The Localism Act, introduced new rights and powers to allow local communities to shape new development by coming together to prepare neighbourhood plans.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A neighbourhood plan sets out planning policy for a neighbourhood and, once adopted by the District Council, becomes the main document against which planning applications in the area must be judged. It can, for example:
- identify key priorities for a community that relate to use of land;
- define where new homes, commercial premises or other development should be built;
- influence what new buildings should look like;
- protect locally valued buildings or green space ; and
- add detail to district planning policy.
It can't be used to stop development or override district or national policy.
In a parished area such as Torridge, a neighbourhood plan must be led by the Town or Parish Council. Following the gathering of evidence, consultation with the local community and drafting of the plan, it needs to be checked for legal conformity by an independent inspector. It is then voted on in a referendum in the area which it covers, and must gain a majority of the votes in order to be adopted as planning policy by the District Council.
Neighbourhood Plans in Torridge
A number of town and parish councils have embarked on the process of neighbourhood planning in Torridge, with six areas formally designated for neighbourhood planning purposes, with the current activity on neighbourhood planning varying from area to area.
Two neighbourhood plans have been "made" (adopted) by Torridge District Council.
- The Winkleigh Neighbourhood Plan following a successful referendum was "made" by Torridge District Council on 2nd August 2021.
- The Great Torrington Neighbourhood Plan following a successful referendum was "made" by Torridge District Council on 2nd August 2021.
Further details about the neighbourhood planning activity in Torridge may be found by clicking on the title of each neighbourhood area in the table below.
Date of Application
Date of Designation
|Parkham Neighbourhood Area||Parkham Parish Council||18th August 2022||31st October 2022|
Great Torrington Town Council
9th July 2014
24th November 2014
Bradworthy Parish Council
15th January 2016
3rd March 2016
Winkleigh Parish Council
26th January 2017
6th March 2017
Welcombe Parish Council
22nd February 2017
15th May 2017
Northam Town Council
12th July 2017
7th August 2017
Bideford Town Council
28th November 2017
5th February 2018
The areas that have been designated as Neighbourhood Areas to date in Torridge are set out on an Neighbourhood Area Designation Overview Map (PDF) [21MB] .
Where can I get help with Neighbourhood Planning?
The independent organisation Locality has been provided with government funding to provide help and advice with neighbourhood planning. Locality is also administering government grants which neighbourhood planning groups may apply for. More information is available on the Locality website.
The following links may also be helpful:
How to Contact Us
If you wish to make an application for a neighbourhood area designation, or you wish to find out more about neighbourhood planning in Torridge please don't hesitate to get in touch using the details shown below:
Torridge District Council