In Planning


Development Plans are the legal bedrock of all local planning decisions. Planning applications, of whatever sort, must be decided in accordance with the plan “unless material considerations indicate otherwise”. The average citizen is largely unaware of the finer details of the Local Development Plan and fighting one’s corner in planning disputes is often complex, time-consuming, difficult, and can be expensive.

CPRE National Office has produced a “Planning Campaign Briefing on Development Plans” and this is backed up by a Vision for the Countryside out to 2026. The countryside does not exist for its own sake and in Devon in particular, the rural economy underpins the way we all live and work. You can read Briefs on the Rural Economy and on Economic Development and Town Centres and learn more about how best to campaign in our National Office’s Save our Countryside Campaign Pack. You can also help by signing up to our Charter to Save our Countryside. The recent Autumn Statement has revealed this government’s appetite for further planning reforms and initiatives.

In Devon, we are very fortunate in having large areas of the County designated in some way. We have two National Parks in Dartmoor and parts of Exmoor and large areas designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). There are, however, numerous other designations, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) protected Woodland and places where Bio Diversity – protected Birds, Bats, other species and rare Flora should have priority. This map shows the National Parks in Green and the AONBs in Brown.

Many of you will know of local Neighbourhood Plans and at a much more strategic level of the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP). In Devon the LEP is known as “Heart of the South West” and covers an area that also includes South Somerset. To the West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly also have an LEP. These new bodies are developing rapidly and though sharing a common boundary are operating somewhat differently and it is hard to keep up with progress. You can, however, follow this by accessing the South West Policy Project Officer Update reports here. As ever, if you have a difficulty with a major planning application near you, your first port of call should be your local CPRE District Chair.