PLANNING & TRANSPORTATION GROUP BUSINESS PLAN 2008/9
1. PURPOSE OF THIS PLAN
1.1 The purpose of this Group Business Plan is to enable all within the Group to understand
the context within which they are working, the aims and objectives of the Directorate
and the Group, and the Key Targets to be achieved during 2008/9.
1.2 This Group Business Plan also provides the framework for individual Team Work Plans
and an indication of the appraisal targets which will need to be set for individual
members of staff within the group for 2008/9.
2. PURPOSE OF THE PLANNING & TRANSPORTATION GROUP
2.1 The Group’s current role may be summarised as follows:
Developing and Maintaining an up-to-date integrated strategic spatial planning
framework for housing, transport and economic development in the County within
which more detailed policies and programmes can be established (including
regional, sub-regional and local frameworks)
Securing the delivery of key elements of this Integrated Strategic Framework at a
Sub-Regional level either directly (through the LTP and LAA processes, Regional
Planning and Sub-Regional Planning processes) or indirectly (through strategic
advice and influence of others)
Undertaking monitoring and technical analysis/research in respect of key strategic
issues – particularly relating to spatial policy issues and land use/transport
Managing the delivery of key elements of the County Council’s climate change
strategy, including the development and co-ordination of a carbon management
programme and action plan.
Ensuring that the policies and strategies for which the Directorate is responsible
are fully informed by and consistent with European and National legislation.
The preparation of Development Plan and Supplementary Planning Documents in
accordance with the County Council’s Minerals and Waste Development Scheme.
The determination of ‘County Matter’ planning applications, County Council
development applications, the monitoring of their implementation and
enforcement; and the Review of Old Mineral Permissions.
Responding to strategic planning consultations on planning applications including
assisting the Regional Planning Body on its consultation responses to local
planning authorities on major planning applications.
Advising District Councils as a statutory consultee on the highways and
transportation aspects of development proposals and the inspection and adoption
of residential and commercial estate roads as public highways.
Delivering specialist design advice in respect of the public realm and initiatives to
drive up the quality of design in place shaping across the County.
2.2 At the time of writing this Business Plan, discussion is underway regarding restructuring
of the Group to reflect amongst other things the imperatives of the Government’s
forthcoming Sub-National Review of Economic Development and Regeneration. The
Council’s Executive on 18 December 2007 endorsed the principle of proposals to
integrate Economic Development, Regeneration, Spatial Planning and Transportation
within the EEC Directorate with a view to implementation in April 2008. This Business
Plan, whilst relevant at the time of writing, will likely require reformulation to reflect the
new Group Structure after April 2008.
2.3 Major Achievements in 2007/8
Contribution to Regional Spatial Strategy Examination in Public. (April-July 2007)
Progress towards Sub-Regional Renewable Energy Target – recognised by
REGEN SW Award to Devon County Council (November 2007).
Adoption of County Councils’ Carbon Management Strategy and implementation
of Year 1 Programme.
Successful communications campaign relating to the carbon management
Major contribution to East of Exeter Growth Point Process – including Cranbrook
New Community (2nd application); Skypark, Clyst Honiton By Pass, Inter-modal
Freight Terminal, Science Park and Airport proposals and negotiation of related
access strategies and funding packages.
Successful opening of the Princesshay Development in Exeter with associated
transportation and public realm improvements. (Autumn 2007)
Completion of Lower High Street and Cathedral Yard Environmental
Improvements in Exeter and a range of other major public realm improvements
notably in Newton Abbot Town Centre and Barnstaple-The Square.
Successful delivery of the Local Transport Plan Programme for 2007/8.
Preparation and submission of funding bids for Transport Innovation Fund (TIF)
and Major Scheme Bids/Principal Urban Area bids.
Progress on Minerals & Waste Development Documents including the Adoption of
the Statement of Community Involvement, the Publication of the Minerals Core
Strategy Issues and Options Document; and the submission of the Annual
Major contributions to East of Plymouth Growth Point Process - including Sherford
New Community, Langage employment, and Deep Lane Junction proposals
including negotiations on related transport strategies and funding packages.
