8. Frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Local Plan?
A Local Plan guides decisions on where and how development takes place. Local Plans contain a set of rules, called ‘policies’, which are used to guide decisions on applications for development. In Teignbridge, we are preparing the Local Plan in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. See below for more information.
What is in Part 1 of the Local Plan?
Part 1 will guide decisions on HOW development takes place in Teignbridge. It focuses on:
- Raising the standards of design, development and quality of life
- Improving wealth and job opportunities
- Providing homes which are accessible and more affordable
- Tackling the climate emergency
- Connecting more people to nature
What is in Part 2 of the Local Plan?
Part 2 will guide decisions on WHERE development takes place. It will identify sites for:
- Employment land
- Town centre redevelopment opportunities
- Gypsy and traveller pitches
- Renewable energy schemes
- Protecting our environments and connecting more people to nature
Why are you preparing a new plan when our current one is only 6 years old?
National Government requires us to review our Local Plans every 5 years to reflect the changing needs of our area and make sure they continue to be effective for our communities. Since our current plan was prepared, various changes have been made to national planning policy which need to be reflected in our plan, including a different way of calculating housing need and a stronger emphasis on achieving better design.
What will happen to the current Local Plan?
Many of the existing policies and site allocations of the current Local Plan will remain unchanged and will be incorporated within the new Local Plan. Once both Part 1 and Part 2 of the new Local Plan are adopted, they will replace the current Local Plan. Until then, the current Local Plan (2013–2033) will still be used in the determination of planning applications.
My community is currently preparing or has a Neighbourhood Plan, so how will the Local Plan affect it?
We fully support Neighbourhood Plans and there are various policies in the new Local Plan which give weight to Neighbourhood Plan policies and designations (e.g. Local Green Spaces, views, and site allocations). Where policies in a Neighbourhood Plan conflict with the Local Plan, the most recently adopted document will take precedence. Allocations in Neighbourhood Plans for development, such as employment or housing sites, will be reflected in the Local Plan (Part 2).
When does the Local Plan 2020-2040 come into effect?
Why do you need to keep building more houses?
As our population continues to grow, we need to build more houses of different sizes to meet the varied needs of local people. National Government has committed to building 300,000 houses each year and has set targets for the number of houses each local authority in England has to provide land for. Our housing need continues to grow as a result of smaller households, an ageing population (which reduces the turnover of available homes), inward migration, and local population growth.
How many houses do you need to build in Teignbridge?
The national formula for calculating housing need gives a figure of 753 homes per year for Teignbridge. This equates to 15,060 homes over the Local Plan period 2021-2040. This target is calculated based on household formation projections and the affordability of local housing and is updated on an annual basis.
What would happen if you did not provide enough land for housing or did not build as many houses as the government wants us to do?
If we do not allocate enough land for the number of houses that the national formula requires us to build, we are likely to have developers applying to build on other sites in the district. Because we would not have enough sites to meet our housing need, it would be difficult for us to refuse these applications. By allocating enough sites for housing, we have more control about where and how new development takes place.
Where are you going to build new homes?
Under the current Local Plan, 7,324 new homes are already planned for, so we need to identify places for the remaining 7,736 to achieve our new 15,060 home target. The plan we are currently consulting on does not decide where new housing should be located. This will be done through the Local Plan (Part 2).
Why can’t you just build affordable housing?
It costs a lot of money to build homes and provide the infrastructure needed to support them (roads, schools etc.). If all housing was offered as affordable housing then it would not be viable for developers to build. Therefore, we ask for a proportion of new houses to be affordable.
Why do you build on greenfield land?
We don’t have enough brownfield land to provide all the homes we need. The 11.85 hectares of brownfield land currently available for development will only provide for approximately 475 homes. As we need to provide land for 753 homes per year we do not have sufficient brownfield land to meet our housing or other development needs and therefore need to develop on greenfield land as well. We will however be looking at other regeneration opportunities in Newton Abbot in particular through Part 2 of the Local Plan.
How are you going to provide/support more jobs?
The Local Plan cannot directly provide jobs, but it can make land available and support business development. We have 69 hectares of land available for employment development and the Local Plan allows businesses to start or expand across the district.
Where will the new employment development sites be located?
We have not decided this yet as this will be done through the Local Plan (Part 2). However, it is expected that the greatest proportion of new employment development will be located close to where the greatest number of residents live.
How do you make sure the Local Plan doesn’t have an impact on the environment?
It is a legal requirement that all Local Plans have to accompanied by environmental reports, called the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal. These reports consider the impact of the plan on the environment, people and the economy and set out how any negative impacts will be addressed. Both of these reports are available for you to comment on alongside the Local Plan.
How will wildlife be protected from development pressures?
A large part of the district supports rare species of plants, animals and habitats, which are currently protected under a combination of European and English law. The Local Plan includes various policies which require new proposals for development to protect existing wildlife and promote better networks for wildlife across the district.
What are you doing to tackle the climate emergency?
The Local Plan includes various measures to tackle the climate emergency, the biggest of which is to require all new development to be carbon neutral. We are also requiring electric vehicle charging points in new developments, supporting renewable energy schemes and requiring all larger developments to show how the majority of trips can be made by walking, cycling or public transport.
What are you doing to make sure that new development has enough green space?
We want all new development to be planned around people instead of the car. That’s why the policies in the Local Plan will require things like parks, playing pitches, play areas, tree planting, allotments and open green spaces to be planned into new development from the outset. We will use national guidelines set out in the ‘Fields for Trust Standards Publication’ as the basis for calculating how much provision is needed to ensure that everyone has adequate access to good quality open space.