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Torbay Connected

Planning requirements and expectations

Legible places are successful places. Torbay Connected aims to use a framework of natural legibility to form the basis of place enhancement through art and cultural commissioning and development.

Through integrating cultural projects into our buildings and spaces in a structured way we form a strong foundation for exploring and showcasing our rich of cultural, geological and social heritage that will help to promote distinctive and enjoyable places for both residents and visitors. 

 Enhanced place making using improved legibility to focus activity is integral to the development of a successful Torbay.  The ambitions of Torbay Connected are grounded in the spatial planning and development process and should be considered at an early stage with developers and planners.

 Policy context:

The ambitions of Torbay as set out in the Mayors Vision document is for a connected and sustainable built and natural environment that is promoted as a city.  The Local Development Framework forms the vehicle for the spatial planning ambitions of Torbay, within this context Torbay Connected is placed as a strategic tool that has been developed to help promote connected and legible development.

1.   Relevant national planning policy

1.1  PPS1: Delivering Sustainable Development (2005)


33. Good design ensures attractive usable, durable and adaptable places and is a key element in achieving sustainable development. Good design is indivisible from good planning.

 34. Planning authorities should plan positively for the achievement of high quality and inclusive design for all development, including individual buildings, public and private spaces and wider area  development schemes. Good design should contribute positively to making places better for people. Design which is inappropriate in its context, or which fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions, should not be accepted.

 35. High quality and inclusive design should be the aim of all those involved in the development process. High quality and inclusive design should create well-mixed and integrated developments which avoid segregation and have well-planned public spaces that bring people together and provide opportunities for physical activity and recreation. It means ensuring a place will function well and add to the overall character and quality of the area, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development. This requires carefully planned, high quality buildings and spaces that support the efficient use of resources. Although visual appearance and the architecture of individual buildings are clearly factors in achieving these objectives, securing high quality and inclusive design goes far beyond aesthetic considerations. Good design should:

– address the connections between people and places by considering the needs of people to access jobs and key services;

– be integrated into the existing urban form and the natural and built environments;

– be an integral part of the processes for ensuring successful, safe and inclusive villages,

towns and cities;

– create an environment where everyone can access and benefit from the full range of opportunities available to members of society; and,

– consider the direct and indirect impacts on the natural environment.

1.2 PPG 17: Planning for Open space, sports and recreation (2002)

Planning For New Open Space And Sports And Recreational Facilities

General principles

20. In identifying where to locate new areas of open space, sports and recreational facilities, local authorities should:

i. promote accessibility by walking, cycling and public transport, and ensure that facilities are accessible for people with disabilities;

ii. locate more intensive recreational uses in sites where they can contribute to town centre vitality and viability;

iii. avoid any significant loss of amenity to residents, neighbouring uses or biodiversity;

iv. improve the quality of the public realm through good design;

v. look to provide areas of open space in commercial and industrial areas;

vi. add to and enhance the range and quality of existing facilities;

vii. carefully consider security and personal safety, especially for children;

viii. meet the regeneration needs of areas, using brownfield in preference to Greenfield sites;

ix. consider the scope for using any surplus land for open space, sport or recreational use,

weighing this against alternative uses;

x. assess the impact of new facilities on social inclusion; and

xi. consider the recreational needs of visitors and tourists.

2.   Local planning and development policy

The values and ambitions of Torbay Connected are supported through the:

1. Green Infrastructure Delivery Plan  (consultation draft)

2.  Torquay Harbour Area Action Plan 


3. Urban Design Guide SPD


4. On a crest of a wave: A strategy for the arts and creative industries in Torbay: 2006 -2016

5. Local Transport plan

6. Heritage Strategy  (consultation draft)


3.   Delivery of Torbay Connected

It will be expected that major developments will be required to demonstrate how the development seeks to contribute to the areas sense of place and distinctiveness through specific proposals made within the Design and Access statement for each development.

Key developments that are identified within the framework priority area will also be further expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the legibility of the streetscape.

Information will be required on the following:

1.   How the development has been designed to promote the visual connectivity and legibility within the streetscape.

2.   How the development has been designed to reflect and promote the sense of place and local distinctiveness.

3.   How the work of creative practitioners (artists, craft makers and designers) have been /or will be employed to ensure that the development contributes to the public streetscene.


4.   Demonstration of practice

The application and understanding of good practice placemaking is an emerging area of expertise; it will be expected that the Case Officer will take specific advise from the Torbay Design Review Panel and internal advise from the Community Partnerships Officer to determine the level of acceptability of material contained with the planning application.

It will be expected that design work and proposals will be integrated into the planning application at an early stage;  bolt on proposals or financial contributions will not be accepted except in extraordinary circumstances.


DIY Statue, Dumfries as part of waterfront development

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