How We Make Our Plans

How you can have your say on future development in the area.

When it comes to preparing plans for future development in the area, we want to ensure everyone involved has a chance to have their say.

That's why we work with a range of organisations and the local community. There's an opportunity for anyone who is interested to get involved at every stage of the process.

Our Plans

Our plans set out where development will happen and how this will occur, in a way that causes the least damage to the environment and supports our communities. Most plans cover a period of 10 -15 years. We use evidence and information to understand how things may change and what we can do to manage that change.

Local Development Scheme

The Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan was adopted on 26 March 2019.  It is the up-to-date development plan for Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon and can be read on our Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan: Adoption page.

The first version of the Plymouth and South West Devon Local Development Scheme was published in October 2019 but has become out of date. The current up-to-date timetable for the production of plan documents is set out below:

  • Local Greenspace Development Plan Document: Paused
  • Managing Rural Development Plan Document: Paused
  • Plymouth Community Infrastructure Levy: Paused
  • Plymouth and South West Devon JLP Supplementary Planning Document: Adopted (Plymouth City Council 22 June 2020, West Devon Borough Council 9 June 2020, South Hams District Council 16 July 2020)
  • Statement of Community Involvement: Adopted (Plymouth City Council 10 March 2020, South Hams District Council 30 April 2020, West Devon Borough Council 9 June 2020)

The Joint Local Plan Councils are committed to the delivery of the plan, and to keeping its policies fully up to date at all times. A review of the Joint Local Plan will take place in 2024.

A new revised Local Development Scheme setting out the detailed timetable for the review will be produced once there is clarity about changes to the planning system.


The current stage is shown in bold text.

Plan examined and adopted ➔ Monitoring and delivery ➔ Review key issues and evidence ➔ New Plan Preparation ➔ New Plan submitted

Community Involvement

Part of our understanding is built on feedback from the community about what is important to them. This feedback comes from local residents, businesses and groups within the community. The Council has set out how it will work with communities in preparing plans in its Statement of Community Involvement (SCI).

The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), June 2020 was adopted by, Plymouth City Council on 10 March 2020, South Hams District Council on 30 April 2020 and West Devon Borough Council on 9 June 2020. It builds on the work of the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan, providing a consistent baseline to support the continued cooperation in planning across the three Local Planning Authorities (LPAs).

The Statement of Community Involvement sets out the minimum requirements for consultation and involvement. It must be followed by the LPAs of the Councils when preparing planning documents or consulting on planning applications. The document also sets out how the LPAs will support groups undertaking neighbourhood planning.

Please use the links below to view the adoption statement and the Statement of Community Involvement.

The Bigger Picture

When preparing plans it is important that we take into account what happens in the wider area, outside our boundaries. This is because many people work, shop or carry out leisure activities in surrounding areas and, likewise we attract a number of visitors to the facilities we provide.

That's why it's important that we work with our neighbouring authorities to look at the bigger picture and how it might impact on the plans we prepare.

Planning with other Organisations

When we prepare plans we need to think about services and facilities that may be required to support our communities, e.g. roads, sewerage and water, healthcare and education. It is the responsibility of other organisations to provide these services. We work with these organisations to make sure we plan properly for our area.