Proactive advice to inform District Local Development Framework documents and
commencement of work on Town Strategies, Infrastructure Plans and Accessibility
Leading role in partnership working with Districts on Housing Market
Progress on the delivery of the National Cycle Network – particularly around the
Consultation and promotion of the County Hall Travel Plan, and other Travel
Smooth passage of the Exeter Energy From Waste application through the
planning process. (National exemplar)
Efficient delivery of a significant workload through the Development Management
process including progress on process improvements including e-business, the
introduction of the Validation Check List and 1 App, the introduction of highway
standing advice and proactive monitoring of active minerals and waste sites.
Efficient and effective management/distribution of the Aggregate Levy
Sustainability Fund grants.
Ongoing advocacy role across the Directorate for Place Making/Shaping and the
Manual for Streets.
Engagement with the Regional Information Group on behalf of Devon County
Council, development of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments
methodology and guidance, and preparation of a Data Plan for group data and
3. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PLANNING & TRANSPORTATION GROUP TASKS AND
THE STRATEGIC PLAN
3.1 This Group Business Plan for 2008/9 has been prepared against the background of the
County Council’s Strategic Plan for 2006-2011 “Focus on Devon’s Future”. The County
Council’s five priorities in the Strategic Plan can be found at
http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/yourcouncil/improving our services/strategicplan.htm
3.2 The Strategic Plan also identifies 4 supporting strategies for pursuing these priorities
1) Connecting with Devon’s communities
2) Providing excellent customer service
3) Delivering through people
4) Providing better value for money
Overarching all this is the cross-cutting theme of “Making Devon Greener” – a priority
which the Planning and Transportation Group plays a significant role in delivering.
3.3 Tasks of particular relevance to the group are:
1. The Group’s lead role in developing strategic policy in the region, and in ensuring
that these policies and other County Council objectives are fully recognised in
major development proposals and Local Development Frameworks, directly
support the delivery of the Strategic Plan priorities
2. The Group makes a substantial contribution to ‘Improving Devon’s Environment’
through its work on producing, monitoring and delivering the Devon Local
Transport Plan, by delivering a quality Development Management Service and by
its input to improvements to the public realm through urban enhancement
schemes and quality design initiatives.
3. The Group’s role in leading the production of Accessibility Action Plans for
accessibility priority areas and working with the Devon Primary Care Trust in
producing health impact assessments of major development proposals contributes
to meeting the Strategic Plan Priorities of “promoting independence and choice for
adults” and “giving children and young people the best start in life”.
4. The Group’s role in delivering and monitoring the Devon Climate Change Strategy
and the Council’s Carbon Management Programme and in delivering travel
planning initiatives throughout Devon contributes to the ‘Making Devon Greener’
Strategic Plan Priority.
5. The Group’s role in engaging young people and senior citizens more proactively in
the EEC Directorate’s work contributes to achieving the Strategic Plan Supporting
Strategy of ‘delivering through people’.
6. The Group’s roles in determining ‘County Matter’ and County Council
Development planning applications, responding to planning applications for major
development proposals, monitoring the delivery of planning conditions and leading
DCC’s approach in negotiating developer contributions all make a significant
contribution to achieving the Strategic Plan Priorities of ‘Improving Devon’s
Environment’ and ‘Strengthening Devon’s Economy’. This will likely be given
additional impetus in the coming year with the implementation of organisational
changes as a consequence of the Sub-National Review into Economic
Development and Regeneration.
7. The Group’s role in preparing and delivering the Minerals and Waste
Development Framework also contributes directly to the ‘Improving Devon’s
Environment’ and ‘Strengthening Devon’s Economy’ priorities.
