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Published on 8 July 2021

Managing development in and around villages

Aerial shot of a village
Aerial image of a village

Stopping inappropriate unplanned development in locations from being permitted through the planning appeal process is especially important for many of our village and small town communities.

That’s why possible site options for development identified in the consultation which can take larger numbers of houses are mainly around the district’s towns, maximising opportunities for access to services, employment, public transport, walking and cycling.

But if we are going to resist unplanned development that erodes the character of village communities, it is important that some sites are identified in those areas, not least because a limited amount of development may support existing local services.

Those possible sites are in or around villages where there are some existing facilities, including as a minimum, primary school provision.  As levels of service provision varies from village to village so does the corresponding number of properties the consultation suggests could be built.

Some development within villages will provide important local opportunities for housing and support the provision of neighbourhood facilities without overburdening them.

So the criteria for selecting sites which could be developed has taken account of many factors, which include the distance to the nearest town centre; access to existing or planned active travel routes; whether there is a shop; the capacity of local schools; and the availability of potential sites. Where an area has an adopted Neighbourhood Plan in place, those local policies and ambitions created and agreed by the community have also been considered.

Based on these criteria, possible numbers per village range from 10 in places like Doddiscombsleigh up to 100 - 260 in larger villages such as Bishopsteignton and Exminster.

More detail on how numbers have been selected for different villages can be seen on our website

Executive Member for Planning Cllr Gary Taylor said:  “Great care has been taken in looking at village sites to ensure that if any are included in the Local Plan the house numbers will be proportionate to the surroundings.

“Whilst the strategy focuses growth around the urban centres, some growth in the villages is necessary and it will provide opportunities to support existing services and provide a proportion of affordable housing for local people.

“We really want people to look at the suggested site options and give us their feedback via our local plan consultation survey (, using their local knowledge and in the context of needing to find sufficient sites to meet Government requirements.”