Policies and Proposals Adopted February 1999
(Devon County Council, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, and Dartmoor National
Park Authority adopted the policies and proposals on the 26th February 1999)
NOTE: Policies C1, C5, C16, T4, T17, T18, T21, T24, H7 and E22 were formally deleted prior to the adoption of the Structure Plan and therefore not included in the policies listed.
Sustainable Development Strategy
Plymouth and Exeter are defined as Regional Centres which will act as focal points both for new development and the provision of regional services and specialist facilities necessary to meet the needs of their extensive hinterlands.
Barnstaple, Newton Abbot and Torquay are defined as Sub Regional Centres which will complement the role of the Regional Centres by acting as focal points for the provision of new development and major services and facilities within the northern and southern parts of the County.
Towns that could function as focal points for the provision of local employment opportunities, education facilities and other local services should be identified in Local Plans as Area Centres. Such Centres should
The bulk of new development should be accommodated within the Regional Centres of Plymouth and Exeter and their Areas of Economic Activity, the Sub Regional Centres, and the towns of:
Provision for new development should be made at scales and locations that meet transport demands in energy efficient ways, primarily aiming to reduce the need to travel, conserve natural resources of minerals, best and most versatile agricultural land, wildlife and high quality landscape.
Particular rural settlements should be identified in Local Plans as Local Centres. These will form the focal points for a modest scale of development, supporting services and the economic well-being of the hinterland. They should therefore:
Protecting the Countryside
In order to minimise the loss of greenfield sites to built development, priority should be given to the development of land within existing built up areas, particularly land available for redevelopment, where this would not be detrimental to the urban environment. These areas should be utilised to their maximum efficiency, consistent with the character and appearance of the wider location and the quality of life of those living and working in that locality.
Development within the open countryside should be strictly controlled and only provided for where consistent with the policies and proposals set out in the Plan.
Settlement Self Sufficiency
The self sufficiency of communities should be maintained and enhanced through the provision of a range of local services and facilities. In preparing Local Plans and considering development proposals, local authorities should have regard to the need for community facilities and services, including education, recreation, open space, health and cultural facilities, local shopping facilities, transport infrastructure, employment, housing including affordable housing, and public utilities.
Planning authorities should not provide for development unless the infrastructure which is directly required to service the development can be made available at the appropriate time. In determining the location of development, the adequacy of infrastructure will be taken into account. Provision for new development will be made where the infrastructure required to service it is in place or will be provided in phase with development in an environmentally acceptable way. Developers will be expected to contribute to, or bear the full cost of, such new or improved infrastructure and facilities where it is appropriate for them to do so.
Conservation and Enhancement of the Environment
Landscape Character and Local Distinctiveness
The quality of Devon's landscape and its distinctive local characteristics should be maintained and enhanced. In providing for new development, particular care should be taken to conserve those features that contribute to local distinctiveness including:
In designated National Parks, the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage will be given priority over other considerations in the determination of development proposals. Development will only be provided for where it would:
Particular care will also be taken to ensure that no development is permitted outside the National Parks which would damage their natural beauty, character and special qualities or otherwise prejudice the achievement of National Park purposes.
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
In designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the conservation and enhancement of their natural beauty will be given priority over other considerations. Within these areas, development will only be provided for where it would support their conservation or enhancement or would foster their social and economic well-being provided that such development is compatible with their conservation. Particular care will also be taken to ensure that any development proposed adjacent to such areas does not damage their natural beauty.
Areas of Great Landscape Value
In Areas of Great Landscape Value development should not detract from the particular landscape qualities and characteristics that have led to the designation of that area.
Coastal Preservation Area
Within the Coastal Preservation Area, development, other than that of a minor nature, will not be permitted except where it is required: for the benefit of the community at large, in connection with public access for informal recreation, or for the purposes of agriculture or forestry and only when such development cannot reasonably be accommodated outside the protected areas. Such development will only be permitted when it would not detract from the unspoilt character and appearance of the coastal area.
The Urban Environment
Enhancing the Urban Environment
The identity, distinctive character and townscape features of existing settlements and urban areas should be conserved and enhanced. In planning for new development, the quality of Devon's urban environment should be maintained and improved by providing for urban regeneration and conservation, townscape enhancement, traffic management and the retention and provision of open space.
