In the coming weeks residents who live in Totnes and the surrounding areas will be given the opportunity to cast their votes on whether to support the adoption of the Totnes Neighbourhood Plan. The referendum will happen on Thursday 16 November.

Neighbourhood Plans are a community right introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and in the case of Totnes it was the town council that started the preparation of the Totnes Neighbourhood Plan in 2013. 

The purpose of a Neighbourhood Plan is to give residents powers to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development of their local area. The plan sets out planning policies that are used in determining planning applications around Totnes.

The Totnes Neighbourhood Plan has been the subject of an independent examination and, following the Examiner’s report, the town and district councils accepted the modifications proposed by the Examiner and the plan has been amended. The Totnes Town Council requested that the Plan proceeds to a referendum. South Hams District Council has approved the request and steps are being taken to organise the vote that will enable the residents of Totnes to decide whether the plan should be adopted.

The plan includes policies covering the retention of local identity, health and wellbeing, the criteria for sustainable development, design criteria for new development, Historic and Built Character, Landscape Setting, Renewal Energy Generation, Local Food Growing, the local and green economy, the future of the town centre, sustainable transport, public open spaces, housing, Steamer Quay, Market Square and Civic Hall.

Cllr John Birch said: “The Totnes Neighbourhood Plan really does provide a vision for our town’s future and offers it protection against speculative development that could blight Totnes. I am hoping the plan receives a big ‘Yes’ vote so that it plays an important part in the determination of future planning applications and saving it from overdevelopment.”

The Totnes Neighbourhood Plan can be found on the Totnes Town Council website at A hard copy can be viewed at the Town Council Offices at Ramparts Walk in Totnes.