The local plan update: a landscape to thrive

Torbay needs thousands more homes over the next 20 years. We are asking people to help decide where they should go.

Have your say

We are consulting on the local plan update. It outlines how we plan to deliver 5,400 homes between now and 2040. The Local Plan:

  • identifies where we could build new homes
  • aims to get the views of as many local people as possible

We want to hear from as many people as possible, as well as stakeholders such as the development industry, environmental bodies, and neighbouring councils.   

Please make comments online via  Consultations - Torbay Council which is open until 12 Noon on Monday 5 December.

Housing in Torbay

Torbay currently has 150 families in temporary accommodation. There are 1600 households on the waiting list for affordable housing. This number will only grow over the coming years.

The government sets a formula to work out the minimum number of homes that we should build. This figure is 600 dwellings a year: or 10,800 new homes by 2040. We know that there is an urgent housing need, but we have concerns about the way the formula works this out. In particular, it relies on very old data, but our main concern is that the formula doesn't take into account:

  • environmental constraints
  • our ability to accommodate growth for:
  • jobs
  • infrastructure
  • suitable land to build on

There are some areas that the draft plan aims to protect. For example, the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It means we will need to look at other sites and to do this we need your help.


We carried out an earlier consultation in January 2022 on Local Plan growth options. The findings of this have helped us prepare the new consultation. The report to Cabinet in July 2022 talks about the issues in more detail. It can be read at: Cabinet Report and background papers.

The policy and targets

The Local Plan doesn’t only look at housing. It also sets out an overarching strategic policy and sets targets for:

  • employment land
  • addressing the climate emergency
  • suggesting more detailed policies for neighbourhood plan areas.

We will be consulting on the non-housing policies in the Local Plan Update in early 2023.

The consultation closes at noon on Monday 5 December.

Find out more and have your say in our online survey

Evidence Documents

The Local Plan will be supported by evidence about key issues. Two important studies that have been carried out are the Housing and Economic Needs Assessment (HENA) and the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). The latest versions of these documents are attached below, but please note that they are likely to evolve over time as new sites and data become available. The HENA and the HELAA are not policy documents, but part of the evidence that will help shape policy making. 

Housing and Economic Needs Assessment (HENA)

This document looks at the housing market in Torbay and calculates how many affordable homes need to be provided, as well as the size, type and tenure of homes that we need.

Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA)

Need is different from capacity to meet that need. The next step has been to identify land that could potentially be used to meet Torbay’s housing need. This process, known as a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA), looks at whether sites would be suitable to build homes on. The HELAA has included a ‘Call for Sites’ in which we have asked local people, land owners and agents to notify us of sites which may have development potential. 

The HELAA may be viewed on the Torbay Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment page.

Next Steps

The current consultation focusses on housing policies.  We will consult on non-housing policies (e.g. on employment, retail, transport, landscape, ecology etc. early in 2023.

The current stage is known as “Regulation 18 Issues and Options” where no decisions have been made about the Plan.  We want to hear people’s views and we will take these into account when preparing the next stage of the Local Plan.

The next stage is the “Preferred Option” (Also called “Regulation 19”).  We will publish this in Summer 2023. Although still a consultation plan, this will set out what the council considers to be the right Local Plan Update.

Following consultation on the “preferred option” the Plan will be Submitted to the Secretary of State (via the Planning Inspectorate) for Examination in Autumn 2023.

There will also be a separate consultation on our new Housing Strategy later in the autumn.

Further information – Local Plan Update

Please note there is also a separate consultation ongoing about the Local Plan Update. If you wish to comment on housing numbers or where housing should go, please can you also respond to the Local Plan Update consultation here 

The stages of the Local Plan Update are set out below.  However, these are indicative and may change, for example as a result of consultation responses

Review of local Plan (November 2020) > Issues, paper for evidence (Reg 18) this stage > Consultation plan (Reg 19) > Revisions to plan > Submission version of plan (Reg 22) > Submission of plan for examination

Background papers

Local Plan Site Options Statement and Consultation Questions
Explanatory Text and Questions
Local Plan Update: Draft Housing Policies
This document sets out draft policies for consideration as part of the Torbay Local Plan Site Options consultation.
Brixham Sites Wildlife Screening Assessment
Wildlife Screening Assessment September 2022
Torquay Sites Wildlife Screening Assessment
Wildlife Screening Assessment September 2022
Paignton Sites Wildlife Screening Assessment
Wildlife Screening Assessment September 2022
Torbay Local Plan 2022/2040 - “A Landscape to Thrive”
Regulation 18 Consultation Sustainability Appraisal
Torbay Local Plan Update 2022/2040 - “A Landscape to Thrive”
Frequently Asked Questions

Previous Stages

Torbay Local Plan Housing Update Summary 10 January 2022
Growth Options Consultation (Regulation 18)
Torbay Local Plan Housing Update10 January 2022
Growth Options Consultation (Regulation 18)
Option 5 Map Showing Categories
Meeting full needs (as required by Government)
Sustainability Appraisal of Local Plan Housing Update Growth Options.
Torbay Local Plan Housing Update
Local Housing Plan Survey questions
Questions asked in the local plan survey
Torbay Local Plan Housing Update
Call for Evidence - Reg 18 Consultation
Local Plan Housing Need Report to Cabinet February 2021
Local Plan Review Report to Cabinet November 2020
Local Plan Review Record of Decision November 2020
PAS Toolkit Local Plan Review November 2020
Sustainability Appraisal - Developing and Assessing Reasonable Alternatives
Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report
Local Plan Update
Cabinet report 12 July 2022
Appendix 1
Assessment of representations made on the regulation 18 Torbay local plan update growth options, January to February 2022
Appendix 2
Sustainability appraisal of reasonable alternatives: housing update growth options
Appendix 3
Map of sites considered in the cabinet site options report.
Minutes of cabinet decision
Record of decision: local plan update housing growth scenarios
Housing and Economic Needs Assessment (HENA)
A HENA is required as part of the local evidence base supporting the Local Plan Update