In prioritising initiatives for urban regeneration and enhancement, particular emphasis should be placed on the needs of:
Historic Settlements and Buildings
The quality of Devon's historic environment should be conserved and enhanced. In providing for new development particular care should be taken to conserve the special historic character of settlements, the character and appearance of conservation areas, listed or other buildings of historic or architectural interest and their settings and parks and gardens of special historic interest and their settings.
Nationally important archaeological sites and their settings, whether Ancient Monuments or unscheduled, will be preserved. In considering proposals for development which would have an adverse impact on other archaeological sites or deposits, the importance and value of the remains will be a determining factor. Where a lack of information precludes the proper assessment of a site or area with archaeological potential, developers will be required to arrange appropriate prior evaluation in advance of any decision to affect the site or area. Where the loss of an archaeological site or area is acceptable, proper provision for archaeological excavation and recording will be required.
Conserving Devon's Biodiversity and Earth Science Diversity
The biodiversity and earth science resource of Devon's natural environment should be sustained and, where possible, enhanced. Its diversity and distinctiveness should not be diminished.
The Conservation of Important Sites and Features
Sites of Special Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserves and Marine Nature Reserves will be protected from development which would harm their nature conservation interest. Special Protection Areas, Special Areas for Conservation and Ramsar sites, including potential Special Protection Areas and candidate Special Areas for Conservation, will be protected from development that would conflict with their conservation objectives.
In addition to sites included within the terms of Policy C14, Local Plans should define sites and features of nature conservation importance, including landscape features which provide wildlife corridors, links or stepping stones between habitats.
The Conservation of Protected Species
Development likely to have an adverse effect on a specially protected species should only be permitted where appropriate measures are taken to secure its protection.
Conservation of Natural Resources
Waste Management and Disposal
In making provision for waste management facilities regard should be had to the principles of the 'best practicable environmental options' and also to the hierarchy of (1) Reduction, (2) Re-use, (3) Composting and Material Recycling (4) Energy Recovery (5) Final Disposal.
Waste management facilities shall:
Where appropriate, to provide for waste to energy incineration for the management of waste which is not recycled/composted subject to consideration of the location and potential environmental implications of any such facility.
There will, however, be a continuing need for disposal by landfill/landraising and provision should be made for it to be carried out in a properly controlled and environmentally acceptable way. Criteria for the selection of landfill/landraising sites should be set out in appropriate Local Plans.
Where unavoidable waste would be generated by the implementation of a major development proposal, provision should be made for that waste to be utilised beneficially wherever possible.
Conserving Energy Resources
The direct and indirect energy consumption of new development should be minimised by requiring the incorporation of energy saving features into its design and layout.
Renewable energy developments will be supported, subject to the consideration of their impact upon the qualities and special features of the landscape and upon the conditions of those living or working nearby.
'Windfarm' developments will not be appropriate where they would adversely affect the National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Coastal Preservation Areas and Areas of Great Landscape Value, and priority should be given to the use of sites outside these designated areas.
Protecting Water Resources
Proposals for development should not be provided for where:
Conserving Land Resources
The extent of existing derelict land should be reduced by undertaking and promoting reclamation schemes, and in providing for new development, priority should be given to the reclamation of such land where feasible and appropriate.
In providing for new development , consideration should be given to the treatment of contaminated land in order to enable its beneficial use. Treatment should remove any unacceptable risks to health or the environment, and should not in itself endanger health or the environment. Such reclamation should as a minimum return the sites to a condition suitable for its subsequent use.
The use of the best and most versatile agricultural land (grades 1, 2 and 3a) for any form of development not associated with agriculture or forestry should only be permitted where there is an over-riding need for development in that location which outweighs the need to protect such land or where it meets the sustainable objectives and implements other policies and proposals of the Development Plan.
Soil resources should be conserved by encouraging the re-use of disused urban land including derelict land and contaminated land consistent with Policy C25 and C26. Where development does takes place, measures should be taken to prevent the erosion, contamination or loss of soil. Where appropriate soil should be re-used to minimise loss.
