Welcome to the Pre-Submission Consultation Page for the Northam Neighbourhood Plan.

Response to the pre-submission feedback

Following the completion of the pre-submission consultation period, the Northam Neighbourhood Plan’s working group read, collated and considered the feedback. That working group is made up of elected members and a member of the public, supported by the Deputy Town Clerk.

The working group has been meeting throughout the spring and will start again in late June following the hiatus caused by the election in May this year.

Progress will be reported to the next Northam Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Group meeting, to be held 29th June 2023 at 6.30pm, following every six weeks thereafter. Members of the public are welcome to attend the NNP Advisory Group meetings.

For a brief outline of the policies, scroll down the page.


Northam Neighbourhood Plan


How to have your say:

fill in this survey online (or print it out if you wish) and drop it into one of the places below.

Paper Copies of the Northam Neighbourhood Plan and the survey will be available at:

The Library in Appledore.

The Library and The Town Hall in Northam.

Summerlands Tackle in Westward Ho!




Pre-Submission Consultation details

The formal consultation period will last from the 6th January to 17th February 2023.

To read the Neighbourhood Plan document, or it appendices, click the picture to the left (The Plan) or right (the Appendices).

The remainder of this page contains a summary of the Northam Neighbourhood Plan.

Should you want to know more, or ask questions before you consider your comments, please come along to one of the face-to-face sessions the Council is organising:

Meet members of the Council and the Advisory Group to answer questions and talk things through.

Wednesday 8th February, APPLEDORE: St. Mary’s Church Hall 3pm to 7pm
Thursday 9th February, NORTHAM: Town Hall, Windmill Lane 3pm to 7pm
Monday 13th February, WESTWARD HO!: Kingsley Hall 3pm to 7pm

Should you wish to make comments about the Neighbourhood Plan, its policies or contents, please follow this link to a survey page, or download the paper version here.

Completed paper surveys can be dropped into the Council Offices at the Town Hall on Windmill Lane, by midday on the 17th February 2023.




Northam Neighbourhood Plan - Appendices



The Northam Neighbourhood Plan Policies

Community - Policy: CF1 Community Facilities

Objective: The protection of existing community facilities, and support for the development of new community facilities in Northam, Westward Ho! and Appledore.

Policy: Development will be supported where:

A. there is no loss of community facilities for which there is evidence of on-going demand and community value; and  

B. it adds new or enhances current provision of community facilities; or

C. it increases the availability of open spaces for sport and recreation purposes.


Housing Needs - Policy: HO1 Size of Dwellings

Objective: Local housing needs will be met in a suitable fashion through the provision of smaller dwellings (up to three bedrooms). These new dwellings should be flexible, adaptable and accessible to cater for changing household needs.


A. The provision of smaller dwellings (those with one, two or three bedrooms) will be supported, with particular emphasis on the provision of more bungalows. (Rooms otherwise designated on plans, but clearly capable of use as bedrooms, will be counted as bedrooms for the purposes of this policy)

B. New dwellings should be designed to be flexible, adaptable, and accessible to cater for the changing needs of a typical household.



Affordable Housing - Policy: HO2 New Affordable Housing

Objective: The provision of affordable housing through viability assessments will be maximised.


A. Viability assessments that make affordable housing levels subject to returns expected by developers will only be accepted where:

  1. they are based on an ‘open book’ financial appraisal open to public scrutiny, including the developer’s justification for the expected level of return; and
  2. the benchmark land value is the existing use value of land plus a reasonable premium based on the circumstances applicable to the development.

B. If the return provided for in the viability assessment is exceeded, then an additional financial contribution towards affordable housing shall be paid to the LPA in accordance with a formula set out in a developer obligation attached to the planning permission.


Residential Design and Amenity - Policy: HO3 Residential Design and Amenity

Objective: The design of residential development will ensure the amenity of new dwellings and protect the amenity of neighbouring properties.

Policy: Residential development will be supported where:

A. Sufficient private and public amenity space is provided to ensure usable outdoor space which creates a healthy environment meeting the needs of the occupants; and

B. Overlooking of neighbouring properties and gardens detrimental to residential amenity is avoided; and

C. An increase in height over any replaced building is consistent with the height and form of neighbouring properties, fits unobtrusively with the character of the street scene and safeguards the amenity of residents of adjacent buildings.

D. If a dwelling is being designed to be adaptable over time to meet changing needs, then the impact of such future extension should be considered in its orientation, plot size and relationship to other properties.





The design of development should reflect and respect the character of the local built and natural environment.

The design of new dwellings should include the provision of suitable and well-designed storage space.



