The Local Plan for Torbay is launched this week, bringing plans for a healthy, happy and prosperous Bay over the next 20 years, and Torbay Council is seeking the view of Torbay residents on the proposals in the Plan.

Around 6,000 new jobs; around 9,000 new homes; revitalised town centres; major investment in the Bay’s harbours and tourism industry; major investment in infrastructure (including a new station at Edginswell) further improvements to the A380 and funding for flood protection; a healthier Bay, with better access to sport and recreation; and robust protection for, and enhancement of the Bay’s unique environmental assets are the main aims of the Local Plan.

The Plan has reached its penultimate stage of preparation and it will soon be formally submitted to Government, before its final stage: examination in public this autumn followed by adoption by the Council early in 2015.

The Council has considered all previous consultation responses and suggestions, has used new evidence and reviewed what’s happening with Local Plans in other parts of England.

The Local Plan is all about planning for success – it is very positive about the Bay’s future. At the heart of the Plan is the Bay’s fantastic environment. The Plan recognises the importance of looking after the Bay’s unique selling point - it’s the Bay’s environment that attracts businesses, residents, visitors and wildlife.

The Plan is also positive about new jobs. The Plan enables the creation of 5,000 – 6,000 jobs, equivalent to 250-300 new jobs a year which is the same as during the ‘boom’ years of 1998-2008. The focus is on high value jobs in important sectors such as tourism, advanced electronics, medical and healthcare, food production – all of which play to the Bay’s strengths. Many of these jobs will be in town centres, but the Plan also promotes key sites such as Oxen Cove and Freshwater, Claylands and Torquay Gateway.

The Local Plan takes a positive approach to new homes, especially family homes, and includes innovative policies on self-build homes and open market housing in some of the Bay’s more deprived wards. The number of new homes is limited by the Bay’s high quality environment, but there is space for around 9,000 homes (400 – 500 a year) over the next 20 years. The Council is working closely with South Hams and Teignbridge District Councils on ways in which growth can be accommodated over the longer term.

Torquay and Paignton town centres, west Paignton and Torquay Gateway (Edginswell) are the most sustainable locations for growth, and will see the most positive change over the next 20 years. Much of this growth can only come forward after investment in new infrastructure – roads, flood protection, sewers, schools etc.

The Local Plan also promotes investment in green infrastructure – new cycle routes, footpaths and urban landscape areas – to support healthy communities and enhance biodiversity. The Council has already commissioned masterplans for these four growth green infrastructure areas, and the community will be heavily involved in producing those masterplans.

Mayor of Torbay Gordon Oliver said: “The Torbay Local Plan will help create the Landscape for Success that Torbay aspires to as a thriving business and tourism destination. It’s important that everyone who has a stake in the future of the Bay is aware of our plans and takes part in shaping Torbay through consultation on the Local Plan. I look forward to working with our partners in the public and private sector to delivering economic prosperity and a sustainable future for Torbay and its resident and businesses community.”

Cllr David Thomas, Deputy Mayor and Executive Lead for Spatial Planning said: “We live and work in an extraordinary place, during extraordinary times. Although it is difficult to predict the long term future with accuracy, we need a plan that gives us direction toward the outcomes we all want for Torbay. This Local Plan focuses on those outcomes and, specifically, what we need to do over the next five years as – hopefully – we emerge from a recession. The Plan celebrates and protects Torbay’s uniqueness and helps unlock Torbay’s potential for economic success.

“We need to get the Local Plan in place as soon as possible, not only to provide a positive framework for investment but also to provide a statutory basis, alongside Neighbourhood Plans, against which all development proposals will be assessed. I urge all local residents and businesses to take part in this important consultation to let their views on Torbay’s future be known, and help us together create a Landscape for Success.”

The Local Plan can be viewed at each of the four libraries at Torquay, Brixham, Paignton and Churston; the Connections offices at Paignton, Brixham and Electric House; the Council’s Planning office at Electric House and on line at www.torbay.gov.uk/newlocalplan This stage of the consultation is open until 9am Monday 7 April.

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