Neighbourhood Plan Overview
The Plan’s Vision
Tiverton currently has a population of approximately 21,000 people. This is set to grow with new developments already under way and on the horizon, including the Eastern Urban Extension. The Neighbourhood Plan gives the Tiverton community an opportunity to have a greater say in how the town evolves in the future. Development cannot be stopped, but we can help to shape it and make sure we get the most out of it for our residents.
The Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan will guide planning policy and land use across the whole parish up to 2033.
Sitting alongside the Mid Devon Local Plan and the emerging Greater Exeter Strategic Plan, it will provide guidance at a much more local level.
We are proposing the following long-term vision for Tiverton:
It’s 2033, and the target of net zero carbon emissions set by Tiverton Town Council in 2019 has been achieved, with changes to transport, new building, energy production and efficiency, and agriculture.
Tiverton is a great place to live, set in beautiful countryside and with access to excellent employment opportunities, schools, shops, amenities and transport links. The rural part of the parish retains scattered hamlets among highly productive areas supplying produce locally.
Frequent electric buses run from all parts of the parish to the centre, and to Parkway station and Exeter, and soon driverless taxis will be in place, summoned by an app. Charging points for vehicles (including e-bikes) are widely available.
There are easy off-road cycle and separate pedestrian routes into and around the town, with undercover cycle storage in the town centre, at the bus station and station, and key bus-stops. There are safe cycling routes into Exeter along the Exe Valley, and to the station. There is one parcel delivery service, using electric vehicles or drones. Mobile and fast broadband connectivity are universal.
A network of local shops ensures that people don’t have to drive to buy food and household items.
The town centre is thriving, with vital services such as banks and pharmacies, but also many innovative independent shops and businesses, which together with a lively café culture make visiting the centre a real pleasure. Jewel in the crown is the pannier market, and the centre of the town hosts community events and celebrations. Most of the old town centre buildings have been renovated, with more people living above shops, so that the centre remains a safe and living place in the evening.
New homes are designed in keeping with the local character, and built by low carbon, minimal waste methods, with sustainable heating and waste-water treatment. They range in size and tenure, with a significant proportion affordable by local people, accessible for wheelchairs, with space for homeworking and adequate storage, including for bicycles, buggies and recycling. There are green spaces for play and community growing, carbon capture and flood alleviation.
Existing homes, including those owned by the Council, have high standards of insulation and have been retrofitted with sustainable heating sources and other energy saving features.
Opportunities for employment have expanded in Tiverton, which has small starter business units, high quality light industrial and office premises and a well-educated population. Homes and energy are produced by private, public and community owned organisations. Heathcoat remains an international innovator.
Many farms in the parish have adopted more sustainable methods of mixed farming, including an increase in growing for local markets. There are more community growing areas, both within and outside the town, building on the strong allotment heritage. Green corridors have been enhanced through the town, and areas both within and around have been carefully rewilded.
Tiverton celebrates its roots by protecting its built heritage and iconic views over the surrounding countryside. Signposted and attractive paths and cycle routes cross the town and lead into the country; the riverside walk is popular and the footbridge across the confluence of Exe and Lowman links to the Exe Valley Way. Sustainable tourism has increased, with visitors exploring local shops and historic places including the Canal, the Museum, Knightshayes Court and the surrounding area.
Residents benefit from a wide range of sports and recreation opportunities, and extensive participation in the arts completes the picture of a flourishing town and parish.
The Plan’s Objectives
Housing development in the parish contributes to addressing locally evidenced housing need.
All developments are of high quality – in terms of the use of sustainable materials and maximising energy efficiency – and reflect local character in terms of building style and materials.
Existing homes are improved in energy efficiency by supporting refurbishment. Changes required to bring empty homes back into use are allowed.
The historic and architecturally interesting built environment is conserved and enhanced for future generations, taking opportunities to enable it to be better understood and appreciated.
The biodiversity of the rural environment and open spaces within the parish are conserved and enhanced, giving opportunities for sustainable rural employment, recreational enjoyment and carbon Tree planting, food production for the local market and rural crafts are actively encouraged and supported. Land based activities are carbon neutral by 2030.
Ensuring that the provision of community infrastructure and local facilities is adequate to address the needs and aspirations of existing and future residents in the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
Opportunities for community renewable energy generation using natural resources in the area are strongly supported and encouraged.
The use of public transport (including electric buses), electric vehicles, cycling and walking are prioritised over conventional car use. There is a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists and public transport is effectively connected to ensure free movement.
Employment opportunities are enhanced by improved infrastructure, universal mobile and fast broadband connectivity and a sustainable economy. The thriving town centre has an important role and the buildings there are fully used.
We have divided the work into different topics supported by cross-cutting themes, which will each contribute to delivering the objectives.
The Plan’s Topics and Themes
- Housing– setting out the type of housing we need to address local need.
- Design and Heritage– encouraging high quality design that minimises its impact on the environment. We also want to conserve Tiverton’s special character and its heritage.
- Natural Environment– protecting the rural nature of Tiverton for the enjoyment of our residents and also safeguarding vital habitats for wildlife.
- Community Facilities– making sure that the facilities we have meet the needs of the people of Tiverton.
- Transport and Movement– encouraging more walking and cycling locally and developing new routes.
- Tourism and the Wider Economy– improving our town centre and providing the facilities and activities that will attract visitors to the area.
A group of volunteers has been exploring each topic area to work out what the priorities are and how these can be addressed by the Plan.
Nothing is set in stone! Everyone will have a chance to comment on the draft Plan once it’s ready, but if you would like to get involved before then, please do Contact Us.
Cross Cutting Themes
There are some overarching principles that we feel are so important for Tiverton that we have decided to ensure that every policy in the Plan meets at least one of them. The principles are that development must:
- Contribute towards the mitigation of climate change and promote the benefits of sustainable living.
- Ensure accessibility for those with physical or mental conditions that limit a person’s movements, senses, or activities.
- Provide opportunities for the enrichment of wellbeing and healthy living.
- Conserve the natural and historic environment, providing greater opportunities for its enjoyment and understanding.