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Lifton Housing Needs Report - click on the link to download the file.
Lifton Parish Site Info Pack - Download the report here.

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council January 2019 

In the December 2018 report I referred to the likely cost which would be incurred in completing the Neighbourhood Plan balanced against the potential benefits.

Had we proceeded with the allocation of development sites we would have been able to access funds and technical support to complete this part of the project. Given that the Local Authority made it clear that they wished to make the site allocations in order to assist with securing a five-year land supply, this revenue stream is no longer available to us.

Estimates of costs from a consultant, and the cost of a Housing Need Assessment are in the region of £3440.00 plus advertising, printing and stationery which could well amount to a further £2000.00. It is also likely in my view that further consultancy costs would be incurred in the final stages of the process.

As a Neighbourhood Plan can only make binding policies which relate directly to matters requiring planning approval, by removing site allocation from the Plan means that all other matters become nothing more than a wish list of aspirations for the area.

The increasing incidence of Neighbourhood Plans being overturned at appeal due to circumstances beyond their control and the need for plans to be updated at least every two years make it clear to me that not only are the costs set out above difficult to justify, but even assuming a completed plan, the ongoing commitment for the Parish Council to keep some sort of system to ensure future compliance with National Legislation, the development of Case Law, and changes to the Joint Local Plan makes continuation of our project very difficult to justify.

 Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 20th December 2018

A response has been received from Duncan Smith of West Devon Borough Council following a meeting with him.

His considered view is that we should have a new housing needs survey to replace the version completed in 2013, as it is one of the basic bits of evidence for the Neighbourhood Plan.

I was then informed by the West Devon Housing Specialist that Devon Communities together could carry out a Housing Needs Survey free of cost to ourselves.

This was confirmed by Devon Communities together, but they would expect a contribution of £500 towards the printing and packing costs, and that the Parish Council would be expected to hand deliver the surveys to keep costs down.

In addition to all this I have been in contact with a planning consultant who was at one time West Devon’s Neighbourhood Planning officer. I asked her for some indication of the costs involved in advising us on producing a successor to the previously mothballed plan which was emailed to her.

Initial thoughts from her are that the existing version is acceptable as a good start, that there would be no need to start again from scratch.

Approximate costs are:-

1. Review the existing draft version against Local and National Policy. Provide recommendations for each policy and advise on any additional policies to take two days at a cost of £840.00

2. Review background documents (as yet unseen) and make recommendations. Assume two days at a cost of £840.00

3. Assist with drafting the plan to the standard needed for submission to West Devon BC under Regulation 14 prior to examination. Assume three days at a cost of £1260.00

These costs alone amount to £2940.00 to which would have to be added the £500.00 plus for the Housing Needs Survey taking the total to £3440.00 plus unknowns.

Any additional advice would be charged separately at an hourly rate of £60.00.

As our Plan will no longer contain policies relating to allocation of sites, the document will now be much simpler than before. Whilst it may be desirable to have a Neighbourhood Plan, we have to balance the potential cost against the benefits of being able to control future development.

Report to Parish Council 22nd November 2018

We have received an email as promised from Duncan Smith, the West Devon Neighbourhood Planning Officer.

Some of his suggestions have already been implemented, in particular our Vision Aims and Objectives.

He has suggested that as our housing needs survey of 2013 is now out of date it should be replaced. He has asked Alex Rehaag of West Devon Borough Council to contact us with a view to producing some alternative documentation.

I will endeavour to put his comments into context with the draft Neighbourhood Plan which should generate the basis for a meaningful discussion when we next meet.

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 25th October 2018 
The Chairman and I have met Duncan Smith, the West Devon Neighbourhood Planning expert. We discussed the position of our draft N P, and the situation with the Joint Local Plan.

Duncan said he hoped to be able to debrief us on developments regarding the JLP within two weeks of our meeting on 3rd October. It seems that due to delays in the publication of the inspectors’ findings, this may take a little longer.

It is clear from the information received in the last few days from West Devon, that some Main Modifications which relate directly to the soundness of the Plan have been identified as needing further consultation, along with additional work by the Council on updating policies maps, including settlement boundaries.

The six-week consultation period will run until 3rd December. There will clearly be a further unquantified period to prepare the revisions for submission to the examiners, and for the examiners to reach their conclusions.

The National Association of Local Councils have recently issued a report on the implications of five-year land supply figures, and some revised definitions in the National Planning Policy Framework relating to the requirements for Neighbourhood Plans to be regularly updated after the Neighbourhood Plan is made and has been included in Local Planning Policy.

It is becoming clear to me that if we intend to reboot our Neighbourhood Plan we will have to hold another public meeting to recruit committed parishioners to the team, and to re consult on our Vision Aims and Objectives in order to start updating our evidence base.

Cllr Brian Moore 

Report to Parish Council 13th September 2018

Councillors Edmonds and Moore will be attending a meeting with the West Devon Neighbourhood Planning specialist on the 3rd October.

There is some anxiety amongst Neighbourhood Planning Teams as in two recent instances Neighbourhood Plans have been ignored and overruled by District Councils. It is hoped that some explanation for this may be forthcoming at the meeting.

 Cllr Brian Moore

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 23rd August 2018

My last report raised the hope that by now we would have received the final version of the Joint Local Plan. Unfortunately this has not materialised but we do have the latest version of the National Planning Policy Framework.

The seventy four page NPPF brings some clarity to the role of Neighbourhood Plans. Paragraph 13 states – “ Neighbourhood Plans should support the delivery of strategic policies contained in local plans or spatial development policies; and should shape and direct development that is outside of these strategic policies.”

I feel sure that delivery of the JLP cannot be far away which will enable us to re activate our partially developed Neighbourhood Plan.