1. Development will be supported where it reflects local character and context, creates a strong sense of place, and includes design of an environmentally friendly nature.

i) the use and re-use of traditional materials and low ecological impact materials and techniques;

ii) is visually attractive as the result of good architecture, layout and appropriate effective landscaping, and functions well adding to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term, but also over the lifetime of the development; and

iii) includes supporting information which clearly demonstrates how existing key features and assets of the site such as biodiversity, natural views, built structures, landmarks including mature trees, water courses and hedges are impacted by the proposal. Any negative impact on these features must be accompanied by appropriate mitigation measures. 

2. Residential development will be supported where:

i) Suitable provision for general storage space is provided in all dwellings and externally accessible space provided for storing garden equipment and tools, as well as play equipment and bicycles; and

ii) Household refuse storage space  is externally accessible from the front of the house and is accessible from the kitchen without having to go through a living room.



Buildings, Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction - Policy: HO5 Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction

Objectives: Sustainable development should include renewable energy and water recycling systems.

Community-scale renewable energy production schemes will be supported.


A. New residential development or improvement to existing dwellings will be supported where:

  1. increased energy efficiency measures are incorporated with the aim of increasing the number of zero carbon dwellings;
  2. alternative energy systems are incorporated and in the case of new dwellings, to promote energy efficiency, consideration is given to the orientation of dwellings in order that living rooms can iii. benefit from passive solar gain.

B. Development of new dwellings and other buildings will be supported where:

  1. electric car charging points are incorporated; and
  2. rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling systems are incorporated.

C. Proposals for community scale alternative energy systems (for example, wind generators) will be supported where there is no adverse impact on residential amenity, landscape setting or biodiversity. Proposals should be accompanied by an independent assessment of their siting, scale and setting in the landscape and impact on biodiversity.

D. To reduce carbon emissions and pollution provision must be made for accessible public transport to serve all new developments.



Residential Parking - POLICY: TR1 Residential Parking Provision

Objectives: In new dwellings parking for cars and bicycles will be provided in proportion to the number of bedrooms. 

Provision for public and private electric charging points in new developments will be supported.

Policy: Residential development will be supported where:

A. it provides off-street parking spaces as follows:

  •      1 bedroom dwellings – 1 space
  •      2 bedroom dwellings – 2 spaces
  •      3 bedroom dwellings – 2 spaces
  •      4 bedroom dwellings – 3 spaces

Developments of four or more dwellings provide one further off-street car parking space per four dwelling units.

B. it incorporates provision of publicly accessible and private electric vehicle charging points within the curtilage of the development; and

C. it incorporates secure and accessible cycle parking, preferably covered from the weather, and providing one space per bedroom for each dwelling and one space per five dwellings for visitors’ bicycles.


The Environment and Heritage - Policy: EN1 Local Green Spaces

Objective: To improve, protect and enhance valued local green spaces.

Policy: The following locations are designated as Local Green Spaces and potential Assets of Community Value:

  • Rectory Gardens, Fore Street, Northam
  • Allotments South of Marshford, Churchill Way, Northam
  • Land known as Blackies, Torridge Road, Appledore
  • The Cricket Ground, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho!
  • Humpty-Dumpty Field, Great Burrow Rise, Northam
  • Westward Ho! Park, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho! (owned by Northam Town Council)
  • Escarpment Woodland between Bay View Road and Atlantic Way
  • Anchor Park, Appledore (owned by Northam Town Council)
  • Village Green, The Backfield, Appledore
  • Hillcliff Gardens, Irsha Street, Appledore
  • Tors View, off Cornborough Drive, Westward Ho!
  • The village green, Westward Ho!
  • Appledore Football Club Ground, Churchill Way
  • Bideford Blues Junior FC Sports Complex
  • Knapp Wood, Churchill Way
  • Burrough Farm, Northam (owned by Northam Town Council)

Development that does not enhance the value of these areas as Local Green Spaces will not be supported unless exceptional circumstances apply.



Community Identity - Policy: EN2 Prevention of Coalescence

Objective: To Resist the Coalescence Between the Built Forms of Appledore and and Northam/Westward Ho!

Policy: Development that would lead to or contribute to coalescence between the development boundaries of Northam, Appledore and Westward Ho! as defined on Map N1 will not be supported to ensure the distinct identities of the respective settlements are maintained.


Rural Landscapes - Policy: EN3 Protecting rural character

Objective: To protect the rural setting of Appledore, Northam and Westward Ho! and the special character of the area provided by its coastal and estuarine location.

Policy: Within the area shown on Map N2 development will be supported provided that:

  1. it does not detract from the unspoilt character and appearance, dark skies and tranquillity of the area;
  2. it conserves, restores, or adds traditional earth banks or hedgerows as boundaries, with the use of native broadleaf tree and hedgerow species, to integrate the development with the rural character of the area;
  3. it does not harm the setting of Northam Burrows or the South West Coast Path;
  4. there is safe convenient access to the development by foot, bicycle, vehicle and public transport; and
  5. it is required because it cannot reasonably be located outside the area defined on Map N1.



