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.
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.
The 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. The Statement of Representations Procedure provides details on how to make representations during the Regulation 19 Local Plan consultation.
The Timetable for the Local Plan Review
The Local Development Scheme (2018) sets out the overarching ‘timetable’ for the Local Plan Review, and below details the remaining steps we must take prior to adopting the new Local Plan:
> Final draft consultation: consultation on the final draft Local Plan will run from 16 September - 1 November 2019
> Submission: following this consultation period, provided no major issues are uncovered, the final draft Plan along with all the comments made during the final draft consultation will be submitted to a Planning Inspector for examination in early 2020
> Examination: the length of the examination period varies, so it is difficult to say how long this stage will take
> Adoption: we hope to adopt the new Local Plan for Dartmoor by early 2021
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.
Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA)
DNPA is required to ensure that the Local Plan contributes to sustaiable development and integrates environmental considerations into the Plan. This is done through a combined Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment.
SA/SEA for Final Draft Local Plan (Regulation 19) September 2019
All SA/SEA reports, including initial scoping and appraisal reports and the Regulation 18 reports are available on this page.
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 Final Draft Local Plan (Regulation 19) June 2019
HRA for First Draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) September 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The SWEEP partnership at the University of Exeter report on the recreation impacts of new housing development on Dartmoor National Park. A summary and the full report are available on the SWEEP website, link below:
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 and updated further in 2019, which updates and refreshes the original assessment.
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.
South Hams SAC Planning Guidance
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. For more details and to view the guidance, see Devon County Council's website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Local Aggregate Assessments
Local Aggregate Assessments are prepared annually by Devon County Council and include the area of Dartmoor National Park.
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.
Development Site Briefs
We have created Site Briefs for each allocation included in the Final Draft Local Plan (Regulation 19). They are designed to be planning advice notes to accompany the Local Plan, summarising the key considerations for the site drawn from existing sources, and should be read alongside the Final Draft Local Plan. They do not set new or additional requirements for the site
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.
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
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.
If you wish for a site to be added to this register please contact the Forward Planning Team at email@example.com.