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team
Report to Parish Council 28th June 2018

A new Neighbourhood Planning expert has been engaged by the West Devon/
South Hams councils.
Our draft plan, which is generally compliant with the now superseded West
Devon Local Plan, has been submitted with a request to point to the simplest
possible means of updating the document to comply with the JLP.
Cllr Edmonds and I have had a meeting with a strategic planner who is heading
up the JLP team. The main topic discussed was how we may ensure, in our
Neighbourhood Plan, the development parameters for the village bearing in
mind the community's responses to consultations.
A meeting of the new NP consultant, a representative of the JLP team with Cllr
Edmonds and myself is being arranged for the 3rd to 4th week in August. By this
time it is hoped that the position of the emerging JLP will be clearer, and the
new National Planning Policy Framework will have been published.
There will be a meeting of the NP Team before this meeting in order that
relevant matters may be discussed and taken forward to the August meeting.
Cllr Brian Moore
Project Co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team
Report to Parish Meeting 24th May 2018

With the Joint Local Plan now looking as though it will be completed by the end of the year, I know that is the wish of our Chairman that we move our Neighbourhood Plan forward towards inspection and referendum. Now that the responsibility of making site allocations have been taken on in the JLP we have to consider how we plan for the provision of high quality and inclusive design for all developments. I have attached a copy of the relevant paragraphs of the National Planning Policy Framework which sets out quite clearly what our aspirations should be. I will call a meeting in the next few weeks to consider with the Parish council members of the committee how best to move forward. 

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team
Report to Parish Meeting 26th April 2018

As reported before, on the advice of our consultant planner, we temporarily stopped developing the Neighbourhood Plan until the Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon Joint Local Plan has been signed off by the government inspectors. The inspection is ongoing, but it seems most likely that this process will be completed by the end of this year.

We were also faced with a situation of having to find several thousand pounds worth of funding to produce a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment in support of the allocation of development land.

This problem has been overcome by ensuring that the development proposals of the draft Neighbourhood Plan have been included in the New Joint Local Plan. The Aims and Objectives of our draft plan, and the allocation of land for housing and commercial development have been subject to extensive public consultation and consideration so the residents of Lifton can be assured that their views have been carried forward into future planning policy.

Central government is constantly making amendments and additions to the National Planning Policy Framework. The most recent significant development is the introduction in June of what is supposed to be a measure to simplify the planning process to be known as Permission in Principle. Rather than simplifying matters we suspect that it will make the Neighbourhood Planning process even more complex where laypersons of the NP team try to grapple with matters which at the moment are even confusing planning professionals.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Lifton Parish Council 22nd March 2018

The examination into the soundness of the Joint Local Plan has been disrupted by the recent cold weather conditions.

I have downloaded some of the questions raised by the examiners which are relevant to us.

For instance, proof is required that the sustainability appraisal is legally compliant, and that the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment have been met.

On the topic of thriving towns and villages the issue is – Does the JLP provide a robust framework for the management and delivery of development across the Thriving Towns and Villages Policy Area that is justified, effective and consistent with national policy.

All these issues affect Lifton and we will watch with interest how matters unfold. No doubt the District Council will provide us with a de brief in due course.


Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Lifton Parish Council 25th January 2018

Now that the Joint Local Plan is at examination it should be reasonably safe for us to proceed with the final stages of aligning the Neigbourhood Plan with that document.

Previously we have held meetings and I have attempted to take all comments forward to the Draft Neighbourhood Plan. I feel that it will make more efficient use of our time if I modify this format so that I will draft sections of the plan and as I complete them they can be forwarded to all team members via email. We should then be able to have a more informed approach when we hold a meeting to discuss.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 28th September 2017

Councillor Edmonds and I have attended a seminar at the West Devon B C offices dealing with all aspects of the provision of community housing schemes.

The conclusion was that it would be very useful in a parish where there is little hope of commercial development.

In the case of Lifton we have a recently approved application where the developer has proposed that forty percent of a twenty house scheme would be affordable.

Add to this the one hundred sites adjacent to Glenvale which have been included in the proposals of the Joint Local Plan which should also yield a significant number of affordable homes.

This does not however mean that an offer of land for community development by a benevolent landowner would not be considered.

I am still working on the update of our draft plan document to align it with the Joint Local Plan.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 24th August 2017

Updating the evidence base for the final draft of the neighbourhood plan is proceeding but the pace should accelerate after the holiday season.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Lifton Parish Council 27th July 2017

At the suggestion of Thomas Jones, the lead planner for the Joint Local Plan, a meeting was held on the 12th July with the owners of the residential and employment land scheduled for development in the Local Plan.

All parties agreed with the site allocations. It was suggested by Thomas Jones that conversations should take place with a view to equalising the distribution of the 30% affordable housing between the two adjacent parcels of residential land.

It was also agreed that the West Devon Borough Council would engage in talks with the owners of the employment land to discuss various options for its development.

Councillor Edmonds drew all parties' attention to the public consultations which have taken place prior to the allocations and that the views of parishioners must be taken into account in any discussions which take place.

Report to Parish Council 22nd June 2017

Councillor Edmonds and I have had a meeting with the lead planner for the Joint Local Plan and he suggested that it would be very useful if he could attend a joint meeting with the Neighbourhood Planning Team and the owners of the land where development is proposed.

This will be arranged for a date between the 3rd and 15th July.

Team member Bill Hodgetts has recently suffered a serious heart attack. He is recovering at home and we send him our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Report to Parish Council 25th May 2017

There is very little to report this month while we await a further consultation with a member of the JLP team prior to our making a submission of the draft plan for screening for an SEA.

Report to the Annual Parish Meeting, 27th April 2017 

A Neighbourhood Plan has to demonstrate that it complies with the National Planning Policy Framework, European Law and Directives, and must not be in conflict with any Local Plan prepared by the Local District Council which in our case is the West Devon Borough Council. It is not just a case of committing ideas to paper and publishing.

