The lack of readiness of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) figures, without which the Local Plan can’t be completed, has no doubt caused EDDC’s Planning Policy Officer, Matt Dickins, many sleepless nights. His report which appeared as a ‘matter of urgency’ at yesterday’s Development Management Committee Meeting, prompted scathing responses from some Committee members, including Independent Cllr Ben Ingham. After referring to the “recurrent nightmare” situation East Devon is in , Cllr Ingham added, “I find it hard to believe that we’ve got ourselves into this pickle.” Conservative Cllr Mike Allen, was equally incensed. He reminded his colleagues that it was “ Seven years or so ago” since “this Council decided to go ahead with preparing a Local Plan.”. He squarely blamed the situation East Devon is now faced with , on “an unacceptable level of performance on behalf of the Chief Executive”.
But before too many other criticisms could be heard, the debate on this ‘matter of urgency’ was swiftly brought to a halt, by an intervention by Councillor Peter Sullivan, of Sidmouth, who wanted to “move this on”. His motion that Matt Dickins’ report had been noted, and that there should be an update in two months’ time, was voted through. Thus a good hard look at the reality of the situation was deftly postponed.
Other reports of the same meeting: