Background evidence and research

Planning policy must be based on robust evidence and a good understanding of an area and its issues. Below is a library of the evidence and research which informs the National Park's adopted planning policies and emerging policies of the local plan review.

Look at our Quick Guide for a brief explanation of the role each piece of evidence plays in the local plan.

The evidence below supports both the adopted Local Plan and the Local Plan Review.

▼ Preparing the local plan

Government has a set process for adopting a local plan, which we must follow. The following documents set out our plan for preparing and adopting a new local plan.

> Statement of Community Involvement (2018) - Sets out how we will involve people in preparing planning policy, such as the local plan, and considering planning applications within Dartmoor National Park.  This document was updated in November 2018.

> Local Development Scheme (2018) - the ‘timetable’ for reviewing the local plan

Duty to Cooperate

The Authority has a statutory duty to "engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis" with other relevant organisations on cross boundary strategic matters. The Duty to Cooperate Scoping Report sets out who we expect to engage with throughout the development of the new Local Plan, on what matters and how and when we expect to do this.

> Duty to Cooperate Scoping Report (Draft May 2017)

> Duty to Cooperate Statement of Common Ground (Draft November 2018)

Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA)

DNPA is required to ensure that the Local Plan contributes to sustainable development and integrates environmental considerations into the Plan.  This is done through a combined Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment.

SA/SEA for First Draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) September 2018

> SA/SEA non-technical summary (September 2018)

> SA/SEA Report (September 2018)

> Appendix I Statement of Compliance

> Appendix II Scoping Report (October 2017)

> Appendix III Compatibility Analysis Vision

> Appendix IV Spatial Strategy Options

> Appendix V Site Options Assessment

> Appendix VI Equalities Impact Assessment Screening Report

> Appendix VII Consultation Representations

Initial Scoping and Appraisal

The first stage is to establish a baseline and identify the potential sustainability / environmental issues the Local Plan needs to address. This is then used to develop an assessment framework to test the draft strategy and policies of the Plan. These are set out in the Scoping Report which the statutory environmental bodies (Natural England, Environment Agency, and Historic England) are consulted on.

> Draft SA/SEA Scoping Report (August 2017)

> Final SA/SEA Scoping Report (October 2017)

The next stage of the SA process is concerned with developing and refining alternatives and assessing effects. This Initial SA Report provides information on the scoping and methods used in the process. It focuses on the early stage of plan-making with the draft Vision for the Local Plan Review and the testing of possible options for the proposed Spatial Strategy.

> Initial SA Report (December 2017)

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)

DNPA is required to identify aspects of the Local Plan with potential to effect European wildlife sites and to set out appropriate measures to avoid or mitigate these effects. This is done through a Habitats Regulations Assessment. The first stage is to identify the relevant European sites, their important features, and how the Plan might affect them. These are set out in the Screening Report which the relevant statutory environmental bodies(Natural England and Environment Agency) are consulted on.

HRA for First Draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) September 2018

> HRA Summary (September 2018)

> HRA Screening Report (September 2018)

Appendix I European Site Characterisation

Appendix II Plans and Projects Review

Appendix III Local Plan Screening

Appendix IV Screening for likely significant effects


The first stage is to identify the relevant European sites, their important features, and how the Plan might affect them. These are set out in the Initial Screening Report which the relevant statutory environmental bodies(Natural England and Environment Agency) are consulted on.

> HRA Initial Screening Report (July 2017)

Whole Plan Viability Assessment

This assesses the total cumulative cost of all relevant policies in the first draft local plan (regulation 18) and ensures the policies will not undermine the plan's deliverability. It demonstrates that the draft policies are realistic and deliverable.

> Whole Plan Viability Assessment (December 2018)

▼ Topic Papers

These topic papers gather evidence and serve as a starting point for reviewing existing planning policies and developing new policies. In simple terms they build the foundations for the new local plan and provide readers with background information on why the new policies are the way they are. Feedback on the matters discussed is welcomed.

> Topic Paper 1 Natural Environment

> Topic Paper 2 Historic Environment

> Topic Paper 3 Design and the Built Environment

> Topic Paper 4 Vision and Spatial Strategy

> Topic Paper 5 Minerals and Waste Development

> Topic Paper 6 Housing

> Topic Paper 7 Transport

> Topic Paper 8 Economy

> Topic Paper 9 Development Sites

▼ Environment

Landscape Character Assessment (LCA)

The LCA is an assessment which identifies the features and attributes of a landscape which make it distinctive. The Dartmoor National Park LCA is used to help guide strategic planning and development management decisions to ensure the conservation and enhancement of Dartmoor's special landscape qualities. This LCA forms part of a wider programme of LCA work being undertaken on a national and Devon-wide scale.

> National Character Area Profile: 150 Dartmoor

> Devon Landscape Character Assessment

> Dartmoor Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) 2017

Landscape Sensitivity Assessment (LSA)

The Landscape Sensitivity Assessment (LSA) provides an assessment of landscape quality around ten key settlements within Dartmoor National Park and determines the landscape’s sensitivity to built development. This information can be used to inform the siting, design and scale of future development to ensure it respects and is well integrated with existing landscape character.

