Torbay Council has received backing from the Planning Inspectorate to move forward with the new Local Plan, but not until dealing with further concerns raised.

In May the Inspector wrote to the council and advised that, whilst he supported the ambition of the plan, he had concerns regarding four issues. He also recommended delaying or withdrawing the Plan all together.

Torbay Council believes both these options would cause significant problems and in its response to the Inspector set out a third option, which has been agreed to move the Plan forward.

The Local Plan now proposes to take some of the contentious housing sites, which were identified earlier this year, out of the Plan. By doing so, this reduces the overall housing provision to around 8,950, although the Inspector wanted nearer 10,000. The Plan will now also run to 2030, which is a reduction of one year. By doing this it ensures that the annual rate of housing growth will remain at a reasonable level, alongside growth in jobs.

Councillor Mark King, Executive Lead for Planning, Transport and Housing, said: "We remain firmly committed to producing a new local plan as quickly as possible. This revised Plan provides clarity and certainty to our communities and investors about growth in Torbay, as well as what is required to respect the Bay's unique environmental qualities.

“We believe there are huge risks to Torbay if the Local Plan is delayed or withdrawn. Without the new plan the Bay could be considered as having a housing need of 12,300 new homes. We don’t want this to happen as this figure would be used by developers to promote development beyond the Bay’s environmental limits. So, whilst we appreciate the risks, we think we can overcome them with a reduced Plan period and reduced housing numbers."

A revised version of the Local Plan will be published for public consultation in mid June and will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by mid August 2015.

To see the recent correspondence between the Torbay Council and the Planning Inspectorate, together with other related documents, visit:

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