After five years of consultation, Plymouth City Council, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council have now submitted the long-awaited Joint Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. The new framework sets out the overarching strategy for the area, indicating where development will take place, what areas should be protected, and how the area will change through to 2034. During this period, the JLP sets out to deliver at least 26,700 new homes in the area, as well as 312,700 sq. m. of employment floorspace.
Housing provision is made for at least 26,700 dwellings (net) in the Plan Area during the plan period 2014 to 2034. This is broken down by area as follows:
- Within the Plymouth Policy Area – at least 19,000 new homes, of which 4,550 should be affordable.
- Within the Thriving Towns and Villages Policy Area – at least 7,700 new homes of which 2,050 should be affordable.
The delivery and availability of housing land will be monitored annually. Any necessary adjustments will be made in order to deliver the overall local plan housing target and maintain a rolling 5 year supply of deliverable housing land, consistent with the policy area totals.
South Hams District Councillor Michael Hicks said: “The strategic planning teams across the three planning authorities have been working extremely hard to make sure that as many factors as possible are taken into account. This is a landmark submission for South Hams and we are confident that we have found a good balance between the differing views of our residents and the local needs of our towns and villages.”
Cllr Graham Parker of West Devon Borough Council said: “I am very pleased that we have finally reached this milestone. I can honestly say that, in a half century of working in town planning, I have never seen a better and clearer plan. It takes a balanced and sensible approach to development and growth across the area for years to come.”
The plan was approved by all three full Councils this spring, followed by a public consultation as part of the formal Regulation 19 stage which closed on 26 April 2017. The plan area covers a population of 401,567 people, and all were asked to comment on sites and policies. The resulting plan was sent with over 2,500 comments received and over 120 documents which make up the evidence base.
The Inspectorate are yet to confirm when the examination in public is to take place.