Agenda item

Coastal deprivation: To discuss issues currently being faced in coastal communities.

·       Presentation and update by the Head of Planning, Housing and Health.


6.       Representation from Councillor Wilkinson (attached).


The Committee received a presentation from the Head of Planning, Housing and Health regarding Coastal Deprivation to discuss issues currently being faced in coastal communities.


The Head of Planning, Housing and Health highlighted the following points to the Committee:


·         The key findings identified in the CMO’s Annual Report 2021, which were:


Ø  A higher burden of disease.

Ø  Lower life expectancy, healthy life expectancy and disability-free expectancy.

Ø  Deprivation.

Ø  Demographics and migration.

Ø  Health services.

Ø  Economy and employment.

Ø  Education.

Ø  Housing (HMO’s, coastal guest houses/hotels, exempt supported accommodation).


·         How the situation is mirrored in North Devon from the results of the Coastal Health Needs’ Assessment 2016 together with insights from public health data:


Ø  The data had been categorised under the headings of worst outcomes to best outcomes and the comparison of Ilfracombe Central and the Monkleigh area indicated and 15 year difference in life expectancy in favour of the Monkleigh area, which was 90 years verses 75 years in central Ilfracombe.

Ø  The trend went the same way for health life expectancy, which indicated an 11 year difference in favour of the Croyde area, which was 70 years verses 59 years in Ilfracombe.


·         The situation in North Devon and the number of exempt supported accommodation:


Ø  Total number of units for Exempt Accommodation in Ilfracombe – 69, which included:


o   13 units for alcohol/drug recovery.

o   17 units for young persons.

o   26 units for learning disabilities.

o   18 units for mental health.


Ø  There were a total of 225 units for Exempt Accommodation in North Devon.


·         Recommendations identified in the CMO’s report, which were particularly relevant to NDC:

Ø  Maximise the economic opportunities for coastal communities, with the Council’s response to date as follows:


o   Corporate Priority Programme of Action – Regeneration and Economic Growth.

o   Ilfracombe Regeneration Board, Devon County Council (DCC) was funding the development of an urban renewal scheme/action plan.

o   Water Sports Centre - £2.3m investment (eight new jobs, assisting 100 businesses, 23 temporary construction jobs and a further 24 indirect jobs/opportunities/apprenticeships).


·         Recommendations identified in the CMO’s report, which were particularly relevant to North Devon Council… continued:


Ø  Levelling up (Round 2): £10.1m investment proposal submitted to Gov. to revitalise the seafront and cultural offer in Ilfracombe

Ø  World Surf Reserve.

Ø  Recently published Cultural Strategies for Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.

Ø  Heart of the SW LEP coastal productivity plan.

Ø  Planning for an ageing population and mitigating a potential deficit insocialcare and health care workers.


The Council’s response to date was as follows:


o   Review of Local Plan.

o   North Devon Futures.


Ø  Better collaboration across the wider system.


The Council’s response to date was as follows:


o   One Northern Devon priority programme of action to improve population health, of which a workshop in relation to output from reducing health inequalities’ workshop held in July 2022.


Ø  Private rented sector accommodation.


The Council’s response to date was as follows:


o   Introduce new risk assessment methodology to prioritise pro actioninspections.

o   Commission the provision of housing support to vulnerable tenants as partof their regulatory visits, if resources allowed.

o   Implement a new operating model to maximise the benefits which can beprovided to north Devon residents through ECO4.

o   Council submission to Government: call for evidence on the regulation of holiday lets(Strategy & Resources, 5th September, 2022).


Ø  For consideration:


o   Introduction of policies to ‘regulate migration’ to places like Ilfracombe.

o   Approach to supported exempt accommodation (track progress of theSupported Housing Regulatory Overnight Bill).

o   Participate/contribute to Gov’s consultation, launched on the 2nd September,entitled. “A decent home’s standard in the private rented sector”


·         Recommendations outside of those referred to in the CMO’s report:


Ø  A recommendation that a Coastal Officer Working Group be set up consisting of a cross-discipline Group internally to ensure that the Council was co-ordinating activities to support coastal communities to include the lead member for Coastal Communities.


Following the presentation, the Head of Planning, Housing and Health answered questions in relation to the following:


·         The two different types of migration, which consisted of migration in to the community from other areas and migration within the community. There was still a level of migration within the areas of Barnstaple Central and Ilfracombe with anecdotal evidence that large properties were being purchased in coastal communities and converted into Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

·         There was a significant “in migration” to North Devon from outside of the district.

·         There had been a recent loss of rented accommodation as landlords of private rented properties convert them to short term accommodation, which generated a better income.

·         There was an enormous challenge to source accommodation to house people within the North Devon area.

·         There was nothing inherently wrong with shared accommodation, provided it met the required standards and was appropriately managed.

·         There was now less reliance on tourism in Ilfracombe with a number of key employers, and it was a priority to see these businesses expand and prosper by improving housing supply.

·         There were deficits in the healthcare and the care sector. However, the management of this was not within the remit of North Devon Council.

·         In terms of raising awareness of health and social care in North Devon, the Council could request data from the local commissioners and make a representation to the government regarding its findings.

·         Deprivation was not just being felt in coastal areas but also rurally and in all communities in the North Devon area.

·         There are a lack of regulations specific to short term holiday lets and the Council had challenged the Government to ensure a level playing field for all types of accommodation.

·         Promoting economic prosperity of local communities was essential.

·         There was currently the ability for private rented landlords to transfer their property to short term holiday let without any consultation or invention required from the planning regime. A representation had been made to Government on this.

·         The older generation fairs less well in terms of their general wellbeing and wealth in coastal communities, and this was in part linked with the migration of people to the North Devon area who were asset rich but cash poor and this impacted their ability to maintain their properties.

·         The Local Plan was a key document for the Council and it was absolutely essential to get it right.


The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that the Strategy and Resources Committee had made a call for evidence to the government in relation to the statistics for second homes and holiday lets within the North Devon area. He added that the Council was in the process of preparing a report to government in a call for evidence with regards to the action being taken.


He explained that there were six options presented to the Council from the Government in regards to the development of a suitable licensing regime to ensure that regular checks were made for all establishments. Which would then see a requirement for such establishments to pay Business Rates and other contributions already made by other businesses.


RECOMMENDED, that a representation be regarding the commissioning of Health and Social Care in North Devon verses nationally and what could be done to remedy the situation.


RESOLVED, that a Coastal Officer Working Group be set up of a cross-discipline groupinternally to ensure that the Council were co-ordinating activities to support coastal communities and include the lead member for Coastal Communities.



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