Issue details

Submission of the Torbay Local Plan to the Secretary of State

The new Torbay Local Plan (A landscape for success: The Plan for Torbay - 2012 to 2032 and beyond) is the Council’s key development plan document. It will eventually replace the ‘Saved’ Adopted Torbay Local Plan 1995 – 2011 and will form the basis for decisions on spatial planning matters within Torbay over the next twenty years. The Plan sets out a Balanced Strategy for change in the Bay, which embraces growth but puts protection and enhancement of Torbay’s unique environment at its heart.
The Plan sets out broad provision and targets for development in Torbay, including housing and jobs, and identifies Strategic Delivery Areas and Future Growth Areas. It has been informed by the community and in turn sets a planning policy framework for the three Neighbourhood Plans being prepared for Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. The Plan includes a wide range of policies covering key spatial planning issues and will provide the basis for the determination of planning applications.
Consultation on a Draft of the Torbay Local Plan took place in September 2012. Subsequently, the Council has published the Proposed Submission Plan for formal representations between 24 February and 7 April 2014. Following the close of this period and the completion of relevant documentation, the Council is required formally to Submit the Local Plan and related documents (including the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment) to the Secretary of State for Independent Examination by the Planning Inspectorate.
The Council is now being asked to agree to the Submission of the Torbay Local Plan) to the Secretary of State.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Policy Framework;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 07/03/2014

Decision due: 17 Jul 2014 by Council

Lead member: Deputy Mayor Executive Lead for Strategic Planning, Housing, Energy and Environmental Policy

Lead director: Commissioner of Place and Environment

Contact: Steve Turner Email:

Consultation process

The preparation of local plans is a statutory process and consultation requirements are prescribed in ‘The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 [as Amended]’, in the context of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the Localism Act 2011. Further guidance is set out in the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). A variety of methods of public participation and engagement are used, according to the stage reached in Plan preparation. A Consultation and Engagement Strategy is developed for each appropriate Plan preparation stage. It involves widespread use of the press and other local media, websites, community liaison, posters, and email and paper correspondence with a large number of consultees. Council Offices, Libraries and Connections Offices are used to display Local Plan reference documents.
Following agreement by the Council to Submission of the Local Plan, the relevant consultation bodies and other interested parties must be notified of the Submission by the local authority.


Plan preparation involves consultation and engagement with a large number and range of individuals and organisations, details of which are retained in the Local Plan Database. This includes residents, Neighbourhood Forums and Community Partnerships, amenity organisations, statutory bodies, utilities, businesses, planning consultants and developers. All Ward Councillors are consultees and have been closely involved in the evolution of the Local Plan.

Reason for inclusion in Forward Plan: Timely approval to the formal Submission of the Local Plan will ensure that change, growth and conservation of resources in Torbay continues to take place on a ‘Plan-led’ basis. The policies and proposals of the Plan have been the subject of extensive public consultation and engagement, which has provided the community with opportunities to influence outcomes to the benefit of local neighbourhoods. This opportunity is heightened by the close link between the Local Plan and Torbay’s three Neighbourhood Plans, which are required to be consistent with the Local Plan. Preparation of the Local Plan in parallel with Neighbourhood Plans will enable both types of Plan to be compatible, empowering communities to influence decisions at a local level, for example through the identification of sites for development, or the improvement and protection of locally important areas.

Key Risks: Preparation of the Torbay Local Plan is a corporate priority. The key aim of the Plan is to provide a clear direction for sustainable growth in Torbay over the next twenty years or so. Failure to progress Submission of the Local Plan to the Secretary of State for Independent Examination, and subsequent Adoption by the Council, would result in a high risk of ad hoc speculative development taking place in an uncoordinated way and in unsustainable locations. This is particularly relevant in the context of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which emphasises the need to produce up-to-date local plans and sets out the risks to local planning authorities that fail to pursue this approach. Failure to continue to support work on the Local Plan would also result in a lost opportunity to secure community gains for local areas, remove the potential benefits to be derived from ‘parallel tracking’ with the three Neighbourhood Plans, and lead in turn to a loss of confidence within the c

If you want to make representations contact:: Steve Turner, Tel: 01803 208812,, Torbay Council, Electric House (2nd Floor), Castle Circus, Torquay TQ1 3DR

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