We know that people care passionately about Dartmoor, that you think its landscape, wildlife and rich history should be protected.We know that people who live on Dartmoor value how special it is, but also need to live in good quality, affordable homes, to make changes to their homes, and to live in communities with shops, services and facilities which make them a vibrant and sustainable place to live.We know that Dartmoor’s businesses are all different, that they are important to communities, want to grow, and need our support and encouragement to do so.We understand how farming shapes and manages our landscape, and the value of tourism to the National Park. The local plan will need to balance all of these things, and many more. It is the first stop when we make a decision on your planning application or your neighbours’, a local business you use, or a piece of land in your local area. That is why we need your help.
This consultation is a starting point for discussion around development on Dartmoor, and we would like to hear your views.
Remember, it’s important to tell us what you think works well, and what you like, as well as what you think we could change. Do not feel you need to respond to all of the suggested Talking Points set out below, focus on your area of interest or knowledge, or tell us what you feel needs changing, or should stay the same.
You might like to consider the following general questions:
- Have we identified the right issues?
- Have we missed anything?
- Will the information we are collecting tell us what we need to know?
- What are your views on current policy, and the decisions it leads to?
- What might we need to change, what shouldn’t we change?
The new local plan will be the starting point of all decisions on planning applications in Dartmoor National Park.
The new local plan will replace three current plans; the Core Strategy, the Development Management and Delivery Plan, and the Minerals local plan with a single document. When making a decision on a planning application, we must consider:
- The Local plan
- Government policy and advice (the National Planning Policy Framework, and Planning Practice Guidance)
- Other relevant issues or ‘material considerations’ such as the planning history of a site, highway safety, loss of light, or environmental health
The way we must prepare our local plan is carefully regulated (by the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2012).Although there is some flexibility in how we go about it, we must prepare formal draft documents before the plan is ‘submitted’ to be examined by an independent inspector. We set out the timetable for writing the local plan in our Local Development Scheme. How you can be involved in the process is explained in Planning, Having Your Say (our 2015 Statement of Community Involvement). Planning for a National Park is different from districts and boroughs. Firstly, we also need to cover minerals and waste policies in our local plan. This would normally be the responsibility of the county council. Secondly, we have our own purposes, and specific policy and guidance which describe the ‘great weight’ which must be given to National Park designation when making planning decisions.
The purposes of National Park designation under the Environment Act 1995 are to: “conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park”, and “promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park by the public”
We also have a responsibility to: “seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the National Park"
There is also a National Park Management Plan: ‘Your Dartmoor’. The Management Plan helps partnership working by co-ordinating other plans and strategies to deliver a long term vision for Dartmoor. It describes what the ‘special qualities’ of Dartmoor are, and how we conserve them, provide opportunities for people to enjoy Dartmoor, and look after the communities in this living, working landscape.The Local Plan, and our planning decisions, is an important way in which that long term vision for Dartmoor is delivered.