Do you want to help make sure Torbay gets the most from its funding from developers towards things like new schools, parks, cycle-paths and other infrastructure when working on new housing developments?

Residents, developers and other local stakeholders are being given the chance to have their say on an important new document that will outline how Torbay Council seeks financial contributions from developers when new housing developments are being planned. Contributions from developers can be used to help fund a range of infrastructure such as education, transport, public open spaces, roads, healthcare and much more.

The Council has launched a survey on the proposed new Planning Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This feedback is needed to provide a temporary update to developer contributions, prior to a more comprehensive review of planning policy through the proposed new Local Plan for Torbay. The new Local Plan will not be adopted before 2024 and there will be further consultation on this starting in the autumn.

Planning obligations (also called Section 106 agreements) are legal agreements whereby a developer makes contributions towards infrastructure. By law they must be necessary to make developments acceptable in planning terms. Planning obligations are the main way that affordable housing is provided.

They also help provide open space, sustainable transport, education, and lifelong learning. The updated SPD also incorporates recent changes to national planning policy, and adds guidance on priorities such as the climate emergency, special needs education and the marine ecology.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture at Torbay Council, said: “A root and branch review of planning policies will take place through the Local Plan, and we are looking forward to sharing draft proposals with the public for consultation in September. In the meantime, an update of planning obligations is needed to make sure it has kept up with changes since our current policy was adopted in 2017. We want to make sure that planning agreements are delivering the best deal for the people of Torbay. One purpose of the update is to ensure that planning obligations accurately reflect 2022 prices.”

Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing said: “Planning obligations can help us deliver excellent schools, affordable housing and great local amenities. They can help us support a thriving economy and tackle climate change. Please do let us know what you think of our proposed updates to the SPD.”

For details on the consultation and to complete the survey click here.

Further information:

The Local Plan Site Options consultation will be launched for public consultation in September 2022.

The Planning Contributions and Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document does not make policy but provided finer detail to the Local Plan policy. Planning obligations are governed by legal restrictions. In particular they must be: Necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms; Directly related to the development.

Planning obligations sit alongside but are different from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). More information on the current policy is available at CIL and Planning Obligations – Torbay Council.

A previous version of the document was consulted on in late 2019 but was not adopted at the time due to the onset of COVID-19.  

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