4. THE GROUP STRUCTURE
4.1 The Planning and Transportation Group is currently made up of three principal teams:
1. Strategic Planning
2. Transport Planning (including travel planning and Local Transport Plan)
3. Development Management (including urban design, public realm improvements and
minerals and waste)
Acting Head of Planning and
Temporary Secretary to Acting Head of Planning and
(0.5 FTE Temp)
Stewart Redding Joe Keech Vacant
Acting County Strategic Planning Transportation
Development Manager Manager Manager
[10 FTEs] [11.3 FTEs]
(Currently Brian Hensley Alan Stone
Temporarily Development Urban Design
Vacant) Manager (Highways Manager GROUP TOTAL
Development and Transport) +
Manager + [2 Staff
= 65.6 FTE
(Planning) [20 Staff = 1 FTE]
+ = 20 FTEs]
[17 Staff [+1 temp = 0.5 FTE] = 68 POSTS
= 16.3 FTEs] [+1 x 0.5 FTE Temp]
Development Minerals and
Management Waste Policy
(11.3 FTE) [incl 2 FTE
5. PLANNING & TRANSPORTATION GROUP KEY TASKS 2008/9
2008/9 Key Tasks/Projects Deadline Team
1. Contribute fully to the regional planning processes by : Strategic Planning /
(i) advising the RPB as required / Development
(ii) responding to the formal RSS modifications on Autumn Management
behalf of DCC 2008 (Policy)
(iii) undertaking necessary technical assessments,
including the development of strategic proposals for Autumn
major urban extensions at Exeter, Newton Abbot and 2008
Barnstaple and the possible second new community
East of Exeter.
(iv) carrying out conformity assessments in respect of
LDF documents and major planning applications
(v) developing integrated strategies for Devon’s main
sub-regions – including Housing, Transport and
Economic Development (to inform LDF process and December
possible early review of RSS) 2008
(vi) participating in Regional Minerals and Waste Policy
Development, including National/Regional Review of Ongoing
2. Develop a comprehensive transport and wider Strategic Planning /
infrastructure strategy framework for Devon including : Transport Planning
(i) more detailed strategies for the main urban areas of
Exeter, Barnstaple, Plymouth and Torbay and their December
hinterlands (working in partnership with unitary 2008
(ii) local strategies for each of Devon’s main towns
3. Ensure the effective delivery of the Strategic and Ongoing to Strategic Planning /
Spatial Policy Framework for Devon by providing March 2009 Development
proactive advice to LDF Authorities relating to both RSS Management /
policy interpretation and DCC’s corporate Transport Planning
responsibilities and interests.
4. Leading and co-ordinating DCC’s inputs to the new September Strategic Planning /
community proposals at Sherford and Cranbrook (and 2008 Development
also other major developments East of Plymouth and Management
East of Exeter), including master planning, strategy
development, and the completion of the Section 106
Agreements to enable the issue of planning
permissions and commencement on site.
2008/9 Key Tasks/Projects Deadline Team
5. Ensure that Spatial Planning Objectives are fully Strategic Planning
reflected in the development of Devon’s Local Area
Agreement, Community Strategy and other Corporate October
programmes, and more specifically, coordinate the role 2008
of the County Council in housing policy and other
development by :
(i) completing the Northern Devon Housing Market December
(ii) progressing the methodology and delivery of the
SHLAA processes within Devon
(iii) developing innovative approaches to addressing Ongoing
affordable housing issues
6. Provide strategic policy and Transport Assessment Ongoing to Transport Planning
advice in respect of major planning applications. March 2009 / Development
7. Strategic delivery and monitoring of the Devon LTP Transport Planning
through : / Development
(i) management of the Local Transport Plan Ongoing to Management
programmes (including the delivery National Cycle March 2009
Network) within budget
(ii) monitoring overall delivery of the Local Transport
(iii) assisting District Councils with the development of
Air Quality Action Plans
(iv) preparing and submitting the Local Transport Plan 2008
8. Work with Community Transport and TCS to develop Ongoing to Transport Planning
Accessibility Action Plans for rural areas of Devon and March 2009 / Strategic Planning
carry out local accessibility assessments.
