To consider the report of the Director of Planning and Development.
RESOLVED that the Executive grant delegated authority to the Director of City Development, in consultation with the Council Leader and the Portfolio Holder for City Development, to make minor editorial changes to the final Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) document.
RECOMMENDED that Council adopt the final Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) including any minor changes (as per recommendation 1).
Reason for Decision: As set out in the report.
The Executive received the report on the new Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), which was a legally required document and was an important planning tool that explained to residents how they could engage with planning applications and how the Council would consult on plan making. The existing SCI had been adopted in 2005 and no longer met legal requirements.
The draft SCI alongside the Exeter Local Plan ‘Issues Consultation’ underwent an 8 week consultation in 2021, and the results and comments received were incorporated into the document presented at the meeting. Although the SCI set out the minimum legal requirement for consulting on planning applications and plan making, Exeter City Council had opted for a best practice approach and had gone further than the legal minimum requirement. Interactive engagement exercises had been undertaken, which included pop-up exhibitions on the High Street, where residents were invited to attend and build Lego models to represent their view of the future of the High Street, and the information attained would feed into the Exeter Local Plan.
Particular reference was made to the planned engagement with the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), Exeter University and Exeter Culture on further interactive engagement projects during the summer period, to attain further detail from residents on the future they want for the city. Members also noted that a planned city wide consultation exercise on the future place initiative, would be undertaken, allowing residents to engage with the Council on the future of their local neighbourhoods.
The Leader proposed an amendment, as agreed with Group Leaders, to page 6 of the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), to replace the last paragraph with the following text:-
‘Through Liveable Exeter, the Council will strengthen communities and create new neighbourhoods. Using innovative and interactive engagement tools, the Council will better inform communities about Liveable Exeter and enable them to shape emerging development proposals as they come forward, as well as feeding into the new Exeter (Local) Plan.’
Councillor Jobson, as an opposition leader, spoke on this item regarding the issue of neighbourhood planning and asked that it be made clear that there was funding and support available for groups who wanted to setup neighbour plans through the locality budget.
Councillor K. Mitchell, as an opposition leader, spoke on this item and thanked the Director of City Development for the report and previous correspondence. He commented on Neighbourhood Planning, which was an important way for residents to address what they wanted in their neighbourhoods and that it needed to be a part of the process. The St. James Forum had recently disbanded for various reasons and he would welcome a conversation about what had happened with the forum and how improvements could be made in the future. He acknowledged that a lot of time and support was needed for residents to develop neighbourhood plans and sought reassurance that support would be provided. Councillor K. Mitchell welcomed the report and thanked the Chair for the amendment to the SCI document.
During the discussion ... view the full minutes text for item 60