Joint Local Plan update

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11 November 2020


Joint Local Plans on the table

Welcome to the first edition of the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan (JLP) newsletter.

Bringing news from the JLP and our delivery across the three JLP council authorities of Plymouth City, South Hams and West Devon, as well as updates from the national planning arena.

Covid-19 Impact on the JLP

Covid Face Mask

The impact of COVID-19 has disrupted planning services across the JLP area at each respective authority, but where possible, work has continued.

Our ability to undertake our annual surveys and publish the results has been reduced, simply due to officers not being able to visit the all sites due to the associated restrictions.

The knock on effect is a delay to monitoring reports including the Housing Position Statement - informing how many homes have been delivered and how many are in the pipeline, this will now not be published until December 2020.

Additionally, the publication of the authorities monitoring report (AMR), reporting performance against the Plan indicators, will now fall into early next year.

Despite the disruptions, survey work has progressed elsewhere and earlier this year we adopted the Plymouth and South West Devon Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) – further detail below.

Thoughts are now turning to recovery and transitioning into a new way of working that adheres to social distancing measures.

The JLP continues to be the prime decision making framework for development and its policies remain firmly in place, with a vision for the future of our area, rooted in a the development of a sustainable and thriving place to live and work. Any recovery strategies can only compliment this vision and will undoubtedly strengthen the policies to achieve the JLP vision.

Councils Adopt the Plymouth and South West Devon Supplementary Planning Document

Map of Joint Local Plan Areas

The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) covering the three Joint Local Plan authorities of Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon was adopted on the 16 July 2020.

The SPD provides further detail and guidance on how the Joint Local Plan policies are implemented. It covers a wide variety of subjects and includes guidance of every development management (DEV) policy within the JLP.

The SPD is also accompanied by two companion documents; the Developer Contribution Evidence Base and Traditional Farm Buildings: Their adaptation and re-use (Barn Guide) to help support the guidance within the SPD.

All three documents were prepared jointly by the authorities following last year's public consultation and the SPD is now a ‘material planning consideration’ when making planning decisions across the Plan Area.

All the documents, including the final version of the SPD, Developer Contribution Evidence Base, the Barn Guide and a Consultation Response Report are available to view on our page here. 

Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)


The SCI, adopted on 9 June 2020, is a document which sets out the minimum requirements for consultation and involvement that must be followed by the Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) of Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon when preparing planning documents or consulting on planning applications.

The SCI, which also sets out how the authorities will support groups undertaking neighbourhood planning, was prepared jointly by the authorities and adopted following a public consultation which ran at the end of last year.

All the documents, including the final version of the SCI and a Consultation Response Report are available to view on our Statement of Community Involvement page.

Local Green Space Development Plan

Postponed Due to COVID-19

green spaces

We have made the decision to pause work on the Local Green Space Development Plan Document.

The decision was taken in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the Council's budget, however, by pausing document preparation we now have the opportunity to consider the future of the DPD in the context of the recently announced planning reforms.

No decision has been made regarding when work may resume, but everyone who has engaged with the process so far, will be notified once the DPD process re-commences.

This postponement will also include the Managing Rural Development Planning Document and The Plymouth Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) review.

View our Local Green Space Development Plan Document page for more information.

Two National Planning Consultations Close


National planning consultations closed last month. One consultation concerned current planning policy and regulations and the second covered how the planning system could look in the future, both have the potential to have significant impacts on the JLP and how it is delivered.

From 6 August to 1 October 2020 the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consulted on proposed changes to the current planning system. View the consultation document 'Changes to the current planning system' on GOV.UK.

From 6 August to 29 October 2020 the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government consulted on a planning White Paper 'Planning for the future'. View the consultation on GOV.UK and visit our JLP news page to read our response.

Any Other Business

There have been a number of amendments to planning regulations in response to COVID-19. These have the potential to have an impact on the delivery of the JLP and will need to be carefully monitored and considered going forward.

  1. Permitted Development Rights

On 1 October 2020, the government introduced the amended permitted development rights which details what does and doesn't need planning permission. The new rights permit the construction of additional storeys on existing residential or commercial premises and the demolition and re-development of free-standing building blocks of flats without the requirement for planning permission. Visit the Planning Portal for more information.

  1. Use Classes

On 1 September 2020, the government updated the Use Classes - categorising land and buildings for different uses, specifying which needs planning permission or not. The amendments introduces a new class system which provides more flexibility to change between the different classes. Visit the Planning Portal for more information.

Stay Updated


Did you know we have an Interactive JLP website? Keep an eye on the news page for further updates on the JLP as they happen!