Plans for the future of Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon receive ringing endorsement


It’s taken three years to shape, publish and consult on, but the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan has now been endorsed by independent Government Inspectors.

The ambitious plan for what Plymouth and South West Devon could be like in 2034 covering important issues like health, transport, homes, jobs and the economy, green spaces and infrastructure is now set to be formally adopted by the three councils later this week and early next week.

The Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan is being reported to the Full Council in each local authority on the following days:

South Hams – Thursday 21 March

Plymouth – Tuesday 26 March

West Devon – Tuesday 26 March

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

The plan area covers a population of 401,567 people who were all asked to contribute to its policies and development sites.

The councils have this week learnt that the Inspectors have endorsed the Joint Local Plan.

Councillor Graham Parker, from West Devon Borough Council, Chair of the Steering Group for the Joint Local Plan, speaking on behalf of the Joint Member Steering Group who oversaw the plan’s preparations said:  “We are really pleased that the strategy set out in the plan and the supporting policies which will guide development in the next 20 years have been supported by the Inspectors.
“When this plan is adopted it will be only the 13th Joint Local Plan in the country and one of a very few that have meet the housing and employment needs for their communities in full. All three authorities are now committed to working together to deliver what we have set out in this radical plan.”

Councillor Judy Pearce, South Hams District Councillor on the Joint Member Steering Group added: “This really is an historic moment for all three councils. We came together three years ago because it just made sense to look at this entire area – all 2,126 square kilometres of it – as where people live, work and play are so interconnected. By doing this we have been able to put in place planning policies that will ensure we get the right development in the right place, and protecting the highly valued landscapes of our AONBs.”

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure at Plymouth City Council said: “The plan sets out an unashamedly ambitious agenda for what Plymouth and South West Devon could be like in 2034. The plan makes provision for 26,700 new homes, of which 6,600 will be affordable homes to rent and buy, with 86 per cent planned for brownfield sites in Plymouth. The plan also proposes 375,208 square metres of new employment floor space and along with other employment generating development will create around 20,400 jobs, with 71 per cent of the planned growth to be focussed on the Plymouth Policy Area.”

The Joint Local Plan is a big, complex document. Councillor Coker continued: “Young families will be interested in knowing what the future plans are for new schools and colleges, and how the city and surrounding area plans to build enough homes for people to live in as well as where play areas could be.

“Those passionate about the environment might be interested in the policies that protect important green spaces, parks and sports facilities and how we plan to cut carbon emissions.”

The plan gives clarity to investors about where new developments are supported, where infrastructure improvements are planned while companies looking to move to the area will have policies to support their expansion plans.

Shoppers can see how the city centre might develop or ideas to support more local shops in thriving towns and villages of South Hams and West Devon.

Neighbourhood Planning Forums will now have the strategic policy framework to take forward their own neighbourhood plans for their areas.

The Joint Local Plan in numbers:

  • It covers 2,126 sq.km, nearly 55 per cent in West Devon, over 40 per cent in South Hams and just four per cent in Plymouth
  • The plan area covers a population of 401,567 people
  • Plymouth has 70 per cent of the plan area’s population with 262,712 people
  • Plymouth’s economic output is £5.2 billion and 130,000 total jobs
  • The market and coastal towns of West Devon and South Hams, together with a wider network of towns, villages and hamlets provide homes for 138,855 people, 54,385 in West Devon and 84,470 in South Hams.
  • West Devon is one of the most sparsely populated council areas with a population density of 47people/km2 compared to 95/km2 in South Hams and 3,284/km2 in Plymouth
  • Over the last 10 years, Plymouth has seen 9,632 homes delivered and 90 per cent were built on previously-built land. Building is underway on a further 1,440 properties and 4,520 have permission to be built.
  • Since 2014, 5,826 homes have been delivered in the Joint Local Plan Area. At April 2018, there were 1,855 dwellings under construction across the three authorities and a further 13,397 with planning consent.
  • An initial 600 sites were put forward through the Plymouth Plan. 168 sites are allocated in the plan for mixed use, housing, retail, employment, sports, strategic greenspaces or other uses
  • 117 sites are allocated for housing across the whole plan area.
  • 20 sites are identified to include provision for new retail floorspace.
  • There are 40 sites where new employment floorspace can be provided In Plymouth’s City Centre and Waterfront Growth Area there are allocations for 3,802 homes and 82,445 sq.m. of employment.
  • In the Derriford and Northern Corridor Growth Area there are allocations for 4,171 homes and 100,180 sq.m. of employment.
  • In the Eastern Corridor Growth Area there are allocations for 7,043 homes and 326,625 sq.m. of employment.

The Thriving Towns and Villages have the following allocations:

  • Dartmouth – 576 homes; 10,800 sqm employment
  • Ivybridge – 1,078 homes; 4,600 sqm employment
  • Kingsbridge – 267 homes; 200 sqm employment
  • Okehampton – 775 homes; 77,700 sqm employment
  • Tavistock – 1,203 homes; 18,600 sqm employment
  • Totnes – 528 homes; 7,700 sqm employment
  • Smaller towns and key villages – 911 homes; 46,780 sqm employment.
  • Overall, the plan makes provision for 26,700 new homes, of which 19,000 are within the Plymouth Policy Area and 7,700 in the Thriving Towns and Villages.
  • Overall, the plan makes provision for 6,600 affordable homes of which 4,550 are in the Plymouth Policy Area and 2,050 in the Thriving Towns and Villages. 
  • Overall, the plan makes provision for 375,208 sq.m. of new employment floorspace, equivalent to around 82 hectares of land

All the latest documents and the Inspectors Report together with various supporting documents have now been uploaded here.