Draft Policies

Below is a list of the draft policies. You can give your feed back by filling in an online form by clicking the button below. All feedback needs to be submitted before 19th April 2019.

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NNP1 Local Green Spaces

The following locations (see Map B1) are designated as Local Green Spaces

  • Rectory Gardens, Fore Street, Northam
  • Allotments south of Marshford, Churchill Way, Northam
  • Land known as Blackies, Torridge Road, Appledore
  • The Cricket Ground, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho!
  • Humpty-Dumpty field, Great Barrow Rise, Westward Ho!
  • Westward Ho! Park, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho!
  • Escarpment Woodland, between Bay View Road and Atlantic Way
  • Green Corridor from Knapp Wood, Churchill Way, to the area Between Appledore Shipyard and Boathyde
  • Anchor Park, Appledore
  • Village Green, the Backfield, Appledore

Development that does not enhance the value of these Local Green Spaces will not normally be permitted unless exceptional circumstances apply, for example, it is essential to meet specific necessary infrastructure needs and there is no alternative site available.


NNP2 Prevention of Coalescence between Settlements

Development that could lead to or contribute towards coalescence of the development boundaries of Northam, Appledore and Westward Ho! as defined on Map (B2) will be resisted to ensure the distinct identities of the respective settlements are maintained.


NNP3 Retaining the character of the rural landscape between settlements

Within the area as defined on Map (B2) new development will be supported provided that:

a)   The development does not detract from the unspoilt character, rural atmosphere and appearance, dark skies and tranquillity of the area.

b)   Development does not harm the setting of Northam Burrows or the South West Coastal Footpath.

c)   There is safe, convenient access to the development by foot, cycle, vehicle and public transport.

d)   That development is required because it cannot reasonably be located outside the area defined on Map (B2)


NNP4 Protection and Enhancement of Boundaries between Settlements

Within the area defined on Map (B2) development should conserve, restore or add traditional earth banks or hedgerows as boundaries. Where feasible with the use of broadleaf tree and hedgerow species, to integrate the development with the rural character of the area.


NNP5 Protecting Valued Views

Development will be supported where it sits well in the environment, does not harm the landscape, and maintains or enhances the distinctive views from the public viewpoints as defined on Map (B3) and photographic vistas attached.

These viewpoints are:

a)   Pimpley Bridge, Northam Burrows looking North East towards Staddon Hill, Appledore and East towards Northam/Westward Ho!.

b)   Bone Hill, Northam, looking North and North West towards Appledore.

c)   Bidna Hill, Northam, looking East and South East along the Coastal Path.

d)   Lookout Field, Staddon Hill, Appledore looking South West towards Westward Ho!.

e)   Windmill Lane Car Park, Northam, looking North and North East in the direction of the ridge extending from Bidna to Diddywell.

Development proposals which have a significant visual impact on the open landscape, in terms of height, massing (combined effect of height, bulk and silhouette of building) and scale of building’s, must provide a landscape impact appraisal, undertaken by the applicant.


NNP6 Protection of Heritage Assets

a)   Great weight will be given to the conservation and enhancement of heritage assets listed in the Northam Parish List of Local Heritage Assets. All development proposals affecting a heritage asset will require a Heritage Statement, addressing the effects of the proposal on the listed asset and its setting.

b)   Development proposals will be supported where they conserve and enhance the archaeology and/or fabric and setting of the heritage asset, and/or offer a viable use for the asset consistent with its conservation.

c)   Any harm or total loss of a heritage asset or its setting will require clear and convincing evidence that they are outweighed by the public benefits of the proposed development.

d)   Where a heritage asset shows signs of neglect or deliberate damage, the harm done to the asset will be accorded no weight in any decision on its future.

e)   Proposals for the re-use of a heritage asset will be supported, providing that the significance and setting of that asset is protected and enhanced.

f)    Development will be supported where it respects the character of the built environment and heritage assets of the area, and proposes the use of traditional design and materials, thereby reinforcing local character and distinctiveness and a strong sense of place.


NNP7 Protection of Biodiversity

All development proposals which affect biodiversity assets must provide an independent report, and should be supported by the planning authority’s ecological advisor. Proposals which are likely to have an adverse impact on local biodiversity, will only be supported where it can be demonstrated that there is no alternative causing a less harmful impact, or mitigation measures can be introduced resulting in a net enhancement to the site’s biodiversity. As a last resort, acceptable local alternative habitat must be provided which increases local biodiversity, compared to the development site.