Air Quality and Noise Pollution
Development that would give rise to a significant deterioration in air quality should not be located where that deterioration would adversely affect other land-uses and amenity in the vicinity.
Development should not be located where it would result in a significant increase in the level of noise pollution in existing or proposed land uses in the vicinity, and noise sensitive land uses should not be located in areas affected by significant existing noise pollution.
Integrated Transport Strategy
Transportation systems will be developed as part of a comprehensive and integrated transport strategy consistent with the Aims of the Plan, and the need to reduce travel and encourage alternatives to the private car
A Hierarchy of Modes
Patterns of land use in terms of the mix, location, density and layout should minimise the extent of travel. All development should promote the safe use of the most sustainable and environmentally acceptable modes, having regard to the following hierarchy:
Walking and Cycling
Facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and the mobility impaired will be improved by:
Public Transport Strategy
An effective public transport network will be developed by:
Bus and Coach Services
To maintain and develop community based public transport, local bus and long distance coach services by:
Patterns of land use should have regard to the need to maintain and develop the rail network by:
Access to the rail network will be improved by the implementation of the following rail improvement schemes in the period to 2011:
|RE-OPENING OF RAIL LINES|
|Bere Alston to Tavistock|
|RE-OPENING OF RAIL STATIONS|
|To serve the New Community proposal within East Devon.|
Park and Ride
Provision should be made for the development of new Park and Ride facilities where they would:
The Devon Road Network
To maintain and enhance the Devon Road Network in such a way as to:
High Quality Road Network
To maintain and enhance the High Quality Road Network (HQRN) shown on the Key Diagram so as to:
The following highway schemes are programmed to be started within the period up to 2011.
SCHEMES FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF INTER URBAN ROUTES WITHIN THE NETWORK
A30/A303 Marsh - Honiton & A35 Honiton Eastern Bypass (see note 1) (A)
A380 Kingskerswell Bypass (1)
A39/A361 Barnstaple Western Bypass (including Downstream Bridge) (2)
A386 Completion of Tavistock Road improvement, Plymouth (3)
A380 Torbay Ring Road Stage 3 (4)
A380/A3022 Torbay Ring Road Stage 4 (5)
A3022 Torbay Ring Road Stage 5A (6)
A377 Crediton Bypass (7)
Letters and numbers e.g. (A) or (1) relate to scheme locations on the Key Diagram
Note 1: This scheme is currently subject to a multi modal study instigated by Central Government.
Management of the Urban Network
To establish a network of routes within the Regional, Sub-Regional and Area Centres categorised by function and speed limits using the following hierarchy:
Management of Car Parking
Local Plans should include car parking policies which are consistent with local transport strategies prepared by the Highway Authorities, in conjunction with the appropriate Local Planning Authority, and with:
Roadside Service Areas
Provision should be made for roadside service areas which provide the full range of facilities required by motorists where
To provide for the development of freight handling facilities by :
Access from Development onto the Highway Network
In considering specific development proposals:
Port facilities and their associated infrastructure should be maintained and developed in order to ensure that the following ports fulfil their strategic function :
To expand the role of Exeter Airport so that it may function as an Accessibility Point in the European Airport Network by:
To maintain the role of Plymouth Airport, including the improvement of passenger facilities, so that it may fulfil its function as an Accessibility Point in the European Airport Network.
Distribution of Housing
To provide for the development of about 75,800 dwellings within the period 1995 to 2011, to be distributed as follows:
Local Planning Authority Dwellings
|Exeter Area of Economic Activity||3,500|
|Plymouth Area of Economic Activity||7,200|
|Dartmoor National Park||800|
|Exmoor National Park||100|
Where the level of dwelling provision included in Policy H1 implies a significant reduction in building rates, Local Plans should consider the need for phasing development over the Plan period.
In providing for residential development Local Plans should have regard to the role of the settlement as set out in Policies S1a, 1b, 1c and S2 and the county-wide development strategy. In villages other than Local Centres and in all the settlements in the National Parks, provision for new residential development should only be made where it would help to meet local social or economic needs and be on a scale in keeping with the size and character of the settlement, and the rural character of the surrounding area.
