From Save Clyst St Mary organiser, Gaeron Kayley:
‘A big thank you to everyone that attended the meeting with Hugo Swire last week. A number of questions came up regarding our neighbourhood plan and our local plan.
Please See the update from Mike Howe regarding our local Plan below*.
Please also see our poster advertising the neighbourhood plan, where you can view and have your say on our Parish. Click here to open Exhibition poster (1) . (Saturday 7th March at Clyst St Mary School 10am- 4pm, 10th March Cat and Fiddle Inn 10am-Noon & Sowton Village Hall 6pm-9pm)’
*email fromMike Howe:
The production of the SHMA has unfortunately been a long and drawn out process. There are 6 key stages to the production of the SHMA. These are:
Definition of the housingmarket area
Understanding household projections
Addressing Market Signals
Addressing Housing Backlog
Measuring Affordable Housing Need
Future Employment and Economic Growth Assumptions and Aspirations
A so-called draft SHMA was sent through from the consultants in August 2014 after they had completed only the first two stages of the process. This information was communicated to Members via a report to Development Management Committee on the 26th August 2014 and an all Members briefing note on the 27th August 2014. This report and briefing note made it clear that the information available so far simply
modelled housing numbers based on historic trends and that without taking account of factors such as the backlog of affordable housing need and projecting future employment and economic growth the information was largely meaningless. No further draft SHMA information has been made available to any Members since that time indeed until the SHMA process is complete and all factors have been taken into account any data would have been misleading. I appreciate that this delay has been highly frustrating for all of us but we have been entirely dependent on consultants to carry out this work. Given the expertise required and the need to consider data from all of the authorities within the housing area there was no other option than to use external consultants on this work. Unfortunately, it has taken them much longer than envisaged.
In advance of receipt of the final SHMA Mid-Devon District Council have proceeded with production and consultation on their Local Plan. It is understood that their work is based on the draft SHMA data that all of the participating authorities received in August 2014 and some subsequent employment projections. Mid-Devon do not have any additional data than we do, however their position is slightly more straight forward as they do not have a growth point and therefore it is easier to predict factors such as future job growth in Mid-Devon than it is here in East Devon. Clearly there are risks associated with Mid-Devon’s approach however this is not our concern as we must focus on delivering our own Local Plan.
I am pleased to say that the SHMA work is now complete and only yesterday a draft report was provided by the consultants to officers of the commissioning authorities. The work now needs to be considered by officers and any queries raised with the consultants before the report can be finalized and published. This will happen in the next week to 10 days. We envisage publishing the SHMA in a co-ordinated way between the authorities and their respective Members with the report being sent to Members slightly in advance of wider publication.
The SHMA was the remaining key piece of evidence that enables us to produce an objectively assessed housing need for the district and move forward with the Local Plan. We had previously envisaged that the upcoming election would prevent progress being made until May however the Inspector has made it clear that he expects to see the proposed changes to the Local Plan by mid-April and we must adhere to the timescale that he has set as the process moving forward is led by the inspector.
Our time line now looks like this:
Early March – Publication of the SHMA
By end of March (pre-purdah) – DMC and full council meeting to consider
revisions to the Local Plan including proposed housing numbers
Submission of revisions to Inspector immediately following incorporation of
any changes following full council
Inspector provides questions upon which to seek views through consultation
Consultation commences (mid-April)
Consultation ends (end May)
Oral examination sessions reconvene (August/September)
Local Plan adoption by end of year