To consider the report of the Director (BA).
(1) the GESP Draft Policies and Site Options consultation document be approved for public consultation;
(2) the GESP Draft Policies and Site Options Sustainability Appraisal Report be approved for public consultation;
(3) the Initial Habitat Regulations Assessment Report be approved for public consultation;
(4) the content and conclusion of the GESP Equality Impact Assessment Screening Report be noted;
(5) delegated authority be given to the Chief Executive & Growth Director in consultation with the Leader and relevant Portfolio Holder to agree changes to the documents presented at the meeting, following decisions made by the other GESP authorities and before they are published for consultation;
(6) a ‘call for sites’ process be approved, alongside the consultation on the GESP Draft Policies and Site Options document presented at the meeting; and
(7) the content of the consultation statement for the 2017 Greater Exeter Strategic Plan Issues consultation be noted.
RECOMMENDED that Council approve the GESP team being brought up to eight full time equivalent members of staff and that local planning authority staff resources be provided equitably to the team through equalisation arrangements. Subject to future confirmation of the additional GESP staff roles that will be required, for Exeter City Council this would likely equate to a total contribution of approximately £62,000 per annum towards staff costs, or an additional £33,330 per annum on top of existing staff contributions.
Reason for Decision:
As set out in the report.
The Executive received the report which sought approval to consult on the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) draft policies and site options consultation document and associated reports, to hold a further ‘call for sites’ to inform the plan making process and to increase the staff resources in the GESP team.
The Director (BA) advised that the approval to go out to consultation was being considered by the GESP constituent councils of Exeter, East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge District Councils. She invited George Marshall from the GESP team to give the presentation, https://app.box.com/s/ge36i69xsqjoaoetuer7csc3e27edty6 which would be made to each of the Councils, taking Members through the development process with the aim of providing a strategic planning document covering the period 2020 to 2040. The GESP would be strategic in nature and would include:-
· an overarching vision;
· the planning strategy and strategic policies for:
– Climate emergency;
– Prosperity and homes;
– Movement and communication
– Nature; and
– Quality places and infrastructure; and
· site allocations for strategic scale development: housing and employment.
Local Plans would need to sit alongside the GESP.
A series of evidence documents would be part of the plans for consultation which include the:
· Sustainability Appraisal: Environmental, social and economic assessment;
· Initial Habitat Regulations Report: Assessment of potential implications for European wildlife sites;
· Issues consultation: Consultation statement: How the responses from the previous consultation have been used to progress the GESP; and
· Equality Impact Assessment: Assessment of the potential impact of GESP content on protected groups.
Also associated with the GESP is a Joint Statement of Community Involvement, (Joint SCI) setting out the way authorities would jointly consult on the GESP. The Joint SCI had been consulted on in 2017 and had been updated to reflect the commentary received though that process (see Minute No. 78 below for further detail). Approval of the consultation documents was taking place during July and August, with a leadership meeting in August to discuss any minor amendments before consultation commencement. Subject to approval from all four Councils, the eight week consultation would run from 21 September to 16 November 2020 with the responses informing the preparation of the Plan going forward. There would also be further opportunities to shape the plan post-consultation through the Member Reference Forum and Leadership meetings. Additional public consultation would be held as the plan progresses.
During the discussion, the following points were raised:-
· the consultation would be far ranging allowing everyone to have the opportunity to fully engage in the consultation process; and
· comments had already been received by Members from the public who would be encouraged to use the consultation process once this starts in September.
The Portfolio Holder City Development and Planning referred to Exeter’s continued commitment to this programme and welcomed the opportunity for the Leader, the Chief Executive & Growth Director working with him to agree the changes depending on the decisions of the other local authorities to ensure that the financial commitment would be made to full effect.
RECOMMENDED that Council approve ... view the full minutes text for item 77