The Local Plan, which sets out ambitions for Torbay over the next 20 years, was discussed at the Council meeting on 17 July and the Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 31 July.

The council has been careful to balance a number of factors: the need for economic growth and new jobs, the need for new homes, the capacity of our environment and infrastructure to accommodate change. Torbay Council firmly believes it’s got the balance right, and judging by comments from the community, development industry and statutory organisations - such as Natural England - this belief is confirmed.

The new Local Plan puts the Bay’s special environment at the heart of its strategy for growth and change. The Bay’s natural and physical environment is not only important for ecological reasons, it also provides space for sport and recreation, which is important for health and underpins the Bay’s economy, particularly tourism.

The new Local Plan supports Torbay’s Economic Strategy to promote growth and change in the Bay (especially economic growth), town centre regeneration and the creation of 5,000 to 6,000 new jobs and at least 17 hectares of new employment space in key locations such as town centres, Edginswell and West Paignton.

The new Local Plan must also provide space for new homes, so it shows where 8,000 to 10,000 new homes, including 30% affordable homes, can be located. This will ensure the demand for new homes is met locally. The new homes will support economic growth and bring further investment to public transport, new roads and green infrastructure, such as new parks and better access to the countryside.

To compliment the Local Plan and to go into more detail, the council is producing four Masterplans, with a huge amount of community input, to show how parts of the Bay can accommodate new jobs, homes, infrastructure and green space. These Masterplans cover Torquay and Paignton Town Centres, Torquay Gateway / Edginswell and Collaton St Mary. The Local Plan supports the three emerging Neighbourhood Plans in the Bay, showing the council’s commitment to obtaining greater community engagement in planning.

Some of the major aims set out in the Local Plan include the following:

  • A ‘town centres’ first approach, especially for retail. More jobs, homes, events, public space and better transport will help create vibrant town centres.
  • High quality employment space to meet the needs of Torbay’s growing business sectors in Edginswell, Claylands, the former Nortel site, Oxen Cove and Freshwater.
  • New Core Tourism Investment Areas to secure investment in the English Riviera brand in top quality accommodation.
  • Superfast broadband, a new rail halt at Edginswell and more investment for the A380/3022 (Western Corridor), Torquay Gateway and links into our town centres.
  • Enhancement of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: enhancement of Yalberton Valley, protection for the marine environment, new food hubs and support for local food production as well as more Urban Landscape Protection Areas.
  • Expansion of primary and secondary schools: support for expansion of South Devon College and new sports and leisure facilities at Clennon Valley and Broadsands for example.
  • Investment in flood defences: less surface water into foul sewers, new cycle routes, rail and bus service improvements.

The Planning Inspectorate will, over the next 3 weeks or so, give the Plan some consideration to confirm whether or not it can proceed to a public hearing which is likely to take place in the Town Hall over a three week period at the end October/early November. The Hearing will cover major issues, such as the scale and locations for growth. Members of the public can take part in the examination and further details will be available on the council’s web site at www.torbay.gov.uk/newlocalplan during this period.

Torbay Council has already made a series of suggestions to the Planning Inspectorate, covering minor changes to the Plan. If accepted, these suggestions couldl help resolve about 75% of the objections made to the Plan.

Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver said: “This is fantastic news for Torbay and marks real progress in our aims to deliver sensitive regeneration in Torbay. The new Local Plan will help bring new investment and therefore jobs into the Bay, whilst also enhancing our wonderful natural environment. It will help bring new activity and events into our town centres and harbours. These assets are what makes the Bay unique - what makes the Bay special. The Local Plan commits the council to making the most of these wonderful assets for the benefit of the Bay as a whole.”

Deputy Mayor of Torbay and Executive Lead for Strategic Planning, Housing and Energy, Councillor David Thomas, said: “Submission of the Local Plan is a major step forward to get a much needed new Plan for the Bay. It is testament to a huge amount of work - over a long period of time - by the local community, businesses, council members and officers. It has taken time to produce the Plan, as we wanted to give Neighbourhood Plans time to emerge, plus there are some big issues in the Bay to deal with and huge changes in national legislation.

"So, now we await with hopeful anticipation the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to see if it can proceed to Examination. We are confident the Planning Inspectorate will say yes and if it does, we are on target for the final Local Plan to be agreed and in place in Spring 2015.”

Any queries regarding submission should be emailed to strategic.planning@torbay.gov.uk or in writing to Torbay Local Plan, Spatial Planning, Torbay Council, 2nd Floor, Electric House, Castle Circus, Torquay TQ1 3DR or by telephone: 01803 208804.

 

 

 

 


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