Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan

Our Chairman Robert Brooke has written an introduction to the new Neighbourhood Planning effort and relaunched the project with the following message.

“Welcome to the new Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan website.
The Steering Group and the Topic Group Leaders are in place and actively beginning their detailed work. The immediate task is to build further the evidence base we need to support the plan.
Your input is vital. Please go to the Take Part section of this website or to our email address  info@dartmouthplan.org and let us have your messages and enquiries.
Now is the time for you to act. Your input will help us develop suitable plans and policies for Dartmouth for the next 15-20 years.
We intend to provide regular updates so please look out for them on this website.”

Robert Brooke
Chairman of the Steering Group

The Vision of the Steering Group which has been set up to drive forward with the Plan preparation is to ensure that Dartmouth is a flourishing community with a successful economic future. We are particularly keen to create new employment and business opportunities and make sure the Town has an infrastructure to meet the future needs of residents, businesses, workers and tourists.

We want to hear your views and ideas so that we can develop practical policy proposals that will benefit all parts of the community over the next 15-20 years. Individuals, businesses and voluntary groups can all contribute. In return we will seek to keep everyone properly informed in a timely manner. We have created this website with an email contact address to do this

The Vision for Dartmouth towards 2034

Dartmouth is located at the scenic mouth of the River Dart located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designated because of its exceptional countryside, dramatic coastline and waterfront. Dartmouth has limited opportunities for new development. However, any growth within the Neighbourhood Plan area should be sustainable and carefully controlled to meet local needs, respecting both the natural environment and the architectural heritage, protecting biodiversity and making provision against the effects of climate change.

To thrive as a coastal market town for the future, Dartmouth will require a diverse population of permanent residents, second home owners and seasonal visitors with a balanced age structure to ensure the town’s viability for the future as a place to live, work, and visit. Any new housing must reflect, therefore, the needs of such a population, and its integration as one community should be improved and strengthened by enhancing the connections between the upper part of the town and the historic town centre by the river.

To support a successful economic future and a flourishing community, there should be a well-functioning infrastructure, including enhanced broadband, improved transport, health and social care provision, and educational and recreational facilities, particularly for the young, but also for those seeking to develop healthier lifestyles.

The town’s economy will continue to depend in large measure on the tourism it attracts by its exceptional natural setting, marine facilities, historic interest, and cultural events. These attractions should be enhanced by an attractive mix of retail businesses, many of them independent, to meet the requirements of both tourists and residents. However, the town should also look to the future with new employment and business opportunities that reflect a green, changing economy and the revolution in working practices.

The many unique historical, green and urban spaces of Dartmouth will require protection, enhancement and conservation. All are special assets recognised as essential to the health and social well-being of those living and working in the town and vital for its economic and commercial future.

Assumptions & Constraints
In describing this vision, some working assumptions must be stated.

  1. The historic town centre by the river is spatially constrained. Identifying areas for future development will be part of the Neighbourhood Planning process.
  2. The area of the NDP is contained virtually entirely within the South Devon AONB. All development must be aligned to AONB policies for conserving this exceptional landscape.
  3. Any actions to develop the town’s built environment or manage the surrounding natural environment must meet the criteria of sustainability and protection of bio-diversity.
  4. The town’s resilience in the face of rising sea levels and the increased frequency of severe weather events must be addressed in the period covered by the NDP.

Topic Groups to address the interrelated social, economic and environmental
issues to be covered by the plan

  1. Our Economy
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Our Green Environment
  4. The Town Environment

It is essential that each Topic Group focuses primarily on the use and development of land and the associated planning issues. All individual contributors to the NDP process must be alert to the risk of wasting time discussing matters beyond its scope or on which it can only have negligible impact. The inter-relatedness of the topics will make liaison between the Topic Groups essential.

35 Comments Add yours

  1. admin says:

    Hi this is our comments section. We reserve the right to exercise editorial control over this area. We will delete any comments that do not comply with our communication policy

  2. VAL GIBBONS says:

    I was involved in the 2016 group that was discontinued and would be interested in joining the new set-up; hopefully more will come of this one.

