Background evidence and research

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 that informed it.

▼ 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.

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.

> Duty to Cooperate Statement of Common Ground (September 2019)

> Duty to Cooperate Scoping Report (Draft May 2017)

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

> SA/SEA non-technical summary (June 2019)

> SA/SEA Report (June 2019)

> Appendix I Statement of Compliance

> Appendix II Scoping Report (October 2018)

> 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

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 Report (June 2019)

> Appendix I European Site Characterisations

> Appendix II Plans and Projects Review

> Appendix III European Sites Screening

> Appendix IV Dartmoor Local Plan Review Regulation 19 Screening

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)

> Addendum Viability Assessment (September 2019)

▼ 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

> Topic Paper 10 Monitoring and Governance

▼ 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

Recreation Impacts

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:

Population futures and Dartmoor National Park: Implications of development around the outskirts of Dartmoor for recreational use and management of access

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.

> Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2010)

> Strategic Flood Risk Assessment Addendum (2019)

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

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.

> South Hams SAC Greater Horseshoe Bat Planning Guidance

▼ 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)

> Dartmoor National Park Additional Scenario Analysis 2019 (PDF)


> Reducing CO2 emissions in new development policy research and recommendations 2019 (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.

> Infrastructure Delivery Plan (2019)

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 (2019)

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


> Reducing CO2 emissions in new development policy research and recommendations 2019 (PDF)

> 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.

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

> 7.3 - Longstone Cross

> 7.4 - Chuley Road

> 7.5 - Barn Park

> 7.6 - Holne Road

> 7.8 - Crannafords

> 7.10 - Betton Way

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 2019/20

> Authority Monitoring Report 2018/19

> Authority Monitoring Report 2017/18

> Authority Monitoring Report 2016/17

> Authority Monitoring Report 2015/16

Infrastructure Funding Statement

The Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) is an annual report typically published in December, which provides a summary of all financial and non-financial developer contributions relating to Section 106 Legal Agreements (S106) within Dartmoor National Park for a given financial year. The IFS aims to unite strategy and monitoring, thereby increasing transparency and accountability.

> Infrastructure Funding Statement 2019/20