Big day for area as Joint Local Plan is formally submitted

It’s taken five years to shape, publish and consult on, but the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan has now been submitted!

It’s a historic day for planners across the three councils; Plymouth City Council, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council as the entire plan and the thousands of comments have now been sent to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.

The Joint Local Plan looks at every aspect of how we want our cities, towns and village to look and feel for years to come.

Staff worked through the weekend to ensure the stack of documents – covering policies, development sites, areas allocate for green space as well as infrastructure were already to be sent off.

To give a scale and variety of submissions, one development company submitted over 600 pages, a member of the public supplied a detailed comment on more than 50 separate sites, while others submitted petitions. Addresses ranged from owners of country estates to a treehouse dweller. Each and every submission has been recorded.

Organisations from Highways England to parish councils and local community groups all submitted comments across sites and policies from inner city green space to village housing developments.

Paul Barnard, Assistant Director for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure at Plymouth City Council said: “This is an historic moment for all involved – and a relief! We were all working on separate plans initially, the Plymouth Plan; South Hams: Our Plan and West Devon: Our Plan but it just made sense to look at this entire area – all 2,126 square kilometres of it – as where people live, work and play in this area are so interconnected.”

The plan area covers a population of 401,567 people and all were asked to comment on sites and policies. In Plymouth, for instance, an initial 600 sites were put forward before 175 sites were allocated in the plan for mixed use, housing, retail, employment, sports, strategic greenspaces or other uses.

A total of 115 sites are allocated for housing across the whole plan area, including
• Dartmouth – 550 homes and 0,800 sqm employment space.
• Ivybridge – 1,079 homes and 10,400 sqm employment space
• Kingsbridge – 395 homes; 3,300 sqm employment space
• Okehampton – 775 homes; 87,500 sqm employment space
• Tavistock – 1,143 homes; 18,600 sqm employment space
• Totnes – 529 homes; 8,200 sqm employment space

With smaller towns and key villages earmarked for a further 907 homes and 52,000 sqm employment space, the overall plan looks at providing 26,700 new homes, of which 19,000 are within the Plymouth Policy Area. Of these 6,600 will be affordable.

Deputy leader of Plymouth City Council Patrick Nicholson said: “We face the same demands for better transport infrastructure, more local homes, new employment sites whilst protecting our precious local environment.

“Our Joint Local Plan has considered everyone’s views and provides the right  balance to delivery steady economic growth and prosperity for local residents.”

Cllr Michael Hicks, one of the Lead Members for Local Strategic Planning at South Hams District Council said: “The Strategic Planning teams across the three planning authorities have been working extremely hard to make sure that as many factors as possible are taken into account. I am extremely pleased that the completed Plan is being submitted to the Inspectorate on time.”

“This is a landmark submission for South Hams and we are confident that we have found a good balance between the differing views of our residents and the local needs of our Towns and Villages.”

Cllr Graham Parker, Lead Member for Strategic Planning at West Devon, said: “I am very pleased that we have finally reached this milestone. I can honestly say that, in a half century of working in Town Planning, I have never seen a better and clearer plan.”

It takes a balanced and sensible approach to development and growth across the area for years to come and congratulations are due to the officers and councillors who have worked so hard to prepare it.”

All the submitted documents have now been uploaded at
It will be up to the Planning Inspectorate to appoint an inspector who will then decide when the examination in public will take place and who will be invited to take part.