    My principal interest would be for more homes to be for those of us who wish to downsize to an apartment/bungalow or similar, thus freeing the larger homes for families. At present, people whom I know are being forced out of Dartmouth to find appropriate accommodation.
    Another push would be the Townstal area to return to its former glory. The present approach to town is downright scruffy. Volunteers do a marvellous job of clearing litter and weeds but it shouldn’t be left to them.
    As a Visitor Centrevolunteer for over a decade, I’m very worried at present by the total lack of parking for visitors who, with no P & R, are unaware of the free parking up there, or the details of the 90 bus timetable from Sainsbury’s. Many visitors probably drive straight of town again and never return.

    1. admin says:

      thank you for your comments Val. I will pass on your interest to our Chairman.

    2. admin says:

      Can you please send us your email address or phone number to chairman@dartmouthplan.org so our Chairman can contact you.

      Thank you

  3. Ray Bridges says:

    Tourism plays a large part in Dartmouth’s economy and the town has a great history but needs to be smartened up. Areas of the town should be pedestrianised such as The Quay, Duke Street, Market Square, Broadstone and Clarence Street. These areas are already treated as pedestrianised by visitors.

    Mayors Avenue should have the pavements repaired and Travis Perkins builders yard (not the retail part) moved up to the industrial estate. The listed medieval warehouses could then be repaired and used as a visitor centre and museum.

    There should be a good and safe slipway built near but away from the Higher Ferry, to encourage more boat users of all kinds to boost Dartmouth’s economy. Negotiations should begin to encourage the MOD to let Dartmouth have some of the large unused areas of the BRNC grounds for parking boats, cars etc. Coronation Park should be kept for physical activity, not used for more storage of boats etc.

    Parking time on the North Embankment should be limited to 4 hours in the winter months. Locals say it is harder to park there in winter months than summer months.

    Pinch points (e.g. at Norton) should be removed on the incorrectly named “A”3122 so that there is a “white line” road all the way to Totnes.

  4. admin says:

    Thank you for your comments Ray they will be passed on to the relevant Topic Group heads as a part of our community consultation process.

  5. Paul Grice says:

    Can I ask what plans are proposed for electric vehicle charging points in dartmouth and the surrounding area. Hybrid and Full electric car are becoming more popular and this will only increase in the future. The benefits for air quality and climate change are something I would hope is being considered now . The closest charging point currently is at Little Coombe Farm and obviously this is some way out of the town. The introduction of Lamp post charging points or designated charging areas would be of huge benefit to the town .

  6. admin says:

    I know that Councillor Ged Yardy of Dartmouth Town Council is looking in to this issue for the Town Council and that there are discussions about putting charging points in at the new Health Center by the Park & Ride. However the Neighbourhood Planning steering group will be looking at the long term strategy for this, as we agree you are right about the rapid growth of EV’s. I read recently that EV’s are now outselling diesel cars in the UK!! Please watch for our plan.

  7. Hilary Stevenson says:

    Having just read Ray Bridges comments, I find he has pre-empted me on many things I was going to say! Great minds think alike! However, there are a couple of points I would like to add, which I already outlined in a letter to the Dartmouth Chronicle several weeks ago.
    People have commented recently about the “Mediterranean” cafe style Dartmouth developed over the Covid summer. It made me think that we need to value the views of our beautiful river-front more. At present, the cars and, more importantly, the high-sided vehicles parked along the west bank of the river impede the view. I suggest a reorganisation of parking along this stretch. Parking along the Mayors Avenue Gardens side of the road could be rearranged as “bonnet to kerb” in a herringbone style. I believe that, in so doing, parking on the river side of the road could then be dispensed with incurring little or no loss of parking spaces.
    I agree with Ray Bridges’ idea of more pedestrianisation of our streets. The crowds in Duke Street over the summer, coupled with the Sloping Deck’s outside seating under the Butterwalk (which, by the way, I think was a good idea) meant that people had no option but to overspill into the road. Vehicles turning left into Duke Street from the Boat Float have poor visibility at the best of times, in my view it is a potential accident black spot. Most people drive reasonably slowly when negotiating the corner, but not everybody does.
    The speed limit is 30 mph, which is too fast for the town centre, it really would make sense to adopt a 20mph throughout the town as has been done in many others. As it is, there is a reckless minority amongst us who does not respect even the 30mph limit, particularly when descending the hill from Townstal Rd to Victoria Road. So, hopefully a 20 mph limit might curb their enthusiasm a little!
    When considering pedestrianisation of our roads, I think that the one-way system around the boat float could be extended into Duke Street and beyond as far as the end of the market (opposite M & Co) where a mini roundabout would provide a transition to the upper part of Victoria Rd which would remain two-way.
    I read today that, without the second lockdown, the South-West was in danger of having all its hospital beds overwhelmed by Covid patients. Apparently we have fewer beds per head of population than other areas. We have known about this, of course, for some time in Dartmouth. We really ought to make sure that the Health/Medical centre (I don’t know its official title) being built at the top of town has some beds. There is still a notice outside Dartmouth “Hospital” redirecting minor injuries patients to Totnes, whose Minor Injuries unit has been closed. We really are not well-served by the Health Service in Dartmouth. I know we have been promised improvement but we must be vigilant in order to get the best possible outcome for the town.
    There are so many other things I could add: becoming a “green” town, both by protecting the open spaces we already have, but also by creating others. Green in the other sense of the word by committing to reusable energy and encouraging green industries to relocate here which would provide the jobs we need to create. Tourism is, of course, our “Golden Goose” but I believe we must diversify in the future, as too many people are dependent upon low-wage, temporary summer jobs.
    I think I ought to stop now in the interests of brevity!