 Rural Landscapes - Policy: EN4 Protecting Valued Views

Objective: To preserve specified views of community value in order to maintain a sense of place, well­being and community identity in Northam Parish.

Policy: Development will be supported where it does not detract from the character and appearance of the environment, and does not harm the views identified on Map N3 (a) to (g) and detailed in Appendix 2 with the photo-vistas attached.

These viewpoints are:

  • Pimpley Bridge, Northam Burrows looking north-east to Staddon Hill,   Appledore and
  • East towards Northam/Westward Ho!.
  • Bone Hill, Northam looking north and north-west towards Appledore.
  • Bidna Hill looking east and south-east along the South West Coast Path.
  • Lookout Field, Staddon Hill, Appledore looking southwest towards Westward Ho!.
  • Windmill Lane, Northam, from the field access looking north and north-east in the direction of the ridge extending from Bidna to Diddywell.
  • Village Green, Backfield, Appledore, looking north towards Blackies Wood.
  • Staddon Road, Appledore, looking south-west towards Long Lane and Northam Burrows.



The Environment and Heritage - Policy HE1 Protection of Heritage Assets

Objective: To protect and enhance buildings and places of heritage and community value, ensuring that the Parish of Northam retains its rich historic environment and sense of place.


A. Great weight will be given to conservation and enhancement of heritage assets listed in the Northam Parish List of Local Heritage Assets (NPLLHA). Development will be supported only where it conserves and enhances the archaeology and/or fabric, setting, and significance of a heritage asset listed in the NPLLHA, and;

B. Development which impacts upon a heritage asset listed in the NPLLHA will be supported providing those proposals demonstrate increased opportunities for access, education, and public appreciation of the historic environment, or propose other viable uses for the asset consistent with its conservation.

C. Where a heritage asset listed in the NPLLHA shows signs of neglect or deliberate damage, the harm done to the asset will be accorded no weight in any decision on its future.

D. Development of any designated or non-designated heritage assets will be supported where it uses vernacular design and materials, thereby reinforcing local character and distinctiveness and a strong sense of place.

Environmental Protection - Policy: EN5 Protection of Biodiversity

Objective: To Protect and Enhance Areas of Biodiversity and Green Corridors to Ensure that the Parish of Northam Continues to Have a Species-Rich, Diverse Range of Flora and Fauna.

Policy: A. Development proposals will be supported where:

  1. They retain and/or enhance the biodiversity of the site, including mature trees, hedgerows, hedge banks and areas of woodland; they improve the    connectivity of wildlife areas through green corridors; and/or improve the wildlife value of the landscape, including domestic garden habitats.
  2. If adjacent to or within primary green corridors as defined on Maps N5(a) and N5(b) they maintain and enhance the corridors’ function and demonstrate measures to secure connectivity of the corridor, thus supporting continued free movement of species through the site.
  3. They conserve, protect, and enhance non-statutory and undesignated   wildlife areas as listed in Appendix 6 and listed in the Devon Biodiversity Records for Northam.

B. Proposals which are likely to have an adverse impact on local biodiversity, will only be supported where it can be demonstrated that full consideration has been given to the biodiversity on the development site and its protection and enhancement. When there is no alternative which would cause a less harmful impact, mitigation measures should be introduced which result in a net enhancement to the site's biodiversity. As a last resort, acceptable local alternative habitat must be provided which increases biodiversity compared to the development site.



Sustainable Transport - Policy: TR2 Cycle and Pedestrian Routes

Objective: To Increase the Connectivity of Settlements by the Protection, Enhancement and Introduction of New Attractive and Accessible Walking and Cycling Networks for All Residents and Visitors to Enjoy.

Policy: A. Residential and economic development proposals will be supported where:

  1. they deliver safe and attractive pedestrian and cycle routes, within and from the site to main settlements, local facilities, bus stops, existing footpaths, and cycleways in the area; 
  2. they incorporate cycle parking facilities; 
  3. Dedicated footpaths and cycleways are provided where this would create safer and more convenient routes than pavements and roads: and
  4. new pedestrian and cycleways serving the development use the easiest practicable gradients and include planting schemes to create attractive routes.

B. Proposals to upgrade or extend existing footpaths and cycleways will be supported (including the Local Cycle and Walking Infrastructure Plan [LCWIP]) providing such proposals, including their materials and any lighting, do not harm the character of the area.

C. The creation of a dedicated cycle and pedestrian route separated from traffic and leading from Heywood Road to the Torridge Bridge and across to the Tarka Trail will be supported.


Sustainable Economic Development - Policy: ED1 Business

Objective: To support the expansion of existing business and the emergence of new locally focused business in sustainable locations.