When West Devon Borough Council decided to stop development of their Local Plan, and make a fresh start on a new Joint Plan in collaboration with South Hams District Council, and Plymouth City Council it became clear that we would have to wait until the new Plan emerged so that we could use policies contained in that document as evidence for our Plan.

The Joint Local Plan has now been approved by the District and City Councillors and is now moving through its period of public consultation prior to submission for inspection.

The process of extracting the evidence from the 2005/2011 Core Strategy, and the West Devon Local Plan (Confusingly known as Our Plan) previously applied to our Neighbourhood Plan, and updating it with evidence from the Joint Local Plan is an ongoing and laborious process.

Councillors Vicky Glen and David Measey are working on a design and character assessment of Lifton which will be submitted with the Neighbourhood Plan when it goes for inspection. This is a complicated job and their efforts are greatly appreciated.

Whenever the question of future housing has been raised, whether at Public consultation events or at regular meetings, the issue of how to provide housing which is affordable to local people on local wages always crops up, and to date there has been no satisfactory answer.

We do however now have a Community-Led Housing Initiative which is funded by central Government and fully supported by West Devon and South Hams Councils. Meetings with Neighbourhood Planning Groups are proposed for the very near future. A leaflet is available and if anyone would like an emailed copy please contact me cllrbrianmoore@liftonpc.org.uk or cllrchrisedmonds@liftonpc.org.uk .

As to housing allocations for the future, we have by a process of negotiation with landowners and the Joint Local Plan Team secured the inclusion in the Joint Local Plan of land for one hundred houses to the west of Lifton at Glenvale and Lifton Strawberry Farm Fields. This is in line with the document ‘Considering Sites for Development’ and the ideas put forward by Parishioners in the results of our Community Survey and later public consultations.

The period of delay is now behind us and we should be able to move forward once again, assuming that Government Policy does not suffer any significant changes.

Report to Parish Council 23rd March 2017

Councillors Measey and Glen have been gathering information for the Parish Design Guide. This is no easy task as ideas have to be converted into appropriate planning language and the entire document will have to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework, and not conflict with the Joint Local Plan.

West Devon and South Hams Councils have appointed a specialist to liase with Neighbourhood Planning Teams. During a brief telephone conversation I was advised that they would screen our Neighbourhood Plan to identify a need or otherwise for a Sustainable Environmental Assessment. We have been told in the past that as the JLP has allocated development sites in Lifton this would not be necessary.

In any event it will be necessary to check the Neighbourhood Plan and delete all references to the West Devon ‘Our Plan’ and substitute evidence related to the draft Joint Local Plan. This could take a while.

Councillor Brian Moore

Project Co-ordinator.

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 23rd February 2017

The Neighbourhood Planning Team met on the 16th February.

After a discussion about the progress of the Renewable Energy Scheme feasibility study it was agreed that details of the scheme and community support for it should be included in the Neighbourhood Plan.

The proposals for housing development allocations to be included in the Joint Local Plan were discussed together with possible employment land sites. It was agreed that the drafts seemed acceptable but that no further action would be taken until the Joint Local Plan consultation document is made available to the public.

Councillors Measey and Glen agreed to take on the development of the Lifton Character and Design Statement which will set out the design principles for future development. This document will sit alongside the Neighbourhood Plan when it goes to examination. Some of their findings may also be adopted as policy in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 26th January 2017

We now have details of the proposed housing development land for Lifton which will be included in the Joint Local Plan. The area agreed is as proposed and submitted by the Neighbourhood Planning Team.

The allocation of Employment Land remains similar to that proposed in the earlier draft West Devon ‘Our Plan’.

There will be a meeting of the Neighbourhood Planning Team on Thursday 16th February when it is hoped that we may be able to start moving the plan forward again.


Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 24th November 2016

The draft Neighbourhood Plan is being worked on by myself and and by Nicky our Parish Clerk. We are systematically working through the document identifying gaps in evidence, and any required maps and plans.

Several weeks ago we decided that a photo of Knaphill Plantation would be a suitable image for the front cover of the plan. Nick duly took the photograph and attached it to the front cover. Within a very few days of doing this I had an email from a Jilly Ballantyne asking for any historical information about the clump of trees visible from the west bound dual carriageway as you approach the Lifton Junction.

I put her in touch with Marion Kneebone who was able to supply her with a detailed summary of detailed research that she has carried out.

I had a further email from Jilly Ballantyne offering her thanks for getting the information for her, but she also told me that she is an artist and has produced several paintings of what she now knows to be Knaphill Plantation and in recognition of the help given she provided attachments of some of her work which we can use without cost, providing we just acknowledge her as the artist.

One image of this iconic view has now been selected and will appear on the front cover of the NP.

Subject to time being available we hope to continue with the plan development over the next several weeks. It is hoped that now West Devon/South Hams have drafted in additional staff to the SW Neighbourhood Planning team we may be able to get answers to several outstanding very important questions we have raised with them, without which progress will be seriously impeded.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co- ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Lifton Parish Council 27th October 2016

Councillors Edmonds and Moore have had a meeting with a strategic planner to discuss the divergence between the development proposals of the draft Joint Local Plan and the Neighbourhood PlanningTeam.

It has now been agreed that the proposal for development to the west of Lifton is acceptable in planning terms and accords with the wishes of the Parish as demonstrated in responses to the consultation on future development held in 2014.

In the early days of the development of our Neighbourhood Plan, we had been led to believe that settlement boundaries would no longer apply. At our meeting we were assured that settlement boundaries are considered to be both workable and desirable.