    1. admin says:

      Many thanks foryour input.I willpass your comments on to the steering group for a response.

  8. Janie Harford says:

    I would like to to register my support for keeping Jawbones and Manor Gardens as green spaces for the use of residents and visitors, and not sold off for building, or commercial use for the benefit of SHDC.

  9. Karen McMaster says:

    I agree with Janie Harford. It is important that we keep our green spaces for the enjoyment of everyone. They contribute to the character of the town and must not be sold off for profit, or any building purposes.

    1. Peter Goldstraw says:

      Our thanks to everyone who posted support for Local Green Space designation within our Neighbourhood Plan. This is exactly the evidence we need to collate if we are to obtain this protection against the wishes of the landowners. Please ask friends and neighbours to keep the comments coming!

      Peter Goldstraw

  10. Ian McMaster says:

    It is important the Town’s remaining green spaces are protected and I applaud the work of the Neighbourhood Plan Team to get sites at Jawbones and Manor Gardens designated as Local Green Spaces. Attempts by SHDC to hinder this process – presumably for commercial gain – should be strongly resisted.

    1. Peter Goldstraw says:

      Our thanks to everyone who posted support for Local Green Space designation within our Neighbourhood Plan. This is exactly the evidence we need to collate if we are to obtain this protection against the wishes of the landowners. Please ask friends and neighbours to keep the comments coming!

      Peter Goldstraw

  11. Liane Baldock says:

    It is really important that Jawbones Beacon Park is kept as a green space for people to enjoy in perpetuity. A great deal of work was put in by the Dart Area Landscape and Access Group (DALAG), with help from the cadets at BRNC and Dartmouth Green Partnership, to improving the area with picnic benches and 4 view points looking out over BRNC, Dartmoor, Start Bay and the Daymark and estuary. There is an inner circular walk and also one around the perimeter. There is almost always someone walking their dog around it and it is also a great place to exercise for those who need a flat and level path and who cannot cope with the other mainly hilly walks around Dartmouth. It makes a good stopping off place on the very popular Diamond Jubilee Way, also created by DALAG, for a rest and somewhere to sit down and enjoy the spectacular views over all the surrounding countryside.

    1. Peter Goldstraw says:

      Our thanks to everyone who posted support for Local Green Space designation within our Neighbourhood Plan. This is exactly the evidence we need to collate if we are to obtain this protection against the wishes of the landowners. Please ask friends and neighbours to keep the comments coming! Peter Goldstraw

  12. Anne Cave-Penney says:

    I would like to register my support for keeping Manor Gardens and Jawbones as green spaces for the use if residents and visitors, and not sold off for residential or commercial development for the benefit of South Hams District Council.

    1. Peter Goldstraw says:

      Thank you so much for your support. If we are to convince the independent inspector to designate the Local Green Spaces against the opposition of the landowner we need to show public support for the proposal. Thank you for providing this. Please ask friends and neighbours to support us also.
      Peter Goldstraw
      Chair Green Environment Topic Group
      Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan

  13. Mrs Welbourn says:

    I feel it would be a great mistake to allow any local green spaces to remain open to the possibility of development, especially when residents are asking that they should be protected for local use. These spaces are finate and once built over, cannot be brought back.

