Torbay’s Local Plan continues to move forward following a hearing by one of the Planning Inspectorate’s most senior and respected inspectors.

Findings from Inspector Keith Holland supported Torbay Council’s levels and locations of growth set out in the new Local Plan.

The Inspector has confirmed that the planned growth of around 300 jobs and 500 homes per annum, over the next 20 years, is the appropriate level of growth for Torbay and agreed it is difficult to be precise about the level of growth in jobs. He believes 6,000 new jobs is reasonable and reflects the ambition of the Local Plan and acknowledges that planning for 10,000 homes is also acceptable on sustainability grounds.

He did have a small number of concerns about the soundness of the Plan. These relate to the scale and timing of housing development, the deliverability of the Plan - given the intentions for Neighbourhood Plans - and the consequences of the proposed covenant at Churston Golf Course.

Councillor David Thomas, Executive Lead for Strategic Planning, Housing and Energy said: “I have overseen the production of the Local Plan production for the last five years and this is an absolutely fabulous result. It shows that the council is right to be ambitious about growth, but growth that respects the Bay’s environmental qualities and limits. We are delighted the Inspector agrees with our position on growth, especially given the range of views he heard during the hearing. However, we are not complacent and know we still have work to do to meet the Inspector’s requirements and address his concerns.”

The Inspector’s findings, which can be found at, are based on written and verbal evidence submitted by a range of organisations. This follows a two and a half day hearing which was held in November 2014, during which the Inspector heard a range of different views being expressed, by representatives from the community, the council, statutory organisations and the development industry. At the end of the hearing the Inspector asked the council to undertake further work which was completed and submitted in time for the Inspector to review it before Christmas.

Following feedback from the comments submitted, the council will now prepare a revised version of the Local Plan which will be published at the beginning of February 2015. The council will then seek comments on the changes during a six week consultation.

After the consultation the Inspector will decide whether any further hearing is needed to further examine changes to the Plan. The Inspector will then report back as to whether the Plan is sound and if further changes are required.

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