On Thursday 2 May 2019 there will be referendums for Torquay, Paignton and Brixham Peninsula Neighbourhood Plans.

Neighbourhood Plans help local communities play a direct role in planning the areas in which they live and work.

They are prepared by Town or Parish Councils (or Neighbourhood Forums in locations where Town or Parish councils don’t exist) who are known as the ‘Qualifying Body’. The plans need to align with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.

In Torquay and Paignton plans have been prepared by Neighbourhood Forums and in the Brixham Peninsula the Town Council has produced the document. Local communities have helped prepare the plans with support from, but independently of, us.

The plans give local communities the power to set out a vision for their area so they can shape growth and influence the type of developments they want. They can be used to:

  • Develop a shared vision for a neighbourhood.
  • Choose where new homes, shops, offices and other development should be built.
  • Identify and protect important local green spaces.
  • Influence what new buildings should look like.

A neighbourhood area can cover single streets or large urban or rural areas. They are proposed by the Town Councils or Neighbourhood Forums. In this instance, the neighbourhood areas are for Torquay, Paignton and the Brixham Peninsula. More detail, including maps are included in the applications for the designation for each area:

Torquay Neighbourhood Plan
Application for designation of a Neighbourhood Area (Regulation 5) - 2017.
Paignton Neighbourhood Plan
Application for designation of a Neighbourhood Area (Regulation 5) - 2017.
Brixham Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan
Application for designation of a Neighbourhood Area (Regulation 5) - 2017.

The Neighbourhood Plans have successfully passed an independent examination and been approved by the local planning authority. If they achieve support from more than 50% of those voting, they will be adopted by us. They will then be taken into consideration alongside the Local Plan when planning applications are being considered.

One of the requirements of neighbourhood planning is that communities vote, through a referendum, on whether a Neighbourhood Plan should be adopted by the local planning

There are three ways of voting:

  1. In person on Thursday 2 May 2019 - Please note that the deadline to register to vote in time for the elections is midnight on Friday 12 April 2019.
  2. By post
  3. By proxy

In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you cannot go to the polling station in person you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on the day of the poll.

The Neighbourhood Plan must meet all the following conditions if it is to be considered for referendum:

  • Has regard to national policy and guidance from the Secretary of State.
  • The making of the Neighbourhood Plan contributes to the achievement of sustainable development.
  • The making of the Neighbourhood Plan is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained within the development plan for the area.
  • The making of the Neighbourhood Plan does not breach, or otherwise compatible with, European Union (EU) obligations (including the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive 2001/42/EC).
  • The making of the Neighbourhood Plan is not likely to have a significant effect on a European site (as defined in the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010).

No - a Neighbourhood Plan can guide development to be more appropriate to the local area and help decide where it goes, but the government has made it clear that it is not a tool to be used to stop development.

No - the Local Plan remains part of the development plan and will continue to be used to determine planning applications. Neighbourhood Plans will be read alongside the Local Plan when considering planning applications. They need to conform to the overarching adopted Local Plan for Torbay, but will form part of the development plan for their area.

The weight (importance) that is attached to a particular policy can only be decided when considering a specific proposal. At a general level, when adopted, Neighbourhood Plans and the Local Plan should complement each other. Planning decisions will be based primarily around policies in adopted Neighbourhood Plans and the Local Plan.

Yes - planning applications will need to have regard to all relevant policy.

Further general information on neighbourhood planning, including the Neighbourhood Plans for Torquay, Paignton and the Brixham Peninsula and related documents can be found on the Neighbourhood Plans page.

For queries about planning issues and neighbourhood planning in general, please contact our Planning Team on 01803 208804 or email future.planning@torbay.gov.uk.

For more information about voting and the arrangements for this referendum, please contact our Electoral Services office on 01803 208008 or email electoral.registration@torbay.gov.uk.