The day finally arrived on 2nd May 2019 when registered voters in Paignton voted ‘Yes’ to the Neighbourhood Plan produced by the Forum of more than 400 residents from all parts of Paignton.
Briefly, the Localism Act of 2011 gave our community the right to produce a statutory plan that sets out how the community wish to see Paignton develop to 2030. It is a development plan produced by our community itself, not the Council, and has been independently assessed by an Examiner jointly appointed by the Forum and Torbay Council.
On the same day, a ‘Yes’ vote was also received for Neighbourhood Plans similarly produced by the adjacent communities in Torquay and Brixham. In all 30,011 voters in total said yes to the 3 Neighbourhood Plans – the largest support ever given for plans to guide the future development of Torbay.
All three Neighbourhood Plans define the areas of Local Green Space that must be protected from development because of their importance to the community served – there are 53 such designated sites across the five parts of Paignton. The Plan also contains formal policies which support future development proposals provided they achieve sustainable development that takes properly into account the full range of economic, social and environmental needs.
The Paignton Neighbourhood Plan has four key aims our community has said it wishes to see achieved: 1) Make more of the tourism and retail offer, 2) Improve points of arrival and connection 3) Protect local identity; 4) Ensure there is balanced development – which means ensuring housing growth is matched with job growth.
More than 43,000 residents live in Paignton and prior to approval the Independent Examiner held a Hearing in public on the content of the Plan and in her Report concluded the consultation process was robust, well conducted and recorded., which included leaflet information sent to every household in Paignton.