Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, Teignbridge District Council, and Mid Devon District Council needed to understand the future economic growth prospects for the Greater Exeter area in order to deliver a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP). HJA was appointed to deliver an Economic Development Needs Assessment (EDNA) which would serve to inform their new Plan.
The EDNA was a wide ranging piece of work which covered numerous aspects of economic development. We first of all went through a process of defining the local functional economic market area by reviewing existing evidence and conducting in-depth consultations with local stakeholders. The next step was to consider future employment growth to 2040 under a range of different scenarios, and this analysis fed into projections for the scale and location of employment land needed over the same timeframe.
In addition to these local authorities developing a shared planning policy, the Dartmoor National Park (DNP) Authority’s own strategy review also needed to be considered in the assessment given the national park’s presence within the boundary of the Greater Exeter area. This required an additional level of collaboration to ensure that the DNP was fully included in the process.
The final report that we delivered has provided a sound evidence base for the four local authorities to proceed with their JSP as a collective entity, and to inform their Local Plans. It ensures that they now have a strong foundation of economic evidence to inform their policies, and deliver their desired outcomes for the provision of new homes, jobs and infrastructure for existing and future generations.