And a toothless half-measure was found over a second recommendation relating to planning consent start dates. 

A third recommendation, which sought to lobby government on allowing councils more time to put together its Local Plan, was given what appears to be half hearted support – a shame because EDDC would do much better in giving this lamentable government a very much deserved good boot up the behind instead.

At the last scrutiny committee on 28 March, councillors UNANIMOUSLY recommended to the cabinet that the long-standing practice of splitting the district in half when planning development in East Devon, be reinstated.  See here – https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/scrutiny_cttee_recommend_protective_policies_for_district/

Even at a time of planning chaos, with the five year land supply hole, myself, Roger Giles, a retired planning inspector and planning lawyer, as well as many residents, are of the opinion that reinstating this approach may help protect East Devon, south and east of Cranbrook, at appeal.

The ‘disaggregation approach’ had previously been an unwritten policy which was deemed “not unimportant” by a planning inspector who allowed the Feniton Louvigny Close appeal, last September.  This appeal took place AFTER the introduction of the national planning policy framework.

At the very least, it would do no harm.  And the EDDC overview and scrutiny committee unanimously supported the proposal at its March meeting, made by Roger Giles.

But EDDC leader, Paul Diviani and deputy leader, Andrew Moulding, argued at May’s cabinet meeting, that to reintroduce the policy would cause delay to the Local Plan and so the proposal should not be supported.  The cabinet clearly agreed, as this is the printed resolution.

A further proposal by Cllr Roger Giles at the March overview and scrutiny meeting, sought to tighten up the start date for planning consents.  It is habitually three years, but Cllr Giles, quite sensibly, argued that it should be two years.  The idea being that this also might help the five year land supply sticky situation that EDDC is in.  The faster houses are built, the faster EDDC gets out of its hole.

But the cabinet scrapped this recommendation too, saying it would not be able to be defended at appeal… but …..surely if it was an approval, the developer would not be going to appeal?

Instead the cabinet sanctioned a watered down approach which puts the onus on the development management committee to think up conditions that might help the five year housing land supply problem, individually for each planning application.  This is likely to be ineffective. The DMC have enough to think about without trying to remember helpful conditions for each planning application they look at.

The link to the disappointing cabinet minutes are here – see pages 8 and 9 for the relevant debate – http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/cabinet_agenda_120613_public_version.pdf