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Welcome to Adopted Torbay Local Plan 1995 – 2011.


Some background - why do we need local plans?

Adopted Torbay Local Plan 1995 – 2011 coverThe planning system provides the main framework governing land use in Britain. It aims to secure the best use of land in the public interest.

Local authorities are required to produce development plans. These are used as a basis for determining planning applications and have legal weight. They provide a firm basis for rational and consistent planning decisions. They give everyone concerned with development in an area a measure of certainty about what kind of development will and will not be permitted during the life of the plan.

The development plan in Torbay comprises the Devon Structure Plan and the Torbay Local Plan. The Devon County Structure Plan sets out key strategic policies as a framework for local planning. Torbay Council is involved in the preparation of the Structure Plan. The Local Plan sets out more detailed policies to guide development in Torbay and sets out site specific proposals for development.

The Torbay Local Plan 1995-2011 was adopted by the Council on 5th April 2004.

Torbay Council also has responsibility to prepare Minerals and Waste policies. These have been incorporated into the Adopted Torbay Local Plan.

Involving the community

The preparation of development plans gives the community the opportunity to influence policies and proposals for the future development and use of land in their areas. Because the development plan forms the statutory basis for planning decisions, it is important that local people are involved in their preparation. The Adopted Torbay Local Plan (1995-2011) has been through a number of stages of preparation, each of which involved extensive public consultation. A Government Inspector held a public local inquiry into objections to the emerging Plan. This lasted between November 2001 and September 2002. The Council subsequently modified the Plan in October 2003, to take on board the vast majority of the Inspector’s recommendations.

The Adopted Torbay Local Plan provides a framework for the sustainable development of Torbay up to 2011. It aims to maintain a balance between the need to provide homes, jobs and community facilities and at the same time to protect the high quality of Torbay’s environment which is so important to the overall attractiveness of the area.

The link with the Community Plan

As well as reflecting Government guidance, the Local Plan also reflects the community’s wider aspirations. The Community Plan is prepared by the Council and a number of partner organisations and is a key policy document in Torbay. The themes in the Community Plan are; making Torbay a safer place; improving health and social care; improving access to good quality affordable homes; improving Torbay’s economy; valuing our environment; placing learning at the heart of the community; developing Torbay’s culture; and creating sustainable communities.

It is clear that community strategies and development plans are closely related and that each must inform the other. The Adopted Torbay Local Plan (1995-2011) and emerging Local Development Framework will therefore provide the mechanism for delivering those aspects of the Community Plan that involve the development and use of land.

The new planning system

The Government has made major reforms to the development planning process in the Planning and Compensation Act 2004. These are intended to modernise planning, make it a more positive tool in achieving sustainable development and reflect the wishes of the community. Local Plans and Structure Plans will be replaced by Local Development Frameworks and Regional Spatial Strategies. The new system will form the basis for the first review of the Adopted Torbay Local Plan. The process will involve a comprehensive programme of community involvement to ensure ownership of the new plan to be prepared during the next three years.

Availability of the Local Plan

The Torbay Local Plan is available on the Torbay Council Website in interactive form (linked to the Government’s Planning Portal web site and in PDF format) as well this CD-ROM. Paper copies can be referred to or purchased at Roebuck House (see below) and at each of the Council’s Connections Offices and Libraries, price £50.00 (or £60.00 including postage and packing).

The Strategic Planning Group has responsibility for the following aspects of Plan preparation:

  • Preparation of the Torbay Local Plan
  • Preparation of the Local Development Framework
  • Joint preparation of the Devon Structure Plan
  • Involvement in preparation of Regional Planning Guidance
  • Involvement in preparation of Regional Spatial Strategies

If you have any general planning policy queries or are seeking advice on any of the above matters please contact:

The Strategic Planning Group in the Strategic Environmental Policy Division of the Environment Services Directorate, Torbay Council.
Postal address: Roebuck House, Abbey Road, Torquay, TQ2 5TF
Telephone: 01803 208804
Fax: 01803 208882
E mail:
Website: or

Important note: Please remember that until the regulations have been altered by government legislation, the definitive legal copy remains the printed version published by Torbay Council. The electronic version of the Plan therefore exists for representational purposes only. In cases of doubt or discrepancy please contact the Torbay Council Strategic Planning Group (see above for details).

To request a copy of this document in another format or language please contact the Strategic Planning Team.