Development proposals will be supported when: 

a)   They retain and/or enhance features of nature conservation, including mature trees, native species hedgerows and hedge-banks and areas of woodland. Also improving the connectivity of wildlife areas through green corridors, and /or improve the wildlife value of the landscape, including garden habitats.

b)   If adjacent to or within primary green corridors as defined in Map (**) they maintain, and if possible enhance, the corridors function and demonstrate measures to secure connectivity of the corridor, supporting continued free movement of species on or through the site.

c)   They conserve, protect and where possible enhance none-statutory and undesignated wildlife areas as listed in Appendix E and also listed in the Devon Biodiversity Records for Northam.


NNP8 Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction

a)   Increased energy efficiency measures will be supported for existing and new housing stock with the objective of increasing the number of zero carbon dwellings

b)   Alternative energy systems, such as solar panels, wind generators and heat pumps will be encouraged for all new and existing homes and buildings.

c)   Proposals for community scale alternative energy systems should be accompanied by an independent assessment of their siting, scale and setting in the landscape, and their effect on the amenities of local residents and on biodiversity. Proposals will be supported which do not have an adverse impact on residential amenity, landscape setting or biodiversity.


NNP9 Cycle and Pedestrian Routes

a)   Proposals to upgrade or extend existing public footpaths, bridleways and cycle-ways in the plan area will be supported, providing such proposals, including their materials and lighting, do not harm the rural character of the area.

b)   A route, where it lies within the Northam Parish boundary, will be protected for the future development of a cycle and pedestrian track (Map B4) which will be from Northam Road, through the Kenwith Valley to join the South West Coastal Path at Cornborough.

c)   Development proposals should deliver good pedestrian and cycle connections within, and from the site, to settlement centres and existing footpaths, bridleways and cycle paths in the plan area.



NNP10 Residential Care and Nursing Homes

Proposals for Residential Care and Nursing Homes will be supported subject to:

a)   The site lies within the development boundary and is well related to the public transport service and within reasonable walking distance of services.

b)   The accommodation includes a minimum area of 5 sq. mtr. Per bed space of open amenity space for the exclusive use of residents.

c)   Any part of the development that is to provide C3 dwellings for over 55s is required to buy in a ‘care package’ from the care provider through a planning obligation.


NNP11 Quality of Design

a)   Proposals must include supporting information which clearly demonstrates how existing key features of the site such as natural views, built structures, landmarks, mature trees, water courses and hedges are impacted by the proposal. Any negative impact on these features must be accompanied by appropriate mitigation measures.

b)   Where considered appropriate, provide adequate width of key residential streets to create tree-lined roads and avenues within residential areas.

c)   Use traditional materials, especially those produced locally where possible, with the use of low ecological impact materials and techniques, and the re-use of materials where appropriate will be encouraged.

d)   Proposals will be expected to be visually attractive as the result of good architecture, layout and appropriate effective landscaping, and function well adding to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term, but also over the lifetime of the development.


NNP12 Footprint for New, Redeveloped and Replacement Dwellings

a)   New, redeveloped, replacement and extended residential buildings should occupy no more than 50% of the plot unless the setting of a listed building, or character and appearance of a conservation area would be better conserved by larger plot coverage.

b)   Replacement dwellings should occupy no more than 50% of their plots, and where the replaced dwelling occupied greater than 50% of the plot, the replacement dwelling should occupy a smaller proportion than its predecessor.

c)   An increase in the number of dwellings above those replaced will only be acceptable, providing the resulting plot coverage does not exceed 50%.

d)   An increase in height over the replaced building will only be acceptable where this is compatible with the appearance of adjacent buildings and the amenity of their occupiers.


NNP13 Full-Time Principal Residence Housing (Appledore)

Due to the impact upon the local housing market of the continued uncontrolled growth of dwellings used for holiday accommodation (as second or holiday homes) new open market housing, excluding replacement dwellings, will only be supported where there is a restriction to ensure its occupancy as a Principal Residence.


Sufficient guarantee must be provided of such occupancy restriction through the imposition of a planning condition or legal agreement. New unrestricted second homes will not be supported at any time.


Principal Residences are defined as those occupied as the residents sole or main residence, where residents spend the majority of their time when not working away from home.

The condition or obligation on new open market homes will require that they are occupied only as the primary (principal) residence of those persons entitled to occupy them. Occupiers of homes with a Principal Residence condition will be required to keep proof that they are meeting the obligation or condition, and be obliged to provide this proof if/when Torridge District Council requests this information. Proof of Principal Residence is via verifiable evidence which could include, (but not limited to) residents being on the local electoral register and being registered at such local services as Doctors surgeries, schools etc.

NNP14 Parking Provision

a)   New dwellings with 1-2 bedrooms must provide one off-street parking space, whilst 3 or more bedrooms a minimum of two off-street spaces. The need for more spaces will be based on the views of the Highway Authority.

b)   Proposals for apartments providing communal provision will be assessed separately in consultation with the Highway Authority.

c)   Housing developments of four or more dwelling units will be required to provide one further off-street parking space per four dwelling units.

d)   Provision of electric vehicle charging points will be supported.


