Torquay's community led plan for the next 20 years

The community’s opportunity to shape the future of Torquay

We're always busy!

The Torquay Neighbourhood Forum meet regularly to consider planning and other issues relevant to the towns development. Find out about current issues we're involved with and upcoming meetings.

Frequently asked questions

Answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about the role of the  Neighbourhood Plan Forum and the purpose of the Neighbourhood Plan.

How did the government extend these powers to the community?

A new planning system has been introduced through the Government’s Localism Act, which devolves greater powers to councils and neighbourhoods. A key element of this includes Neighbourhood Planning and the opportunity for local communities to draw up ideas for development at the local level, in the form of Neighbourhood Plans that (when adopted) will form part of the Development Plan for Torbay, Please note that as from the 15th November 2011, the Bill is now an Act of Parliament. The practical implementation of the Localism Act will be through the appropriate government departments and further Legislation

Where are we now?

Community Partnerships and Torbay Council agreed that three Neighbourhood Plans would be prepared for Torbay, one each for Torquay, Paignton and Broham. Torbay Council was successful in a bid (2011) to take part in the Neighbourhood Planning Front Runners: Scheme, to secure £20,000 in funding from central goverment to help create a Neighbourhood Plan for Brixham. Subsequent bids for the Torquay and Paignton Neighbourhood Forums have been successful with the fifth wave of frontrunners announced In March 2012.

Torbay Local Plan The Neighbourhood Plan Forum (NPF) inaugral meeting was held on 13 October 2011. Susie Colley was elected  as Chairperson, and Mike Lister as Vice Chair. The minutes of the
Inaugural and subsequent meetings of the Torquay Neighbourhood Plan Forum and are in the Archive Section.

What area is covered by the Torquay Neighbourhood Plan?

The area covered is detailed on the image to the left and within the plan document below and includes:

  1. Barton and Watcombe
  2. Cockington, Chelston and Livermead
  3. Ellacombe
  4. Shiphay and The Willows
  5. Hele and Lower Barton
  6. St Marychurch, Maidencombe and District
  7. Torre and Upton
  8. Torquay town centre
  9. Wellswood and Torwood

How do I join Torquay Neighbourhood Forum or find out more?

If you would like to become a member of the Torquay Neighbourhood Forum and have your views heard please email

To apply online for Forum membership fill out the form HERE

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan is a new type of plan which will focus on very local areas, to be produced by communities with Parish and Town Councils, with the assistance of the Council. Policies included in neighbourhood plans will need to be related to the use of land in the area, or to spatial matters (i.e. aspects that affect how a place works). When adopted, they will form part of the overall development plan for Torbay and be used to consider all planning applications in that area, in the context of the Torbay Core Strategy.

What does a Neighbourhood Plan do?

A Neighbourhood Plan gives local people a chance to create a planning document that guides and shapes development in their local area, and to influence what facilities are provided in the area as a result.

Can we stop development happening in our area?

No – a Neighbourhood Plan can guide development to be more appropriate to local context and help decide where it goes, but the government has made it clear that it is not a tool to be used to stop development.

Will Neighbourhood Plans allocate land?

This will depend on how the community want to progress their plan but the plan is able to
allocate land if required.

What is the time frame?

It is expected that Neighbourhood Plans will take approximately 2 years from start to finish.

Is the Council still progressing a core strategy or just Neighbourhood Plans?

The Council is still progressing with the Core Strategy which will span the whole of Torbay and contain overarching Strategic Policies and Development Management Polices Neighbourhood plans are able to develop in tandem with the Core Strategy.

If we have Neighbourhood Plans does this mean that we don’t have to use the Local Plan?

No – the Local Plan remains part of the development plan and will continue to be used to determine planning applications until superseded by the Core Strategy. Neighbourhood Plans will form a new tier of planning at a very local level. They need to conform to the overarching adopted Core Strategy for Torbay but will form part of the development plan for their area.

Which carries more planning weight – a Neighbourhood Plan or the Torbay Local Plan?

The weight (importance) that is attached to a particular policy can only be decided when considering a specific proposal. At a general level, when adopted, Neighbourhood Plans and the Local Plan or Adopted Core Strategy should complement each other. Planning decisions will be based primarily around policies in adopted Neighbourhood Plans and the Local Plan/Core Strategy.

I’m a developer, do I have to use Neighbourhood Plans when putting in planning applications?

Yes – planning applications will need to have regard to all relevant policy.

How does a Neighbourhood Plan get adopted as planning policy?

To get adopted, current guidance suggests that the plan will be subject to approval by the Council, then an independent examination, and be subject to a local referendum gaining a 50 per cent level of support. Further details on this will be made available at the time.

How much will it cost and why has my area not received funding from central government?

The govemment has a rolling programme of funding for key neighbourhood initiatives. The Council made a successful bid for £20,000 of funding in partnership with Brixham Town Council (which was the most progressed at that time) in 2010/11. The Council submitted subsequent bids for the Torquay and Paignton Neighbourhood Forums and was successful (the fifth wave frontrunners was announced in March 2012). However, the cost of delivering Neighbourhood Plans is likely to exceed the funding from Goverment and Neighbourhood Forums may wish to establish other funding initiatives in partnership with the Council, the Private sector and other agencies.