Landscape Sensitivity Assessment (LSA) 2017:

> Introduction and Methodology

> Landscape Assessment Profiles: Ashburton, Buckfastleigh and Chagford

> Landscape Assessment Profiles: Christow, Horrabridge, Yelverton and Mary Tavy

> Landscape Assessment Profiles: Moretonhampstead, Princetown and South Brent

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

An SFRA is used to inform decisions on where development should be located relative to flood risk and guides Local Plan policies. The Dartmoor National Park Authority SFRA was completed in 2010 and remains fundamentally relevant, an addendum report was completed in 2018 which updates and refreshes the original assessment.

> Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2010)

> Strategic Flood Risk Assessment Addendum (2018)

Devon County Council Climate Change Review

This report review's Devon County Council's Climate Change Strategy and provides Green House Gas (GHG) emission calculations for Dartmoor.

> A Review of Devon County Council's Climate Change Strategy

South Hams SAC Planning Guidance

Natural England's 2010 planning guidance helps planning authorities and applicants ensure they meet the statutory obligations associated with the greater horseshoe bat (GHB) conservation interest of the South Hams SAC. The guidance is being revised as a supplementary planning document (SPD), see Devon County Council's website for more details.

> South Hams SAC GHB consultation zone planning guidance (2010)

▼ Housing

Strategic Housing Market Needs Assessment (SHMNA)

Dartmoor National Park are partnered with the Plymouth Strategic Housing Market Area (comprising South Hams District Council, West Devon Borough Council and Plymouth City Council)  and the Exeter Strategic Housing Market Area (Teignbridge District Council, Exeter City Council, Mid-Devon Borough Council and Cornwall Council). In partnership these local authorities commission studies which assess the housing needs of different groups in the community and assign housing targets to meet that need.

> Plymouth Area SHMNA 2013 (PDF)

> Plymouth Area Housing Topic Paper 2017 (PDF)

> Exeter Area SHMNA 2014/15 (PDF)

Demographic Forecasts

Modelling of demographic forecasts which helps our understanding of how housing delivery could affect the National Park’s demographic make-up throughout the plan period.

> Dartmoor National Park Demographic Forecasts 2016 (PDF)


> Commuted Sums in Dartmoor National Park 2013 (PDF)

> Devon Partnership Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2015 (PDF)

▼ Communities Services and Infrastructure

Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP)

The IDP identifies the National Park's infrastructure requirements to deliver development in the Local Plan. The IDP sets out what is needed, where it is needed and when it is needed. It then provides an update on the delivery of the required infrastructure to date. This is a draft IDP which will be updated to support the Local Plan Review.

> Infrastructure Delivery Plan (Draft 2018)

Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study (OSSR)

This study sets out an assessment of open space, sport and recreation (OSSR) provision in Dartmoor National Park to inform the local plan review.

> Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study (2018)

Devon Main Line Route Options

A potential new rail link between Exeter and Plymouth via Okehampton was suggested by the Peninsula Rail Task Force to better protect the South West from future rail disruptions. DNPA commissioned a scoping report to understand the key issues for the National Park. The Authority are not currently involved in discussions about this project being progressed. It would be expected that, should the project move forward, Network Rail would involve local communities in early discussions. Further information can be found in the following reports.

> Devon Main Line Route Options - DNPA Scoping Report (2015)

> Closing the Gap: The South West Peninsula Strategic Rail Blueprint (2016)

> The South West Spine: The case for greater investment across the South West Peninsula Rail Network (2013)

▼ Economy Business and Leisure

Economic Development Needs Assessment (EDNA)

The EDNA analyses and forecasts the economic development needs for Greater Exeter and Dartmoor National Park. Greater Exeter comprises East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, Mid Devon District Council and Teignbridge District Council.

> Economic Development Needs Assessment (March 2017)

> Appendix 8 Dartmoor National Park Forecasting Results

Employment Land Review (ELR)

This report assesses employment land within the National Park and forecasts how much we might need in the future. It informs the Local Plan's economic strategy and employment site allocations.

> Employment Land Review (January 2018)

> Appendix A and B

> Appendix C and D


> Valuing England's National Parks 2013

> Household Income Report (2014)

> Dartmoor Economic Sectors Outlooks 2013 (research report)

> Employment Land Review 2012

▼ Minerals, Waste and Energy

Local Aggregate Assessments

Local Aggregate Assessments are prepared annually by Devon County Council and include the area of Dartmoor National Park.

Local Aggregate Assessment

▼ Towns, Villages and Development Sites

See our 'Quick Guide' for a brief overview of how we consider housing sites for allocation in the Local Plan and how you can get involved in the process.

Settlement Profiles

Profiles have been compiled for each settlement in the National Park. Each profile includes population and housing statistics, an overview of services, facilities, sports pitches, play space and employment land as well as information on strategic planning policies and constraints affecting each settlement. The profiles have been revised in response to comments received from a Parish/Town Council consultation.

> View Settlement Profiles

Land Availability Assessment (LAA)

The LAA is a technical exercise which assesses the amount of land that could be made available for housing or employment development. The LAA process creates a pool of sites from which appropriate development sites are chosen through the local plan process.

> See LAA page for further information

Brownfield Register

The 2017 regulations introduced the requirement for all local planning authorities in England to prepare, maintain and publish registers of previously developed land within their area that they consider appropriate for residential development (brownfield land registers). Our register is available below.

> Brownfield Register

> Interactive Map

If you wish for a site to be added to this register please contact the Forward Planning Team at

▼ Monitoring


These reports contain background monitoring data on planning in the National Park by year:

> Authority Monitoring Report 2017/18

> Authority Monitoring Report 2016/17

> Authority Monitoring Report 2015/16