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5 Questions answered about the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan including the Latest News

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

1. What exactly are Neighbourhood Plans?

This is a scheme set up by the government through the 2011 Localism Act, which has been adopted all over the country. In East Devon there are already 12 Plans made and 28 more in production. The idea is to give local communities a say in how their neighbourhood, parish or town develops. The Plans are created by the community via public consultations and are then voted on by the community. They cover all types of potential developments, such as new homes and community facilities. They are about guiding development, not preventing it. So, they are about encouraging progress and change but ensuring that the wishes of the local community are considered. They are statutory documents that must be used by councils when assessing planning applications. This is the first time that community-led plans have had a statutory status. There is also a substantial benefit of two thirds more money available to Neighbourhood Plan areas to implement its chosen projects.

2. What does the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan cover?

Exmouth is one of the large towns in the country now putting together a Neighbourhood Plan but is exceptional in producing a single plan for the whole town. Following extensive public consultation since April 2016, the wishes of the community have been divided up into 6 areas:

  • the natural environment

  • the built environment

  • economy and employment

  • housing

  • getting about

  • community facilities

It includes a wealth of ideas and suggestions, but some highlights are: improvements to the valley parks; the Queens Drive Development; affordable housing; the creation of a transport interchange; improvements to cycle routes; and improvements to the town centre. The aim is that all of the objectives in the Plan should be realised in the next 10 years.

3. What is the latest news on the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan?

The Examiner has now completed the examination of the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan and has agreed that a public referendum can take place on 21 March 2019.

4. What part has the ECA played?

The ECA has played a big part in the Plan and will continue to take a close interest, as this is the first time that the residents of Exmouth have had such a significant chance to the shape the town’s future. Several members of the ECA management committee are involved in the Plan, including three who are on the Steering Group, which is responsible for managing the Plan.

5. I wasn’t aware of the Neighbourhood Plan – is it too late to put forward my views?

Although the public consultation has finished, you will get a chance to vote in the referendum on 21 March 2019. Voting cards have been sent out in the post this week but do you don’t need them to vote. Please do vote as every vote counts!

Please visit the Neighbourhood Plan website for more information: http://www.exmouthneighbourhoodplan.uk or their Facebook page: https://en-gb.facebook.com/exmouthneighbourhoodplan/.

If the Plan is supported by Exmouth voters, we will keep you informed about how it is being implemented and which projects are being given priority. Once Exmouth has an approved Neighbourhood Plan it will be the basis for shaping the town into the future and will be reviewed every few years. So, although it’s too late to influence the first version you can register your views for the next one.

Please also see the East Devon District Council Website for more information:


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