    1. Peter Goldstraw says:

      Thank you so much for your support. If we are to convince the independent inspector to designate the Local Green Spaces against the opposition of the landowner we need to show public support for the proposal. Thank you for providing this. Please ask friends and neighbours to support us also.
      Peter Goldstraw
      Chair Green Environment Topic Group
      Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan

  14. F. Cooper says:

    I wish to register my support for Manor Gardens and Jawbones Beacon Park to be designated Local Green Spaces (LGS), to preserve them for the local community and to protect them from future development.

  15. Peter Goldstraw says:

    Thank you so much for your support. If we are to convince the independent inspector to designate the Local Green Spaces against the opposition of the landowner we need to show public support for the proposal. Thank you for providing this. Please ask friends and neighbours to support us also.
    Peter Goldstraw
    Chair Green Environment Topic Group
    Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan

  16. Peter Goldstraw says:

    Mrs Welbourne,
    We are grateful for your support foir the sites in the Parish we have nominated for Local Green Space designation. We really need more members of our Community to come forward to support this initiative.
    Best wishes,
    Peter Goldstraw

  17. Peter Goldstraw says:

    Mrs Baldock,
    I entirely agree with your summary of the importance of Jawbones Beacon Park and the role that DALG played in its develkopment. Like you I am surprised and dismayed that SHDC supported the creation of the park as recently as 2014 but now wish tpo rerserve the right to develop the site in the future. Please encouage the other members of your group to support this desigantion, and that of all of the sites we wish to protect within our Parisg, nby posting messages om our web sitre.
    Best wishes,
    Peter Goldstraw

  18. Lizzie Helyer says:

    I would like Jawbones allotments to be included in the green space of Dartmouth. Hon Secretary, Jawbones allotment Association

    1. admin says:

      Many thanks for your support . I will pass on your comments to Peter Goldstraw who is Chairman of the responsible group.

  19. Annie Lovell says:

    The Dart Area Landscape Access Group

    Press Statement for Jawbones Beacon Path 2014

    Having successfully launched Dartmouth’s very popular walking route, the Diamond Jubilee Way, which was opened officially in 2012 by the Commodore of the Britannia Royal Naval College, the Dart Area Landscape Access Group (DALAG) will be opening its Jawbones Beacon Park project 31st May 2014. The Jawbones Hill car park is already one of the three main starting points for the roughly diamond-shaped route.

    The celebrated national and local personality, Jonathan Dimbleby, has kindly consented to carry out the official opening ceremony of this the first stage of the wildlife-friendly park which comprises the newly installed picnic area and three of the four planned viewing points. This comprises of the newly installed picnic area and three of the four planned viewing points which, in response to DALAG’s involvement, have been opened up by landowners South Hams District Council, giving fantastic all-round vistas from this lofty position above the lovely town and its river. DALAG hopes that owners of adjoining land will one day agree to the creation of permissive footpaths that will provide a direct pedestrian link with the town .
    Until about thirty years ago, Jawbones was a local authority infill site. It has since been more or less left to naturalise, though a sheltering belt of native broadleaved trees was planted some years ago around the perimeter and is now maturing nicely. A lot of invasive scrub has had to be cleared as part of the process of transforming the 6.3ha plateau, some of which has been done by the toil and sweat of willing BRNC cadets. The Dartmouth Green Partnership (formerly Dartmouth in Bloom) has begun planting wildflowers at several key locations, which will soon become a picture to behold, as well improving this important wildlife habitat.

    Devon County Council, South Hams District Council plus local businesses and voluntary organisations provided the funding for the Diamond Jubilee Way. Similarly, DALAG has been the catalyst for the development of Jawbones Beacon Park, with the collaboration of South Hams, the sponsorship of Western Power Distribution and further generous financial contributions from local residents.

    Of course, people coming along to the opening ceremony on the 31st May 2014 are invited to bring refreshments with them. After all, the new picnic area will be at the centre of the proceedings.

    Nick Wood
    (Secretary, DALAG)

    The press release above about the opening of the Jawbones Beacon Park Project is even more pertinent now in 2021.
    Covid 19 has heightened our awareness of the benefits of physical, mental and emotional well being generated through engaging with the outdoors; Jawbones Beacon Park and the Diamond Jubilee Way grace Dartmouth with world class landscapes and connectivness to history and the natural world.
    Public benefits of land with open green space, historic 360 degree views of Stoke Fleming and Start Bay, Dartmoor, the River Dart and Britannia Royal Naval College, Kingswear and the Mouth of the River Dart need protecting and kept open for us and future generations to enjoy.
    These outstanding timeless views must be held and cherished as public goods for posterity.