The comment from our contact on the Joint Local Plan Team was that if we produced a map showing an acceptable settlement boundary in support of our evidence for the Neighbourhood plan, then the JLP Team would work out policies applicable within the boundary, and separate policies which would apply to proposed development outside the boundary.

This however means that we will have to reference agreement with a plan in the JLP which does not yet exist. I emailed our consultant for his views on this and his response is as follows – “I think you can carry on and just refer to and explain the position in the introductory section of the plan for now. You may want to track consultation on your NP just behind the Local Plan to ensure you have up to date context in your plan.

It’s important to think through the timing of consultation on your plan in relation to the timing of the Local Plan consultations. It might be worth having further dialogue via email with the officers you met to ensure your timetable is in sync with theirs, assuming you have the patience!”

We hope that making contact with the relevant officers after six months of trying will now enable us make further progress with the Neighbourhood Plan both in terms of policy and evidence.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Lifton Parish Council 22nd September 2016

The Parish Clerk, councillor Measey and councillor Moore are working on finalising the draft policy document and the draft Neighbourhood Plan which have already been worked on and checked by the Team.

This involves formatting the documents, inserting photographs and tables of information, and producing up to date evidence as well as verifying the sources of such evidence and noting those sources for reference by the examiner.

We are still hoping to achieve our November deadline. The documentation will then be available to the entire team and the Parish Council prior to submission to the Local Authority. This timing of the final submission will depend on the progress of the Joint Local Plan towards its final consultation.

We will also plan how to present these documents to the Parish, and the means of distribution.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co-ordinator.



It was noted the proposed site allocations in the Draft Local Plan were somewhat different to the proposals put forward for inclusion in the Neighbourhood Plan, and which had been agreed in principle with a West Devon strategic planning officer. Our formal response is included below.



Thriving Towns and Villages - Response

From Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team (Lifton Parish Council)

We note that you intend to allocate sites for development in Local Centres in order to maintain a five year land supply. We support you in this, however the Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team had been advised that it was our responsibility to allocate sites and a considerable amount of work has been carried out with this aim in mind which we are pleased to share with you.

In consultation with a West Devon strategic planning officer we developed a plan for the development of land to the west of Lifton comprising part of WD-35-05-08/13 (Land at Glenhaven) and part of WD-35-14-13 (Lifton Strawberry Farm Fields).

It was felt that to develop the Glenhaven site on its own would lead to a ribbon type development on the road frontage which our proposal would eliminate and also provide a better rounding up of the village.

With these points in mind a potential development proposal was made at meetings with the owners of the two parcels of land. In order to avoid any possible confusion Rebecca Black and Alex Rehaag from West Devon Borough Council attended both. Emails demonstrating agreement from the landowners are attached, together with a plan of the sites.

A further attachment shows our assessment of viable sites defined in the West Devon document, ‘Considering Sites for Development’.

Please note that your description of the allocated employment land as “Strawberry Farm Fields Farm, Lifton (OP18) (Land Adjacent to Lifton Farm Shop)” is incorrect and could lead to confusion because you will note that part of our suggested development site is “Lifton Strawberry Farm Fields” as shown in the Land Availability Assessment.

“Land Adjacent Lifton Farm Shop” is the favoured description for the Employment land allocation and fits the description given in the LAA.


Our Consultant is on annual leave at the moment, but on his return it is hoped to make some progress with the evidence base, and the eventual drafting of the submission documents.

Cllr Brian Moore

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team


Report to Lifton Parish Council 28th July 2016

After a period of silence from the West Devon Borough Council it has emerged at two recent meetings that their government funding to support Neighbourhood Planning teams has been withdrawn, but at the same time they have been put under pressure to ensure that they maintain a higher level of assistance.

With the release of the first part of the West Devon, South Hams and Plymouth Joint Local Plan it has become clear that as a matter of urgency the Plan must include a five year supply of housing land.

To ensure this the plan will include provision for the allocation of development land in the towns and local centres, whilst the villages will be free to make their own allocations.

Lifton is one of the Local Centres where the Joint Local Plan will allocate. To assist in this, all the relevant and extensive information which has been amassed by the Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team is being made available to the Joint Local Plan team.

Our consultant has studied the new Joint Local Plan and has reported that there are no planning policies in the consultation document, with the main focus being on site allocations. The change means that there will be no requirement for us to produce a Strategic Environmental Assessment, but it would be advisable to research a Sustainability Appraisal.

Without the allocation of Housing Land our Neighbourhood Plan will take on a different format. It is intended to hold a meeting of the Neighbourhood Planning Team in the near future to discuss the implications of the changes and how we progress the Plan.

Access to officers of the District Councils is proving to be near impossible, with a new ‘Front Desk’ filtering system ensuring that emails continue to be unanswered. This has been bypassed to some extent by communicating with the officer responsible for affordable housing who is forwarding information on our behalf.

All the changes can be attributed to Central Government informing those District Councils who do not have an up to date Local Plan that if they do not have one in place by late 2017, the government will intervene.

This draconian threat does not apply to Neighbourhood Plans, and it is believed that legislation is underway to increase the powers of Neighbourhood Planning Teams probably at the expense of district councils although details of the proposals are not yet available.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co-ordinator



The Neighbourhood Planning Team met on the 21st June to hear from Alan Storah the District Council Neighbourhood Planning specialist, and our consultant Stuart Todd.

Alan Storah told us that there is to be a fresh consultation on the new joint Local Plan.

Fresh allocations of minimum planned requirements will be made, but as yet there is no clue as to how these will be distributed between the three Councils.

The draft joint plan should be released at the beginning of July 2016, with the six week consultation period continuing into August.

Stuart Todd our planning consultant advised that we wait until the publication of the draft plan before doing any more work on our policies. We should however be ready to move quickly after publication in order to get our own consultation on a draft plan underway as soon as possible.