NNP15 Size of Dwellings

a)   The provision of smaller dwellings (those with one, two or three bedrooms) will be supported, with particular emphasis on the provision of more bungalows. (Rooms otherwise designated on plans, but clearly capable of use as bedrooms, will be counted as bedrooms for the purposes of this policy)

b)   Dwellings of 5 bedrooms or more will, exceptionally, be allowed where evidence is provided that this is needed to provide the main residence of a household with a minimum fifteen year residency in the area.

c)   New dwellings should be a maximum of two storeys in height. If extra room is needed it should be obtained by putting rooms in the roof rather than a full third storey.


NNP16 Broadband

a)   New developments for retail, residential or commercial premises must provide a high quality digital infrastructure, providing access to a range of providers, and should prioritise full fibre connections.

b)   Proposals to provide access to a super-fast broadband network, and to improve the speed of existing services, will be supported, provided that wherever possible, the location and design of any above-ground network installations respect the character of the local area.


NNP17 Business

a)   Proposals for new business premises and the expansion of existing businesses will be supported within the development boundary.

b)   Support will be given to business proposals for new start-up/incubator units, with preference given to proposals for brown-field sites.

c)   Outside settlement development boundaries, proposals for farm diversification schemes and other rural business enterprises which require a rural location will be supported where an economic need is demonstrated which benefits the local economy, and cannot be reasonably be met within the development boundary provided that;

        i.  Within the Undeveloped Coast the proposals do not compromise the unspoilt character, appearance tranquillity of the area, or contribute to the coalescence of settlements.

d)   Proposals for home working will be supported provided the amenity and privacy of neighbouring residents is not significantly affected.

e)   Proposals for development directly related to the fishing industry will be supported, providing they are in line with the appropriate character policy for the location.

f)    Loss of existing employment uses will only be supported where it can be demonstrated the existing use is no longer required or viable and the premises/site/business has been actively marketed for at least twelve months at an appropriate market price.


NNP18 Tourism Attractions & Accommodation

a)   Within settlement development boundaries proposals for sustainable tourism attractions, leisure developments, mix and range of styles of new tourist accommodation (excluding Appledore), associated tourism facilities and services will be supported, where they enhance the quality and/or the diversity of the local tourism offer, and will not detract from the character of the area, protected landscapes and environment or heritage assets.

b)   Outside settlement development boundaries within the Undeveloped Coast and in the countryside beyond, proposals for new or extensions to existing tourist accommodation or attractions will be supported providing the following;

u It cannot reasonably be located outside the Undeveloped Coast, estuary and countryside;

u It utilises where appropriate existing buildings, and does not detract from the unspoilt character, appearance and tranquillity of the area or contribute to the coalescence of settlements

c)   Improved access to the beach at Westward Ho! will be supported.

d)   The provision of further retail development within Appledore will be supported where it is scaled appropriately to the existing retail units, and demonstrates the potential to sustain and/or extend the range of choice for tourists.

e)   Proposals for all-weather tourism facilities providing year-round use in Westward Ho! will be supported.


NNP19 Richmond Dock

Any redevelopment of the Richmond Dock site (MapB5) as a visitor attraction, with a working dry dock and small business units will be supported providing the following criteria are met:

a)   Any development proposals must enable public access to the historic site and enhance the tourism offer of Appledore.

b)   The design, massing and materials used in any new buildings, enhances the setting and integrity of the dry dock and the adjacent conservation areas.

c)   Any new buildings must not exceed one storey in height or occupy more than 20% of the site.

d)   A sustainable management plan is in place to secure on-going maintenance of the dry dock, dock gate mechanism and curtilage walls.

e)   The dry dock must remain capable of its original use, with sufficient vehicular access and clear working space.

f)    Any proposed development has no adverse impact on the amenity of residents or any detrimental interference with the existing flood defences on site.

g)   Development of the site for housing or tourism accommodation will not be supported.


NNP20 Appledore Shipyard Site

1)   As a former employment site, proposals for the redevelopment of the Shipyard site (MapB6) for non-employment uses will not be supported, unless such proposals meet all the requirements of policy DM13 of the NDAT Local Plan.

2)   Proposals for the redevelopment of the Shipyard site for employment purposes will be supported, subject to the following being met:

                    I.       That there is no detrimental impact on the amenity of occupants of neighbouring properties.

                   II.       The design, massing and materials used on any building does not harm the setting of Tapeley Park House, or the character of the Undeveloped Coast.

Any Development proposal must include traffic and transport assessments, detailing measures to mitigate the impact of the development on the highway network.