9. Contribute to the development of the (Exeter) Transport Ongoing to Transport Planning
Innovation Project, and the Exeter Major Scheme Bid March 2009
submissions and process.
10. Consult, develop, prepare, and assist with the Ongoing to Transport Planning
implementation of appropriate Travel Plans for new March 2009 / Development
2008/9 Key Tasks/Projects Deadline Team
11. Continue the development and delivery the County Ongoing to Strategic Planning /
Council’s Carbon Management Plan as part of its’ wider March 2009 Development
Climate Change Strategy : Management
(i) monitoring it’s effectiveness
(ii) responding to emerging scientific evidence
(iii) taking forward internal and external awareness
(iv) piloting and preparing for the proposed carbon
(v) developing a coordinated approach to adaptation.
12. Secure the core data, research and monitoring Ongoing to All
requirements to support the Group’s needs, in liaison March 2009
with Economy and Regeneration, in accordance with
priorities based on an up to date and clear action plan.
13. Assist in the process of Place Making through : Ongoing to Transport Planning
(i) the implementation of the Manual for Streets through March 2009 / Development
a programme advocacy both within the Directorate and Management
across Districts. (Urban Design)
(ii) delivery of a comprehensive programme of Urban
Enhancement Schemes throughout Devon.
14. Delivery of Highways and Transport advice by : Development
(i) advising in detail on significant planning applications Ongoing to Management
received by the Devon LPA’s within the 21 day target March
(ii) introducing Highways Development Management September
Standing Advice in all Devon LPA areas, 2008
(iii) reviewing the Devon Design Guide.
(iv) reviewing and updating Section 106/278 procedures
(v) considering and providing highway response to
Goods Vehicle Licence applications.
15. Monitor and ensure full use of planning consultation, December Development
Section 38 and Section 106/278 elements of the 2008 Management
Datawright development management software system,
and complete the implementation of 1 APP and the
16. Proactive engagement in renewable energy Ongoing to Development
development within Devon , including the setting of sub March 2009 Management
regional targets to 2020 and assessment of major (EEC
marine schemes including Severn Barrage and Atlantic Scrutiny
Array. June 2008)
2008/9 Key Tasks/Projects Deadline Team
17. Progress the Minerals and Waste DFs by : Ongoing to Development
(i) revising the Minerals and Waste Development March 2009 Management
Scheme (MWDS) in the light of legislative/policy (Policy)
(ii) preparing, consulting on and publishing Minerals
and Waste Development Documents in accordance
with MWDS (with necessary Sustainability Appraisal
and Appropriate Assessment)
18. Provide minerals/waste inputs to planning application Ongoing to Development
consultations, District & Adjacent MPA/WPA LDF March 2009 Management
consultations, and proactively monitor the conditions
attached to active minerals and landfill planning
permissions in accordance with agreed Schemes of
19. Determine County Matter and County Council Ongoing to Development
development planning applications and monitor/enforce March 2009 Management
20 Formulate and adopt a business continuity plan for the July 2008 Malcolm West
6. RESOURCES / BUDGETS 2008/9
For 2008/9, the Environment Economy and Culture Directorate are delivering our work programme to
a net budget of £14.76 million made up of £2.88 million revenue and £11.88 million capital.
The 2008/9 Revenue Budget for Planning and Transportation is allocated under the following
Planning and Transportation: £000s
- Strategic Planning & Transportation 1,475
- Development Management 1,407 (net)
The 2008/9 Capital Budget for Planning and Transportation is allocated under the following
Planning and Transportation: £000s
- Strategic Planning & Transportation 11,877
- Development Management 0
The Capital Schemes contained within the £11,877k above are made up of:-
A3052 Sidford Blue Ball 22
Local Transport Plan - Integrated Transport block 8,277
High Street Cullompton drainage 65
National Cycle Network 3,063
The Strand and the Square 220
Bank Street/Wolborough Street 230
7. KEY CHALLENGES FOR PLANNING & TRANSPORTATION GROUP 2008/9
7.1 The principal key challenges for the Group in the coming year have been identified as:-
Responding to the New RSS and National Planning Reform Agenda
- Increased rates of development, second new community for Exeter, major urban
- Delivery of Cranbrook/Sherford post planning permission
- Sub-regional studies/projects – including Costed Infrastructure Plans
- Facilitation of thematic work e.g: Renewable Energy
- National Policy Statements, The Planning Bill, the Community Infrastructure Levy,
Community Infrastructure Funds etc.
