Agenda and minutes

Special, Strategy and Resources Committee - Monday, 19th October, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual - Online meeting. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253

Note: If you wish to attend the Committee please email by noon Thursday 15 October 2020. This will be a virtual meeting and will be conducted in line with The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. Please be aware that when you take part in a virtual meeting your phone number and/or your email address will be visible to councillors and officers of North Devon Council attending the committee but will not be visible to members of the public or others. This is required to allow you to be identified on Microsoft Teams, the software used by the Council to hold virtual committees, and will not be used for any other purpose by the Council. For more information, or to exercise your rights, please see 


No. Item


Virtual meeting procedure - briefing and etiquette

Chair to report.


The Chair outlined the virtual meet procedure and etiquette to the Committee and attendees.


The Senior Corporate and Community Services Officers confirmed the Members of the Committee, Members, Officers and external attendees who were present.



Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Barker, Patrinos and Wilkinson.


Items brought forward which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered by the meeting as a matter of urgency.


The Chair advised the Committee that there would be an informal briefing for Members following the Committee regarding the Council’s financial position.


Declarations of Interests.

(Please telephone the Corporate and Community Services team to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting.  Interests must be re-declared when the item is called, and Councillors must leave the room if necessary).


There were no declarations of interest announced.


Planning for the Future White Paper pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To consider formulating a response to the White Paper.  Report by Lead Officer Planning Policy (attached).


Link to the White Paper: ( 


The Committee considered the questions contained within the Planning for the Future White Paper (circulated previously).


Following consideration of the verbal report by the Lead Officer Planning Policy and Senior Planning Policy Officer, the Committee agreed that the following comments formulate the response to the questions contained in the Planning for the Future White Paper:


Pillar 1


1. What three words do you associate most with the planning system in England? Democratic, under-resourced and contentious.


2(a). Do you get involved with planning decisions in your local area? Yes as local planning authority


2(b). If no, why not?  Not applicable.


3. Our proposals will make it much easier to access plans and contribute your views to planning decisions. How would you like to find out about plans and planning proposals in the future? [Social media / Online news / Newspaper / By post / Other – please specify]  Other – All of these options and to also include library, neighbourhood and newsletter as recognised the importance of digital communications.  However, it was not only about online since traditional media/approaches remained important in North Devon due to the rurality of the area and lack of comprehensive broadband coverage, plus an ageing population.


4. What are your top three priorities for planning in your local area?


[Building homes for young people / building homes for the homeless / Protection of green spaces / The environment, biodiversity and action on climate change / Increasing the affordability of housing / The design of new homes and places / Supporting the high street / Supporting the local economy / More or better local infrastructure / Protection of existing heritage buildings or areas / Other – please specify].   Other – All of the above – they are all important and about delivering sustainable development and place making.  Also include more or better local infrastructure.


5. Do you agree that Local Plans should be simplified in line with our proposals?   No.  The White Paper lacked detailed of how it would operate. Agree that it should be simplified and quicker to produce and welcome certainty it could provide to developers and the local community.  However, there were many unanswered questions due to the lack of detail including:

o   How do we articulate a vision and strategy for the plan?– Focus only on specific development proposals loses important aspect of planning and place making

o   Is the categorisation system over simplified? - Need to be able to differentiate between places and take account of local circumstances.

o   Unclear if can sub-divide the categories and apply different approaches to respond to different needs and context.

o   Should be specific control for growth and which design parameters should need.

o   Concerns regarding the three zones including:


§  Protected areas – how does the council take account of local issues, ambitions, vision, etc. if having to use national policies?

§  Renewal areas – Concerns about areas that would traditionally be subject to overlapping approaches – i.e. town centres that are also conservation areas.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 197.