliver this Plan in what was an incredibly tight timescale;
(d) the involvement of the wider membership. For such a critically important document, a Member did express some concerns that the wider Council membership had not had adequate opportunity to consider the contents of the JLP prior to this meeting;
(e) the importance of development in smaller villages. Some Members welcomed the provision in the Plan to smaller rural villages having some development to enable their growth;
(f) the proposed Development Management (DM) policies. A Member stated his belief that the proposed DM policies did not differ greatly from those that were currently adopted and in use;
(g) the A386. A Member stressed the importance of the entire A386 being considered in the JLP and emphasised that the volume of traffic movements using this stretch of road was frequently causing chaos;
(h) the role of developers. Regardless of the JLP, a Member highlighted the need for developers to actually commence with building works once a planning permission had been granted. In the event of this trend continuing, the Member felt that the Council should not be afraid to utilise its compulsory purchase powers;
(i) policy DEV9. Members particularly welcomed reference in Policy DEV9 to the delivery of a range and mix of housing to meet local housing needs in the area.
Having been moved by Cllr G Parker and seconded by Cllr R E Baldwin, it was put to the vote and declared CARRIED and “RESOLVED that:
1. the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan (as set out in the Appendix to the presented agenda report) be formally approved and that the Plan be subject to a six-week period for representations to be received, pursuant to Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012;
2. following the completion of the six-week period for representations, the Local Plan be formally submitted for Public Examination;
3. authority be delegated to the Community Of Practice Lead (Place Making), in consultation with the Joint Local Plan Member Steering Group, to agree minor amendments to the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan prior to its submission;
4. the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan Steering Group continue to oversee the Joint Local Plan to ensure its effective monitoring and review and that officers be instructed to draw up a revised Collaboration Agreement to this effect between South Hams District Council, Plymouth City Council and West Devon Borough Council with responsibility delegated to the Executive Director (Strategy and Commissioning) for signing the Collaboration Agreement, in consultation with the lead Hub Committee Member for Strategic Planning; and
5. That the Joint Local Plan be corrected prior to publication (as set out in the erratum dated 27 February 2017).