The referendum has now been set – press release


Town will have its say on Thursday 24th November

7th November 2024 Dartmouth: After just over three years of hard work from dedicated volunteers, the Town Council, and with a great deal of support from our community, the Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan will be the subject of a referendum on Thursday 24th November.

Neighbourhood Plans were originally introduced by government as a means of allowing local communities to shape and strengthen control over planning.  Now Dartmouth’s own Neighbourhood Plan has reached its final milestone and is up for public referendum. 

Residents will be able to vote on whether or not they support the adoption of the plan that, if adopted, will influence future planning decisions and have legal backing.

Dartmouth’s Plan has been drawn up in consultation with major public bodies and with input and feedback from the public.  Key policies laid out in the plan include

  • safeguarding and enhancing open spaces, public rights of way, access to the river, and protecting 15 special “local green spaces” as identified by our community
  • placing a legal obligation on planners to prevent inappropriate development and protecting Dartmouth’s historic buildings and heritage assets
  • a principal residence clause so that new residential units must only be for those who live in Dartmouth permanently.
  • encouraging planners to support, prioritise and facilitate the development of affordable housing for local people.
  • ensuring Dartmouth has an infrastructure which meets the needs of its residents, businesses and organisations including parking, transport, education and Health and Wellbeing services.
  • measures to mitigate climate change, encourage renewable energy generation and tree planting, reduce flood risk and light pollution, whilst remaining sympathetic to the setting of the Conservation Area.

It should be noted that a Neighbourhood Plan only covers planning matters and land use. Issues such as transport and parking are not part of a Neighbourhood Plan’s remit.

The final version of the Plan is over 100 pages and all residents are urged to visit the website at  and decide if they wish to support the plan or not. Printed copies of the Plan are available to be viewed in a number of public buildings in both Clifton and Townstal including the Guildhall, Dartmouth Visitors Centre, the Townstal Community Hall and the Flavel Library.

Commenting on the Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan reaching this final stage, Robert Brooke Chair of the DNP Steering Group said “The Steering Group is delighted that the Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan will now be put before the town. We have striven to consult as many members of the town as possible and include their views in the Plan. After three years of hard work, we all believe that this Neighbourhood Plan will help to direct the future development of Dartmouth so that our healthy and vibrant community can continue to grow and flourish. We hope that the town will agree and vote in favour of its adoption.”

Cllr Graham Evans who has led the Town Council’s involvement in the plan added, “One of this council’s aspirations was for Dartmouth to finally have its own Neighbourhood Plan.   Thanks to the dedicated volunteers who have led and developed this project, we are proud that this has now been achieved. Now it is up to our residents to deliver their verdict on the Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan and its vision for our town’s future.”

The Dartmouth Neighbourhood Plan Referendum will take place on Thursday 24th November.  Those entitled to vote will have received their Poll Cards from South Hams District Council.

Download a pdf of the press release