    1. admin says:

      Many thanks for reminding us of your great initiative back in 2014. I remember that the Dart Gallery, which we ran on lower street helped you with a little funding for the Jubilee Way so it is well worth remembering how important this location is to the town.

      Paul Reach
      Website admin

  20. Rob Lovell says:

    Dartmouth needs green spaces. Contained to the east by the Dart, restricted to the north by BRNC the only escape on foot from the dense housing of lower Dartmouth is up towards Jawbones.
    The Government Green Structure Plan identifies the benefits of access to green spaces as well as directing local authorities to plan for these.
    Jawbones Beacon Park, as the name beacon implies, provides outstanding opportunities to enjoy the spectacular views and connect with the natural world as well as our history.
    It is important for residents and tourists to be able to step aside from the busy streets and breathe comfortably within Manor Gardens.
    The wellbeing of those who live within the locality and the attractiveness of Dartmouth’s tourist industry need to take into account the importance of green spaces. Identifying the above two, authority owned sites recognises that the geography of the Dart estuary limits choice and both are irreplaceable green assets.

    1. admin says:


      Many thanks for your support and valuable input to our Plans. I will forwardx your comments to the steering group to make sure they take account of your views in their deliberations.
      Paul Reach
      Web Admin

  21. Peter Goldstraw says:

    Thank you for your support for our efforts to convince SHDC that there is strong community support for these sites to gain protection as Local Green Spaces within our developing Neighbourhood Pland for Dartmouth. The responses to date are valuab;le evidence we will place before the independent examiner.
    Peter Goldstraw

  22. Hedley Piper says:

    From your list of “contested” green spaces it would appear that the landlord is SHDC.
    Amongst their problems they are chronically short of cash as they have to provide the normal community services but have a rather small population base. They are intent on protecting any area that they own that has a potential for profit, including the comb mud flats, riverside of the North Embankment. (The proposed new boat launching ramp is eyed by them as a source of income, as is the new Health and Welfare Office block,( no beds ), on which the NHS will be paying rent to SHDC for the foreseeable future.

    One tactic that might move them is to instigate all the possible legal moves to have those areas declared as community green spaces and oblige them to go to court each time. Funds could be raised for each site, there might even be an element of the legal world that would do some of it probono. Once SHDC realised that they were going to face continued legal costs they might become serious in co-operating. For example is there any possible way to pry the “New Ground” Mayor’s avenue parking lot back into the Town. It must have had some form of deed or covenant on its creation. SHDC would certinly take notice of that.

    On street parking is the remit of DCC. Would they consider herring bone parking lanes on College way? There is about 7 acres of land that could provide parking , out of site of the town, and would result in traffic calming down college way. The park and ride buses could use it for those unable to walk.

    There is a known phenomena that the more road side instructions there are: signs, traffic lights, directions, priorities, the less people take responsibility for looking out for themselves and for others. I am against designating pedestrian areas beyond that which we have. drivers and pedestrians at the moment look out for each other. And road signs and instructions are ugly, the fewer the better.

    On s

    1. Tony Tudor says:

      Hello Hedley. The changes in the Local Government arrangements back in the early 1970’s meant that assets were transferred to District Authorities so there is no legal obligation for them to part with such transferred assets.

      As for the College Way situation it would affect BRNC (which probably owns the 7 acres you mention). Meetings are to take place which will enable that possibility to be discussed. Thanks for your comment on possible pedestianisation.

      Pedestrianisation, parking issues, public transport and other aspects of transport need to form part of a Transport Study considering the implications of possible changes. Such a study will require the input of DCC, SHDC and DTC amongst others. DTC has already indicated its support for such a study which will inform what might be done to address a number of transport issues in an holistic way.

  23. Peter Goldstraw says:

    Thank you for your interest in the Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan. Clearly your comments span a number of the Topic Groups. As the lead for the Green Environment TG the comment regarding “Community Green Spaces” is relevant to my part of the NP. I have to admit that I am unfamiliar with this designation. I am familiar with “Assets of Community Value” which we successfuly obtained for the Community Orchard, but this did not involve legal advice. Can you point me in the right direction?

    Peter Goldstraw
    Chair, Green Environment Topic Group
    Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan

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