Proposed by Cllr Roger Giles and seconded by me, the overview and scrutiny committee agreed to:
1. Make representations to the Local Government Association relating to concerns of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) timetable being too fast for plans needing to be compliant with the NPPF
2. Endorsing in policy, the disaggregation approach (splitting the district in half), which was a policy that previously protected the majority of East Devon from urban sprawl. This had been an approach used by the council to separate the Cranbrook/principal urban area, from the rest of the district. But it was scrapped following an appeal at Feniton and Ottery last year which appeared to reject such an initiative. But closer reading of the appeal decision, revealed that the main reason it was not viewed positively was because it was not written into EDDC policy.
It is the hope that formalising such an approach could potentially protect better our countryside, some of which is now under significant pressure from developers. Certainly, whatever the outcome, it will do no harm.
3. To insist that planning approval builds are started faster – within two years, rather than between three and five years, which is the usual practice.
Recommendations 2 and 3 are based on a letter myself and Roger Giles wrote to the chief executive prior to the 5 February development management committee meeting, where the decision was taken to approve most housing applications in the future to meet a six year housing supply requirement, as specified in the NPPF.
It was a unanimous decision and an excellent outcome. Hopefully the recommendations, which will now be debated by the cabinet, will have a positive impact!