Inspector's approval for joint North Devon and Torridge Local Plan

Old and New Bridge

The first North Devon and Torridge Local Plan has received approval from the Planning Inspector.

Following the plan's examination, North Devon Council and Torridge District Council received the inspector's report on 11 September. The report states that the plan is 'sound', subject to her recommended main modifications which have been consulted on previously.

The next step is for the inspector's report to be taken to a joint meeting with both councils so that the plan can be formally adopted. Following adoption, planning decisions will be made using the policies in the plan which will guide the design and location of future development for both districts.

Lead Member for Planning at Torridge District Council, Councillor Peter Watson, says: "It is excellent news that the Inspector has recommended that the councils can progress to adopt the joint local plan. We now really look forward to being able to get the plan in place and to start making use of it for the benefit of our communities and to shape how the area develops.

"Working jointly with North Devon Council to prepare the plan has been a real success, allowing us to share expertise and experience, whilst ensuring that we deliver a coherent plan to cover the whole of northern Devon."

Lead Member for the Local Plan at North Devon Council, Councillor Jeremy Yabsley, adds: "It's fantastic for all officers and councillors who have been involved with the development of the plan that we have finally received the inspector's report on our joint local plan - it means that all the hard work has paid off. It's the first time a local plan has been prepared jointly with Torridge District Council and it has worked well as we are such close neighbours with common issues.

"The plan contains all the visions and policies that we have agreed for the future of northern Devon. I'd like to thank the public for getting involved with the plans' development through our extensive public consultations. The comments received have helped to make the plan what it is today."

In the report the inspector states that the plan has been positively prepared, plans clearly for ambitious housing and employment growth and provides flexibility to address currently unforeseen needs. The plan provides an aspirational but realistic level of growth and can demonstrate an adequate joint five year land supply. The councils have also been praised for their constructive engagement with adjoining local authorities. 

The inspector's report has been received following the plan being submitted to the Secretary of State in June 2016 and public hearings in November and December 2016 and January 2018.

The full report is available to read on the councils websites northdevon.gov.uk and torridge.gov.uk.

Keep up to date with the plan's progress by following the councils on social media:

• Twitter - www.twitter.com/ndevoncouncil and www.twitter.com/torridgedc

• Facebook - www.facebook.com/northdevoncouncil and www.facebook.com/Torridgedc.

14 September 2018