The Design Statement could possibly be progressed as this sits alongside the Neighbourhood Plan, or as an appendix to it.

A potential problem arising from the need to adopt a wait and see approach is that our grant allocation is time limited.

Our consultant will check our draft policies against the new Local Authority draft plan as soon as possible after release to assist us with our decisions on direction of travel for the Neighbourhood Plan and the need for a sustainability appraisal and/or a strategic environmental assessment which relate to development site allocations

Cllr Brian Moore

Project co-ordinator



Over the last two years the Neighbourhood Planning Team which is made up of Parish residents and Parish Councillors have held consultation events about The West Devon Land Availability Assessment, the Vision, Aims and Objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan and have circulated a Community Questionnaire.

Your comments on the land availability assessment were all noted and analysed, the results were sent to West Devon Borough Council and have been included in the document “Considering Sites for Development” which can be viewed and downloaded on the Parish Council Website liftonpc.org.uk.

The Community Questionnaire posed many questions relating to life in the Parish. The results were analysed by survey monkey and discussed in detail by the Neighbourhood Planning Team and wherever possible carried forward to the draft policies. One of the questions which aroused much interest concerned the possibility of a community renewable energy scheme.

Biomass, solar energy, and hydro power all proved popular suggestions, there were a very small number of responses in favour of wind energy. This led the team to pass the responsibility for further investigation on to the Parish Council who are hoping to commission a study into the feasibility of setting up a viable scheme.

The consultation on our Vision, Aims and Objectives provided us with further insight into your thoughts and aspirations for the Parish which have now been taken into account in our draft policies.

In order to meet government targets West Devon Borough Council have given us a minimum planned requirement of one hundred new houses to be built before the end of 2031. This has been agreed as being reasonable by the responses at the public consultation, and replies to the community questionnaire.

The team have given careful consideration to the Land Availability Assessment, and have carried out their own detailed assessment. Meetings have been held with landowners, and informal consultations carried out with infrastructure providers.

Ideas have been formed of how the target can be met without straining the resources of the village and ensuring that new residents can be absorbed into the community at an acceptable rate. The final draft of our policies will contain details of the development policy.

To date, everything we have done has been aimed at compliance with the emerging West Devon Local Plan. This has now been thrown into some confusion as we are now told that the new local plan will be a joint one with West Devon, South Hams and Plymouth City Council. We are trying to establish a clear line of communication with the new grouping so that we can ensure there will be no conflict between the Neighbourhood Plan and the revised emerging Local Plan.

In these final stages of the development of the Neighbourhood Plan we also have to ensure that we are complying with the National Planning Policy Framework, and all relevant EU legislation.

To assist us in this we are trying to raise some grant funding to enable us to appoint a consultant to guide us through these requirements and to ensure that all evidence is properly annotated, and appears in the policies and plan in a clear and unambiguous fashion. Once complete the final draft policies will be submitted to the Borough Council to establish whether we need to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment in respect of our proposed development sites.

When this crucial stage is complete there will be a further consultation with Parishioners on the final version of the Neighbourhood Plan and the development site allocations. Our draft plan will then be presented to the Local Authority who may then appoint an examiner to determine whether our plan can proceed to the final stage in which a referendum will be held in the Parish to decide whether or not to accept the plan. If the vote is positive our plan will then become part of Local Planning Policy.

Cllr Brian Moore,
Project co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Parish Council 24th March 2016

West Devon Borough Council, South Hams District Council, and Plymouth City Council have now set up a group of professionals who have the group title ‘SW- Neighbourhood Planning’.

At a recent meeting it was agreed that West Devon Borough Council will:-


  • establish a regular programme of NP forums. Nominally every three months – the next topic will be housing numbers;
  • support NP groups to look at how they may share resources when they commission work – i.e. standardised text, questionnaires, analysis, evidence for NP groups who are all sharing the West Devon Local Plan context;
  • maintain and update a resource library on the website to incorporate comprehensive links and documents; consider the creation of standardised templates, report proformas etc;
  • work with NP groups to consider aligned consultation programmes to understand when ‘Our Plan’ and NP consultations take place;
  • attempt to provide a rolling news service disseminating impact from Government legislation, case law, appeal decisions and NP Plan making.


We continue our quest to raise funding to complete the evidence base necessary to complete our Policies so that they can be submitted to the West Devon Borough Council for screening, particularly with regard to establish the requirement for a Strategic Environmental Assessment in connection with our proposed housing site allocation.

We remain in contact with Locality whose planners will shortly be advising us on available funding.

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team
Report to Parish Council 25th February 2016
The Neighbourhood Planning Team met at the Pavilion on February 23rd.
It was noted that arrangements for our continued informal consultations with the School and the Scout Group are well in hand.
Councillor Edmonds updated the Team on the present situation with the renewable energy scheme application.
The draft Neighbourhood Plan was discussed in terms of layout, format and content. Some Team Members felt that whilst it is appreciated that this is a planning document it should be edited to ensure that it can be easily understood by anyone who will access it in the future.
Responses to the draft Plan have been received from West Devon Borough Council. This, together with the Team Member response will be included in the next draft. So far we have had no response from Parish Councillors who are not on the Neighbourhood Planning Team.
Agreement has been reached with the landowners of our selected sites for development allocation. This follows constructive meetings between the Landowners and representatives of the Neighbourhood Planning Team and officers from West Devon Borough Council.
We have sought informal opinions from the infrastructure providers. So far replies have been received from Devon Education department, Devon Highways, The Police Architectural Liason Officer, the Devon County Archaeologist and The West Devon Officer responsible for Open Space Sports and Recreation facilities.
We have been advised of changes to the Borough Council ‘Our Plan’ development which may result in changes in policy and of particular interest to us, references to policy numbers in the Neighbourhood Plan.
Brian Moore
Project co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team
Report to Lifton Parish Council 28th January 2016

Councillors Chris Edmonds and Brian Moore together with Alex Rehaag and Rebecca Black of West Devon Borough Council have held discussions with the owners of the Neighbourhood Planning Team’s suggested development sites on the western approach to Lifton Village.

