First joint North Devon and Torridge Local Plan adopted by councils

Local Plan Approval

The first joint North Devon and Torridge Local Plan has been adopted and will now shape the future of northern Devon.

At a special joint Full Council meeting of both North Devon Council and Torridge District Council last night (Monday 29 October), councillors from both authorities agreed to adopt the document. The local plan sets out development to meet the needs of both districts up to 2031 - including housing and employment, and allocates land where sustainable development can be provided.

The local plan has been produced by officers and councillors from both authorities working together and involved extensive public consultation.

In brief the plan aims to:

•           strengthen the local economy creating job opportunities by allocating 85 hectares of employment land for businesses to start up or expand 
•           support opportunities to improve education, training and skill levels
•           deliver 17,220 new homes, providing a choice of housing to meet the needs of existing and future communities 
•           improve transport around the area including sustainable travel through pedestrian and cycle routes
•           provide and improve access to community facilities and services
•           protect and enhance the natural and built environment, coast and countryside that makes the area unique 

The main areas affected by the plan are Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton and Wrafton, Fremington and Yelland, Great Torrington, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Northam and South Molton. An individual strategy has been prepared for each of these areas, as well as over 50 villages across the districts.

Lead Member for Planning at Torridge District Council, Councillor Pete Watson, said: "This is fantastic news that the process of adopting a new local plan has now been concluded. It will be the blueprint for how development across our two districts is delivered for many years to come. As well as facilitating the building of much needed housing it will also protect the wonderful landscape we have in northern Devon. This has been an enormous undertaking for both councils but also a great example of collaboration and everyone involved from councillors to officers and members of the public, all should be proud of what has been achieved."

Lead Member for the Local Plan at North Devon Council, Councillor Jeremy Yabsley, said: "Last night's meeting marks the end of nine years hard work. It's been a long journey where we've had to be adaptable to changes in government and their policies, all of which has been taken into consideration when producing the plan. I would like to sincerely thank all the officers and councillors involved as well as the public for getting involved and having their say during our consultations, helping to make it what it is today." 

Now that the local plan has been adopted, both councils will be using the policies in the plan to determine planning applications.

The local plan was considered at the joint Full Council meeting following the Planning Inspector's report being received by the councils on 11 September. 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 adopted local plan and the inspector's report can be viewed in full on the councils website https://www.torridge.gov.uk/localplan

Image shows L to R - TDC Lead Member for Planning Cllr Pete Watson , TDC Chair Cllr Simon Inch, TDC Leader Jane Whittaker, NDC Leader Des Brailey, NDC Vice-Chair Cllr Frank Biederman, NDC Lead Member for the Local Plan Cllr Jeremy Yabsley

30 October 2018