Housing in Rural Areas
Residential development in the countryside will not be provided for except where:
Residential land should be developed at the highest density compatible with the maintenance of accessibility to public open space, the creation of an attractive living environment and the characteristics of the site and its surroundings.
In providing for housing development in accordance with Proposal H1, Local Plans should ensure that adequate provision is made for affordable housing, based on an assessment of need.
Provision for Gypsies
Adequate site provision should be made in Local Plans for gypsies residing in or resorting to Devon where a clear need can be established.
In determining the suitability of sites and locations for gypsies, regard will be had in particular to the following considerations:
Employment Development and Land Provision
In providing for employment development Local Plans should have regard to the role of the settlement set out in Policies S1a, b, c and S2, and the county-wide development strategy.
In villages, or on their immediate periphery, not designated as Local Centres, employment development may be acceptable where this would be on a scale in keeping with the size and character of the settlement, and the rural character of the surrounding area.
Employment development will only be provided for in rural areas outside villages where:
Employment Land Provision
To provide for about 755 ha. of employment land between 1995 and 2011, including prestige sites within the Exeter and Plymouth Areas of Economic Activity and in Torbay, as follows:
|Local Planning Authority||ha.|
|Exeter Area of Economic Activity||40|
|Plymouth Area of Economic Activity||100|
|Dartmoor National Park||*|
|Exmoor National Park||*|
* Some small-scale local employment may be appropriate within the National Park to meet local social and economic needs.
Safeguarding Employment Land
Employment land and premises should be reserved for that use. Development of employment land or premises for other uses, including retail purposes, will not be permitted where there would be a significant adverse effect on employment opportunities or where it would significantly reduce the supply of industrial, warehouse and business land and premises available in the locality.
Tourism and Recreation
Developing Facilities in Settlements and Resorts
Within coastal resorts Local Plans should consider the need for additional tourist accommodation and tourism facilities on a scale compatible with existing development which would not adversely impact on the environment. In these resorts, Local Plans should also identify the main tourist areas within which proposals that would detract from their tourist function and character would not be permitted.
Large scale accommodation and tourist facilities, other than those provided for by Policies E5 or E8, should be located within Regional, Sub Regional or Area Centres, where they would be in keeping with the scale and character of the settlement.
Tourist Development in Rural Areas
Outside the settlements referred to in Policies E5 and E5a, the following types of tourist development will be acceptable:
Touring parks will not be provided for in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Coastal Preservation Areas (CPAs), although small scale tented camping sites may be acceptable outside CPAs. Elsewhere, proposals for touring parks may be acceptable where there is a proven need for increased capacity or where improvements to parks are permitted by Policy E6 (4).
Tourist Village Complex
Within the area of search shown on the Key Diagram, the development of a large scale tourist village complex, providing significant tourist accommodation with related recreation facilities may be acceptable, where it would:
To provide for the development of visitor attractions/activities which make suitable use of the natural, archaeological, architectural, historic or industrial archaeological features of the area, but only where the proposals would result in the protection or restoration of such features.
The development of major recreational facilities will only be provided for outside the National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Coastal Preservation Areas and Areas of Great Landscape Value. Such development should be close to the main areas of demand, and not have an unacceptable impact on a settlement, on the natural landscape, on areas valuable for wildlife, on the historic environment, or on the best and most versatile agricultural land, and should have adequate road access Golf courses may be acceptable outside National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Coastal Preservation Areas where the above criteria can be met.
Access to Facilities
To provide for major casual recreation, including country parks or similar informal recreation areas, in locations close to the centres of population where they would be accessible by public transport and be in keeping with their surroundings.
Development on Estuaries
New recreational development affecting river estuaries, Plymouth Sound or Tor Bay should only be provided for where it would be consistent with Policies C13 and C24 and would not adversely affect their value as wildlife habitats.
Public Rights of Way
The long distance footpath and cycle route networks as defined on the Key Diagram should be maintained and extended, and proposals that would affect these routes should only be permitted where the integrity of the network can be maintained. In maintaining and developing the footpaths, cycleways and bridleways networks, advantage should be taken, wherever practicable, of redundant canals and railways.
