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Agenda item 4 - Report of the York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Hull (YNYERH) Directors of Development Group

1.0 Purpose of the report

1.1 To update member of the Chief Executives' Group as to the work and progress of the YNYERH Directors of Development Group.
 

2.0 Background

2.1 This report updates the Chief Executives’ Group on the work of the Directors of Development Group (DoDs). This report covers the DODs meeting that took place virtually on the 23 September 2020.

2.2 The key agenda items were as follows:

  • Covid Impact, intelligence sharing and economic response plan
  • LEP, North Yorkshire and York Devolution Update
  • Local Authorities Climate Action Progress Update Paper
  • Head of Planning Future of Planning White Paper Presentation
  • North Yorkshire Market Town Masterplan Commission
     

3.0 Covid Impact, intelligence Sharing and economic response plan

3.1 The Head of Strategy for the Local Enterprise Partnership set out the current position concerning the LEP’s Recovery Plan. Consultation responses were being considered and amendments made where necessary to the final document. No fundamental changes are required and there has been support and sign off to the approach. Following the next Task and Finish Group meeting. The Ten Pledges set out at the previous DoDs meeting will be brought back to DoDs for final sign off.

3.2 The 10 pledges are as follows and the full report Covid-19, A plan to reshape our economy is available on the Coronavirus pages of the YNYER LEPs website.

Place and Infrastructure

1. All our high streets, city and town centres are greener, fairer and stronger in a post Covid-19 world.

2. Digital connectivity becomes the catalyst for change in a greener, fairer, stronger recovery.

3. New housing adapts to changing needs in terms of design, affordability, energy efficiency, digital connectivity and space.

4. Active travel and public transport usage increases beyond pre Covid-19 levels contributing to greener, fairer and stronger places.

People

5. People at risk of redundancy or newly unemployed can access the advice and support they need to get them back into employment.

6. Training and learning provision has the capacity to meet demand for a greener, fairer and stronger recovery.

7. Young people and those furthest from the labour market are not left behind in terms of access to support, learning, training and employment

Business

8. All our businesses get the support they need to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19 and come back greener, fairer and stronger.

9. New job opportunities are created that are greener, fairer and stronger.

Low Carbon and Environment

10. We enhance and maintain our landscapes and provide more and accessible green spaces.

3.3 It was reported that word ‘Recovery’ is not being used by businesses as they are still in a crisis or stability stage. Instead, from the LEP’s perspective it should be about ‘reshaping’ the economy.

3.4 General intelligence sharing took place including an upturn in tourism in the Dales and Moors with bookings high into October and September. The Caravanning Industry in Hull is also seeing positive signs. The discussion on the housing market showed an immediate increase in activity as well as planning permissions on extensions and conservatories etc. increasing. The increased activity is resulting in increased land values but this may fall again next year.
 

4.0 LEP North Yorkshire and York Devolution Update

4.1 The Head of Strategy for the Local Enterprise Partnership set out the current position from the LEP perspective. Much of the Devolution deal and asks were set out at the last meeting. The Chief Operating Officer for the LEP is looking to see how the Covid-19 recovery / reshaping plan could help bring forward elements of the Asks. There is a frustration from LEP perspective that Devolution is linked to the Local Government Reorganisation and potentially slowing down a Devolution deal.

4.2 At the meeting the request to submit a Unitary proposal to Government had not been received

4.3 East Riding and Hull put in a joint submission for a devolution deal on 4 September 2020.
 

5.0 Local Authorities Climate Action Progress Update Paper

5.1 The Local Authorities Climate Action Co-ordinator from the Local Enterprise Partnership attended the meeting to present the update.

5.2 DODs were asked to support the action plan set out in the report, which covered the following main action areas:

  • Co-ordinating Local Authority Climate Emergency Action Plans
  • Supporting Local Authority Climate Emergency Governance
  • Co-ordinating the development of Climate Emergency Policy
  • Developing a Pipeline of Local Authority Climate Projects including:
  1. Procurement
  2. Community Engagement
  3. Electric Vehicle Charging Points
  4. Street lighting Upgrades
  5. Asset Management
  6. Fleet Management

 

5.3 Carbon Abatement Pathways are progressing as planned. Work has been sent to the consultants, Element Energy and a ‘to do list’ is expected back from them in November.

5.4 Discussion included the pace of change for vehicle fleets, housing retrofitting and an update on the Carbon Neutral and Circular steering group.

5.5 The Carbon Abatement Plan and Action Plan will be a set item going forward.
 

6.0 Heads of Planning Future of Planning White Paper Presentation

6.1 The Director of Planning at the North York Moors National Park presented a comprehensive overview of the White Paper. Key elements included:

  • 70 Year old planning system being blamed for the problems in house building
  • Local Plans will need to be complete in 30 months
  • Concerns over engagement with the public if all engagement is to take place at the Local Plan stage
  • There would be three zones for development:
  1. Growth Areas for Development
  2. Renewal Areas for some development
  3. Protected Areas for restricted Development
  • Design Codes to guide development
  • Removal of Duty to Co-operate
  • The response to government is to be submitted by 29 October.

6.2 General discussion followed with concerns raised over the reforms, which are generally not supported. The outcome is for the Heads of Planning to co-ordinate a response from DoDs. Heads of Planning to provide a letter for Leaders to sign with David Bowe to circulate. This action was completed on 28 October with 10 Leaders’ signatures.
 

7.0 North Yorkshire Market Towns Masterplans Commissions

7.1 Senior Policy Officer (Infrastructure) NYCC attended to present the report.

7.2 It is expected that the full £250,000 set aside for this project from the North and West Yorkshire Building Rates Pool surplus will be available for the project. The final audited accounts returned in November.

7.3 The £250,000 will be divided up between the seven North Yorkshire Districts providing £35,000 for each Market Town Masterplan.

7.4 The procurement process had been put on hold over the summer due to Covid-19 related activity taking priority. Pre market engagement has taken place with the Homes England Multi-Disciplinary Framework and all officers at the Districts have been engaged and provided a basic brief for the project. 

7.5 Directors agreed to the removal of Harrogate Borough Council from the overall commission so that their masterplan could be taken up through a separate commission and procured by Harrogate Borough Council directly. The proposed masterplan linked to the development at Ripon Barracks was due to form the second of a two stage process, the first stage being funded by the Local Growth Feasibility Study fund.

7.6 During discussion, the Head of Strategy for the Local Enterprise Partnership requested that the LEP be present on the steering group for the project given the links with the 21 Century Towns commission and the 15 market towns included in that study. A mapping exercise of the town included in both studies will be developed.

7.7 Homes England representative Karen Anderson explained potential interest, particularly about high streets and town re-purposing. The detailed briefs are will be shared once they are developed.
 

8.0 Recommendations

8.1 The Chief Executives note the recent and ongoing work of the YNYERH Directors of Development Group

 

Karl Battersby
Corporate Director - Business and Environmental Services, NYCC in the capacity of Chair of the YNYERH Directors of Development Group

November 2020