A blueprint for development that outlines the type of development and where it can and cannot happen on Dartmoor has reached its final stage.

The Dartmoor Local Plan has reached the final draft stage and comments on it are being requested before it is submitted for formal examination.

The Local Plan aims to conserve and enhance the National Park’s ‘Special Qualities’, protect special areas and features within it from harmful development, decide the type and amount of development required to meet the needs of Dartmoor’s communities and businesses and identify where development can take place.

The Local Plan cannot force development to go ahead as this is decided by land owners and developers, and influenced by economic conditions, neither can it prevent businesses, schools, hospitals or other services from closing, control things which are not ‘development’, or please everyone, all of the time.

Dan Janota, Dartmoor National Park’s head of forward planning and economy, told a meeting of the Dartmoor National Park Authority on Friday that the Local Plan must strike a balance in the best interests of the National Park as a whole.

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The Authority approved the final version of the Local Plan for consultation which will run from Monday, September 16, until Friday, November 1.

Comments gathered will be sent directly to the government ahead of a public examination by a planning inspector who will consider whether the Plan is ‘sound’ (or legally compliant) before it can formally be adopted.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service looks at what the Dartmoor Local Plan, which covers the period until 2036, includes.

The Local Plan timeline

Autumn 2019 – Final Draft Local Plan is published and invites you to comment. Any comments received are submitted alongside the plan at the next stage.

2020 – Submission and examination – the revised draft local plan and your comments are submitted for examination. Public hearings are held to discuss soundness, and an inspector’s report may require modifications.

2021 – Adoption – the plan is adopted and used to decide planning applications.

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