Safeguarding Mineral Resources
Mineral deposits which are, or may become, of economic importance will be safeguarded from unnecessary sterilisation by surface development.
Environmental Effects of Mineral Working
Any adverse effects on the environment or the amenity of local residents of mineral development should be minimised. Land which has been subject to mineral working should be reclaimed at the earliest opportunity in order to maintain or, where possible, enhance its long term usefulness, quality and appearance.
Proposals for mineral development within National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be subject to the most rigorous examination, and will only be approved where development can be demonstrated to be in the public interest and where there is an overriding national need for development which cannot reasonably be met in some other way.
Mineral Working Areas
The continuation of mineral development will be acceptable in principle at mineral working areas, except where it would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the landscape character, best and most versatile agricultural land, natural beauty, nature conservation, historic environment, hydrogeology or hydrology of the area.
Provision should be made for the maintenance of an adequate supply of minerals to contribute to national, regional and local needs to meet Devon's agreed share of regional aggregates supply for the period to 2006.
Provision should be made in order to maintain an adequate supply of land sufficient for at least 7 years' extraction of sand and gravel and a longer period for crushed rock.
Secondary and Recycled Materials
The beneficial use or recycling of mineral waste will be encouraged, and proposals for such development will be acceptable provided that any adverse environmental impacts can be reduced to an acceptable level.
Shopping Facilities and Town Centres
To meet the shopping needs of all Devon's residents and visitors by ensuring that new retail development is provided for within town centres. Where a town centre location is not available or appropriate, edge of centre sites may be acceptable. Only where such sites are also unavailable should out of centre locations be considered. In all cases new retail development should:
A range of shopping facilities should be maintained within the central areas of the Regional, Sub-Regional, Area Centres and Local Centres so as to sustain and enhance their role within the settlement hierarchy. Where appropriate district and local shopping centres should be identified within the suburban areas of the Regional and Sub-Regional Centres as locations where the development of shopping facilities may also be appropriate.
Retail warehouses should be located on the fringes of the central areas of the Regional, Sub-Regional and Area Centres where suitable sites can be identified. Elsewhere within these Centres provision for such development will only be made where :
In all cases the type of store will be restricted to that not readily accommodated within town/city centres (i.e. consisting of large single storey units of at least 1,000 sq. m. net, intended for the sale of DIY goods, bulky electrical goods, carpets or furniture, requiring large display areas and adjacent customer car parking for the collection of bulky goods).
Shopping Facilities in Rural Settlements
The maintenance and enhancement of shopping facilities in rural settlements should be supported through the retention, provision and/or diversification of small shops and sub-post offices. Stores intended to serve more than the local community will not be permitted within Local Centres or other rural areas.
Large Food Stores
Convenience goods stores which would serve more than the immediate locality, including all those of more than 1,500 sq.m. net, will not be permitted outside town centres, or areas immediately adjacent to them, except where the development would be consistent with Policy E20 and where it would:
A new community should be provided for within South Hams District, within the Plymouth Area of Economic Activity as shown on the Key Diagram. The new community should include provision for at least 2,500 dwellings in the period up to 2011, associated employment land and a range of community and other associated facilities.
The new community should be located where it will:
A new community should be provided for within East Devon District, within the Exeter Area of Economic Activity as shown on the Key Diagram. The new community should include provision for about 2,000 dwellings in the period up to 2011, associated employment land and a range of community and other associated facilities.
The new community should be located where it will:
Concept of New Community
The new communities provided for in Proposals N1 and N2 should be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment and should be developed to secure the highest standards of design, and in such a way as to avoid pollution, minimise the use of resources and minimise waste. They must include provision for :
Implementation of New Community Proposals
The new communities provided for in Proposals N1 and N2 should be included as specific proposals within the District wide Local Plans for South Hams and East Devon respectively, and should be:
New Community Setting
Where new communities are proposed in accordance with Proposals N1 and N2, the appropriate District-wide Local Plans should include policies to protect the setting of those new communities within the landscape, ensure that they retain a separate identity and do not coalesce with existing settlements.