Major South Hams development plan finally submitted for examination

By Toby Leigh in Planning

South Hams District Council has hailed an historic day following the submission of the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate.

SHDC has worked with Plymouth City Council and West Devon Borough Council to come up with the plan. If given the nod by a planning inspector the JLP will have a major role in dictating where building takes place in the three local authority areas by allocating sites for different types of development.

The plan also looks at every other aspect of how Plymouth and surrounding towns and villages will look and feel for years to come.

Covering the period from 2014-2034, it grew out of work done to produce individual development plans by the three councils. South Hams was initially working towards ’Our Plan’ before joining up with Plymouth and West Devon.

The entire plan and the thousands of comments have now been sent to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. Comments on the plan during consultation phases were many and varied. One development company submitted more than 600 pages, while a member of the public supplied a detailed comment on more than 50 separate sites and others submitted petitions.

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.

The plan area covers a population of 401,567 people, and all were asked to comment on sites and policies.

A total of 115 sites are allocated for housing across the whole plan area, including: 550 homes and 0.8 square miles of employment space in Dartmouth; 1,079 homes and 10,400sqm employment space in Ivybridge; 395 homes and 3,300sqm employment space in Kingsbridge; and 529 homes and 8,200sqm of employment space in Totnes.

Smaller towns and key villages are 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.

SHDC councillor Michael Hicks 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 of WDBC 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 www.plymouth.gov.uk/plymswdevonplan.

The next step is for the Planning Inspectorate to appoint an inspector, who will decide when the examination in public will take place, and who will be invited to take part.

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Paul Reach · 15 days ago · Report

So Dartmouth's neighbourhood plan is already too late for inclusion in this plan which runs up to 2034. Disappointing for Dartmouth residents.

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