- Streamlining LDFs – review of Minerals and Waste Development Scheme
More Proactive Engagement in District LDF Processes
- Lead on proactive strategy development for transport, housing, economy, etc.
- Front loaded engagement with Districts on Core Strategies/AAPS etc.
- Integration of public realm into front loading of inputs – the Importance of Place
Making and Neighbourhood approaches.
- Input into Infrastructure Plans.
- Mineral safeguarding approach in District LDFs
Fresh Approach to Transport Planning
- Not so much about capacity – more demand management/modal shift (e.g. travel
- Longer term strategies v. elastoplast approach. The development of a Devon
Wide Transport Strategy.
- Response to climate change – radical rethink of transport policy
- ‘Son of’ LTP – future of cycling/travel plans?
Responding to the Sub-National Review
- Responding to the SNR Consultation (expected by April 2008).
- Defining and delivering a spatial economic strategy (capacity & skills development
- Delivering new forms of economic activity e.g: the Science Park
- Fostering of a new working relationship with RDA in the context of Local
Government Review in Devon.
Delivery of New Infrastructure Funding Strategies
- Progressing Major Scheme Bids, Transport Innovation Fund Bids, Regional
Funding Allocation Bids, Community Infrastructure Funds Bids etc.
- Introduction of Community Infrastructure Levy and reformed Planning Obligations
- Preparing Infrastructure Plans and Strategies for 20 year period – defining costs.
LAA & MAA Processes
- delivering though partnership
- integrating the processes into the mainstream of statutory planning
- accountability of partners and governance.
- identifying realistic themes and targets for first 3 years! Prioritisation vital.
- Continue Process Improvements – e-business, ‘1 APP’, validation checklist,
standing advice and process reforms in the Planning Bill e.g: Infrastructure
Planning Commission, Community Infrastructure Levy etc.
- Sensitivity of handling development proposals in the lead up to May 2009
elections (and Local Government Review)
- Implementing Manual for Streets ‘ethos’
Public Realm / Place Making & Shaping
- Movement of public realm into the heart of Strategy Development
- Need for better prioritisation and resource matching in the face of ‘wild card’
- Balancing the Strategy and Advocacy role with detailed scheme implementation
- Reinvigoration of Group/Clarity of Purpose
- Re-establish the Group at the forefront of forward thinking/delivery
- Recruitment & Retention of Staff
- The need to address the fallout from Job Evaluation as a priority
- Staff training and capacity building to respond to the changing agenda.
- Ensuring communication and involvement throughout the Group
Equality and Diversity
- In support of the Corporate drive to achieve Equalities Standard Level 3 target,
undertake to ensure that all Policies and Processes undertake an Equalities
Impact and Needs Assessment.
8. ASSESSMENT OF RISKS
In the assessment of the impact of risks an account has been taken of reputational risk to the
County Council in the event of failure of delivery of the appropriate key tasks.
Planning and transportation
Low = 2
High = 16
Failure to contribute to the local and regional developments (RSS, LDF, 10
LAA) compromising the future strategic policy framework.
Failure to coordinate DCC inputs to the new community proposals and 15
other major developments
Failure to develop a comprehensive transport and wider infrastructure 10
Failure to contribute to the Exeter Transport Innovation Project and other 10
Major Scheme bid submissions
Failure to continue to the Council’s Carbon Management Plan 8
compromising the Making Devon Greener strategic priority