A written response has been received from the agent representing the owner of the land with the road frontage. The position of the access previously indicated by a representative of Devon Highways and other basic design requirements are noted and agreed in the correspondence. Thanks are due to both landowners for the hospitality offered to our delegation.

A response from the adjacent landowner was promised by the 3rd February.

At our meeting on the 21st January Councillor Vicky Glen agreed to set up an informal consultation with the Scout group. The design competition for the young people of the Primary School will also go ahead as originally planned.

West Devon Borough Council have indicated, after considering our development proposals for one hundred new homes, that we should produce an Open Space Sports and Recreation Plan. It was agreed that we should seek a grant to cover specialist input for this.

The Team were updated on the progress of the grant application for the feasibility study into the Community Renewable Energy Scheme. This is at present in the hands of the Parish Council but the Neighbourhood Planning Team will organise any public consultation events which may be required.

Copies of the draft Neighbourhood Plan have been circulated to all team members who are studying the document and will be ready with their feedback and comments at the next meeting. Hard copies are to be distributed to Parish Councillors.

Brian Moore

Project Co-ordinator


Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Report to Lifton Parish Council 17th December 2015

The Neighbourhood Planning Team met on the 16th December at the QEII Pavilion.

The informal consultations with the young people of the School will continue, and be extended to include the Scouts as suggested by Councillor Vicky Glen.

Our final policy drafts were discussed in the light of the most recent information about the position of the development of the West Devon Local Plan. It was decided that we should carry on with the draft policies referencing the 2005/2011 Core Strategy but including relevant sections of the emerging Local Plan as material considerations.

We wait to find out in particular about West Devon,s decision on the inclusion, or otherwise, of settlement Boundaries.

A further call for sites for a supplementary Land Availability Assessment appears to be necessary for the Borough Council to meet revised Central Government housing targets. This means that as our policies are developed and agreed, they can be inserted into the Neighbourhood Plan template, but we may well have to hold the final site allocations until the call for sites is made.

It was agreed that the Parish Council Chairman, and the Project Co-ordinator of the NP Team, together with a strategic planner from West Devon should meet with land owners in the New Year. The development of a Character and Design Assessment is under way and Parishioner assistance is being sought to define the historical context of this document.

Brian Moore

Project Co-ordinator


Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team
Report to Lifton Parish Council 26th November 2015

In October the Team met with consultant Stuart Todd to finalise the Neighbourhood Plan policies. West Devon Borough Council has been consulted, and have responded with their comments on the final draft . A pre publication version of the plan and our policies will shortly be available for consideration by the Neighbourhood Planning Team and all Parish Councillors.

As the Borough Council have temporarily suspended development of their Local Plan, our next public consultation covering Policies, the Draft Plan, and Site Allocations will not take place before March 2016.3

It is hoped that by then the Borough Council will have firmed up their position on housing allocations and development boundaries. Housing policy will also have to be restated in the light of new Government announcements.

We will have to liase with the Borough Council to establish whether we proceed to the final stages of our neighbourhood plan development before they have completed their Local Plan. To help us and the other eight communities engaged in Neighbourhood Planning West Devon have started to produce a newsletter which is intended to keep us all up to date.

Our second stage of grant funding which had to be spent within six months is now at an end. As we are unable to proceed to public consultation, a sum of £695.00 which had been set aside to cover costs in connection with this exercise are being returned to Groundwork, the Department for Communities and Local Government funding agency. We should however be able to reapply for this part of the grant when we have some certainty over dates for consultations.

Three members of the Team met the young people of the Lifton Primary School Council. For us it was refreshing to hear their views, especially to find out that a few thought that we should plan for some tree houses, and a fairground. Councillor Vicky Glen who organised the event has ideas for other informal consultations. There will be a report on developments in the next report.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project Co-ordinator

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team
Report to Parish Council 22nd October 2015

 The Neighbourhood Planning Team met on the 1st October. Arrangements for the consultation with the Lifton Primary School are in hand and the event will most likely happen in mid November.
Policy development was discussed in detail. The policy ‘gists’ were analysed and comments made, particularly with reference to removing repetition where policies overlap. The Team’s comments have been passed on to our consultant.
The policies were also discussed at our meeting with West Devon Borough Council’s strategic planning department. The Team members at the meeting were made aware of the delay in the Borough Council’s development of their Local Plan which is confusingly referred to by them as ‘Our Plan’. This has been caused mainly by the Government’s push to increase development levels.
We seek an assurance that the minimum planned requirements for Lifton will not be changed as we have already held a public consultation on the issue. It does however leave us in a position where our grant funding may be insufficient to cover future consultations or the cost of a Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Funding issues will be taken up with the Department for Communities and Local Government’s agency to find out if we qualify for technical support in the final development stages of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The next meeting of the Neighbourhood Planning Team is 29th October.

 Cllr Brian Moore

 Project Co-ordinator


 Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team


Report to Lifton Parish Council 24th September 2015
At the Team meeting held on the 10th September we discussed how we might engage the young people of the Parish in the consultation process. Councillor Vicky Glen agreed to consider the possibility of using the Primary School to secure this ambition.

Since then she has produced a list of ten succinct questions developed from the Community Questionnaire, and the recently produced Vision, Aims and Objectives. This has now been put to the Headmistress, and it has been provisionally agreed that teachers will discuss the questions with the children, and that at some stage some members of the NP Team will visit the school. The NP Team will run competitions for the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in which the children will have to develop some design ideas.

The Team have also considered the development options for the Parish. A pro forma has been developed which applies standard criteria to all the potential development sites which were included in the West Devon Borough Council’s Land Availability Assessment. The results of this exercise will be checked by Councillors Moore and Measey and a final print version produced.

Our Consultant, Stuart Todd has developed some policy ‘gists’ from our consultation documents, and the responses from Parishioners. These will be considered at our next meeting after which we will submit them to the Borough Council so that they can be checked to ensure that there are no major policy discrepancies.

A meeting with West Devon Borough Council has been arranged for the 6th October to discuss progress of the Neighbourhood Plan and our future moves.

Cllr Brian Moore

Project Co-ordinator


Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team
Meeting 4th August 2015
Report to Parish Council 27th August 2015

Our consultant, Stuart Todd led a discussion about our funding options if we have to produce a Strategic Environmental Assessment to support any site allocations. The situation at the moment is somewhat fluid. The West Devon Borough Council have told us that once we have established our policies, prior to writing the Neighbourhood Plan, they will carry out a screening process to establish whether an Assessment is required.

Our consultant takes the view that it is impossible to allocate sites for one hundred houses and not produce an environmental impact.

At present our funding does not include funds to produce a Strategic Environmental Assessment. We will have to contact Locality (The main source of NP funding) to establish whether such funds can be accessed, or alternatively, direct support may be available.

The responses to our public consultation on the Vision, Aims and Objectives were discussed, and is was decided that they should be updated to include any relevant comments.

It was agreed that further discussions need to be held to establish two or three development options, and develop the policies from the Vision, Aims and Objectives.

Further public consultations will have to be held to give Parishioners opportunities to express their opinions. The team felt that it may be best to hold one consultation event on policies, and development options. It was felt that too many consultations may lead to the Parishioners becoming bored with the process.

As a start on the design and character options, we should obtain some photographic evidence to illustrate housing densities, as most people are unable to envisage density figures expressed as a number of units per hectare. Evidence also needs to gathered to illustrate layout and design concepts.

Cllr Brian Moore
Project Co ordinator

Report to Lifton Parish Council 23.07.15

The Neighbourhood Planning Team held a consultation event in the Tamar Room on the 16th July. With the assistance of South Hams Design Team we produced the draft Vision, Aims and Objectives in a large format on display boards which invited parishioners to leave comments and observations on post it notes.

This system seems to have engaged people more easily than the forms used at earlier events.

The comments will now have to be discussed by the team as they move forward to preparing policies for the Neighbourhood Plan. Policies will have to take into account the results of all surveys, public responses and events, along with desktop research, and of course the National Planning Policy Framework, and the emerging West Devon Local Plan (Our Plan).

The Team would like to thank all those who attended the consultation, and those who have emailed us. Thanks also to Phil Baker from the South Hams /West Devon Planning Team who was on hand to deal with technical queries.

A Team meeting is being arranged with our consultant to move on to the next steps in the Neighbourhood Planning process.

Brian Moore
Project co-ordinator

Report to Lifton Parish Council 25.06.15

There have been two Team meetings since the last Parish Council meeting.

The meeting held on the 27th May was attended by our consultant Stuart Todd, and by Rebecca Black, the Strategic planning officer from West Devon Borough Council.

It was confirmed that the District Council will screen the sites that have been identified in the Land Availability Assessment for environmental impact, as soon as our vision, aims and objectives are confirmed, and Plan policies established.

Stuart Todd agreed to produce a revised project timetable to work around the limitations imposed on Neighbourhood Planning Groups by the very limited timeline applied to all recent grant awards. In our case six months. The whole grant process is now very complex, and if funds are not used for their allocated purpose by the expiration of six months, they have to be repaid. It is however then possible to reapply for the unused balance.

It was agreed that the Vision, aims and objectives should be produced. David Measey agreed to help with this project.

The second meeting held on the 18th June centred around a discussion of a first draft of the Vision, aims and objectives for the Plan. They were accepted as being all right in principle but should be submitted to our consultant for his comments. This has subsequently been done and the final draft now produced.

Thursday 16th July has been agreed as the date for our next consultation event, and the Tamar Room has been booked.

The revised project timetable produced by our consultant was discussed. Further thought required to be given to this before finalising the detail.

A meeting is to be held with West Devon graphics department to arrange for display boards and material for the consultation on the 16th July. This will be funded out of our grant budget.

All team members and Parish Councillors will be contacted about manning arrangements for the consultation event.

Brian Moore
Project co ordinator

Report to PC 21.05.2015
Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

The grant from the department for Communities and Local Government has been secured which has enabled us to continue using our consultant Stuart Todd, this will include his professional input with drafting and producing the final version of the Lifton Neighbourhood Plan.

The Team have prepared revised aims and objectives which have been sent to Stuart for checking prior to them being submitted to the Parish for consultation. These now include comments from Parishioners gathered from our public events, and joint events held with West Devon Borough Council.

Senior strategic planning officer Rebecca Black from West Devon Borough Council continues as our dedicated contact as we move forward with the second phase of plan development.

Brian Moore
Project Co ordinator

Report to PC  26.04.2015
Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team 

The Neighbourhood Planning Team met at the Sports Pavilion on the 2nd April 2015.

The team were pleased that the Parish Council had agreed to move forward with further investigation into a Community Renewable Energy Scheme, and looked forward to working together in the future.

The Consultation event held by the West Devon Borough Council on the 18th March had been successful. Not only had it been an opportunity to display some of our achievements, but we were able provide some help to neighbouring Parishes who are hoping to prepare their own Plans.

We are waiting to see if our application for grant funding to take us through to the Plan writing stage will be approved. A draft task schedule has been prepared so that if we get the financial assistance, it will be possible to move forward with a sense of purpose. It was agreed that our planning consultant should be engaged to see us through the process.

The allocation of sites for development was discussed in outline. We need input from our planning consultant before we can progress this any further.

Comments in response to the West Devon consultation on the Draft Local Plan are being prepared, and will be submitted before the 13th April deadline.

Our vision and objectives are being reviewed to ensure that they fall into line with the wishes of the community. There will be a further public consultation on these when they are finalised.

Formatting of the Neighbourhood Plan document continues with Bill Hodgetts exercising his photographic and IT skills

Cllr Brian Moore
Project co-ordinator

Report to the Parish Council 26 March 2015

A meeting was held at the Sports Pavilion on the 10th March.

The team were saddened to hear of the death of our ward member Councillor Donald Horn, and noted the date and time of the funeral.

The analysis of the community questionnaire was discussed. An item of particular note was the very strong support for an investigation into a renewable energy scheme to provide direct benefits to the community. It was agreed that Councillor Edmonds should take this matter forward and engage the Parish Council.

A meeting with West Devon Strategic Planning was arranged for Friday 13th March at the Council Offices to discuss allocation of sites and the protocols involved. This meeting has subsequently taken place with positive results.

As we approach the plan writing stage, it was agreed that we should take a fresh look at our visions and objectives having particular regard to the results of the Community Questionnaire.

Discussion about the formatting of the plan and how photographic content should be included, resulted in team member Bill Hodgetts agreeing to undertake research and develop ideas.

A new tranche of money is being made available to Neighbourhood Planning Teams in the form of grants. As we will require professional assistance with the site allocation process and the writing of the Plan it was agreed that we contact Locality to start the application process.

It was agreed that we should support the West Devon Borough Council’s public consultation event on the 18th March. The public showed great support and interest in the Borough Council’s presentation and to our Neighbourhood Planning display. Representatives from neighbouring Parishes also showed interest in developing their own Neighbourhood Planning groups. We have responded to all parishioners and NP groups who requested information.

Brian Moore
Project Co-ordinator

Report to Parish Council 26th February 2015

Lifton Neighbourhood Planning Team

Meetings have been held on the 22nd January and the 19th February.

The team have been asked by West Devon Borough Council’s strategic planning team to join them in their Public Consultation to be held in the Tamar Room on the 18th March from 2.00 pm to 8.00 pm.

We are hoping to be able to display the analysed results of the community survey, and the draft of our Vision and Objectives which will form the backbone of the Neighbourhood Plan. Another highlight will be the draw for the £50.00 shopping voucher for which all participants in the Community Survey have had an opportunity to enter.

Posters have been prepared and will appear shortly.

We now have a list of the infrastructure providers who will need to be consulted during the development of the Plan. A team member is using his IT expertise to produce a format for the plan, and will shortly be going around the Parish taking photographs to illustrate key components of the document.

Our task schedule shows us that we are now operating on a very tight timescale, therefore it seems likely that we shall have to be meeting at least every two weeks.

As a part of our future deliberations we have to achieve an understanding of the impact of the 128 page West Devon Draft Local Plan on our Neighbourhood Plan. This document is presently being examined and the strategic and local implications for Lifton will be extracted. The consultation period for the Draft Local Plan starts today, 26th February 2015, and closes on the 13th April 2015.

Cllr Brian Moore
Project co-ordinator

Report to Lifton Parish Council 15th January 2015

West Devon Borough Council’s draft of the new Local Plan is to be placed before Council Members on the 20th January for approval.

The Strategic Planning Team wish to hold an event in late February/early March for people to be able to view the key messages of the plan, and to ask any questions. Copies of the plan will also be available.

In an email they have stated that they are really keen to share this event with any Neighbourhood Planning Consultation that we may want to do.

This will be discussed at the next meeting of the Neighbourhoopd Planning Team which will take place on the 22nd January 2014. Other matters up for discussion will be the Team’s visions aims and objectives and how they can be taken forward and encapsulated in the Neighbourhood Plan.

The Community questionnaire has been printed and is now being distributed. It is also available for completion online. At https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LIFTONNDP

Brian Moore

Project Co ordinator

Report to Parish Council 11th December 2014

The community questionnaire is in its final draft stages. It had been hoped that this would enable printing to take place next Monday.

We have had to make some amendments to the format because it has been expanded from seven pages to nine, which unfortunately means that it will not now fold sufficiently to fit into A4 envelopes, meaning an upgrade to A3 booklet format. This will increase costs slightly.

Our team member Bill Hodgetts who has worked really hard on the production of this document has been unexpectedly called into the eye hospital for an operation tomorrow (12th December). We wish him well and hope that his vision will be completely restored.

We will meet for an envelope stuffing session as soon as the printing is complete.

The Chairman, Bill Hodgetts (NP Team) and myself attended a meeting at West Devon Borough Council Offices on 5th December. Two important issues are now resolved.

Consultation on the ‘Considering Sites for Development’ document is now complete. A copy has been placed on the PC website.

On a technical issue that has been bothering the team for some time, help will be given with producing Strategic Environmental Assessments to support site allocations. This will remove a potentially large financial obligation from Neighbourhood Planning Teams.

Brian Moore
Project co-ordinator

Please click on the dates to download previous Neighbourhood plan notes

27 November 2014
23 October 2014
25 September
24 July 2014
26 June 2014
28 May 2014
24 April 2014
10 April 2014
6 March 2014
15 February 2014
8 January 2014
2013 reports 

Team Members:
Bill Hodgetts Karen Hodgetts Paul Hedges Peter Morris
Maxine Mullen Chris James Ann James Kayleigh Murphy Steph Moore
Georgina Elias Tim Sutton Woodhouse Martin Hall Brian Moore