Policy: A. Within development boundaries economic development will be supported with preference given to brownfield sites provided that

  1. proposals demonstrate they will benefit the local economy and;
  2. for live/work home units, they are not detrimental to the amenity of neighbours.

B. Outside development boundaries and the Appledore Marine Employment Zone, small-scale proposals for business enterprises that require a rural location will be supported providing that: 

  1. an economic need is demonstrated which benefits the local economy, and which cannot reasonably be met within development boundaries; and
  2. they do not conflict with other Neighbourhood Plan policies.

C. Loss of existing employment uses will only be supported where it can be demonstrated that the existing use is no longer required or viable, and that the premises/site/ business has been actively marketed for at least twelve months at an appropriate market price.


Sustainable Economic Development: Meeting the Needs of the Visitor Economy - Policy: ED2 Tourism Attractions and Accommodation.

Objective: To Support New, Expanded or Enhanced Tourism Attractions and Accommodation in Sustainable Locations.


A. Within the defined settlement development boundaries, proposals for sustainable tourism attractions, leisure developments, a diverse range of new tourist accommodation, and associated tourism facilities and services will be supported where they do not detract from the character of the   area or affect protected landscapes, residential amenity, environmental or heritage assets.

B. Within the area defined on Map N1 only proposals which provide for extensions to existing tourism attractions or tourism accommodation will be supported provided that:

  1. they cannot reasonably be located outside the area defined on Map N1;
  2. in the case of tourism accommodation, they are for the reuse or conversion of existing buildings; and
  3. proposals comply with NDAT Local Plan policy DM17.

3. Outside the defined settlement development boundaries and the area defined on Map N1, only proposals which provide for extensions to existing tourism attractions or tourism accommodation will be supported provided that:

  1. they cannot reasonably be located within settlement development boundaries; and
  2. proposals comply with NDAT Local Plan policies DM17 and DM18.


Sustainable Economic Development - Policy: TR3 Public Car Parking

Objective: To protect, improve and enhance public car parking provision.


A. Proposals for alternative uses of public car and motorcycle parking spaces serving the three centres will not be supported unless it can be demonstrated that the loss of any such spaces would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of that centre as a retail, service, and visitor destination.

B. Proposals for the development of additional car parking provision will only be supported where it is through the redevelopment of existing brownfield and grey-field sites, amending or adding to existing public car parking provision.

C. Support will be given to improving the quality of public and on-street parking in the centres so that it is convenient, safe, secure, and available for short-stay use to protect the vitality and viability of the centres as retail, service, and visitor destinations.

D. Proposals for the development of any privately owned or controlled parking provision within the centres will only be acceptable where it will not result in additional on-street parking or reliance on public car parking provision.



Sustainable Economic Development: Appledore’s Maritime past, present and future - Policy: HE2 Richmond Dock

Objective: To support sustainable development of Richmond Dock, Appledore for maritime-related purposes or small business use.

Policy: A. Proposals that secure the preservation of Richmond Dock for maritime-related purposes or small business use will be supported provided the integrity of the structure and setting are retained; and

B. the dry dock remains capable of its original use, with sufficient vehicular access and clear working space; and

C. the construction methods do not adversely impact on the historic structure and setting.



Maritime Employment and Enterprise Zone - Policy: ED3 Appledore Employment Zone.


Objective: To Support Proposals for Economic Maritime-Related Development Within the Appledore Maritime Employment Zone. 

Policy: A. Proposals for the redevelopment of any part of the zone identified on Map N6 for non-employment uses will not be supported unless such proposals meet all the requirements of policy DM13 of the NDAT Local Plan.

B. Within the zone employment development related to maritime industries will be supported, subject to the following being met:


  1. The design, massing and materials used on any building does not harm the setting of Tapeley Park House, or the character of the Undeveloped Coast.
  2. Any development proposal must include traffic and transport assessments, detailing measures to mitigate the impact of the development on the highway network.



About Neighbourhood Planning

What is neighbourhood planning?

A Neighbourhood Plan gives a community direct power to develop a vision for their local area. It will help identify where new homes and businesses can be built and where they can’t. The Neighbourhood Plan gives the community a say in what infrastructure should be provided and provides an opportunity to plan for the type of development that meets the community’s needs.

Northam Town Council decided in May 2017 to develop a Neighbourhood Plan, which covers the whole of the civil parish of Northam, so includes Appledore, Northam, Orchard Hill and Westward Ho!

Assisted by volunteers from the community, the Town Council is now in a position to present the Neighbourhood Plan to the community for review. 

How to have your say ... fill in this survey online (or print it out if you wish) and drop it into one of the places below.

Paper Copies of the Northam Neighbourhood Plan and the survey will be available at:

The Library in Appledore.

The Library and The Town Hall in Northam.

Summerlands Tackle in Westward Ho!



Section 21 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 requires the Council to carry out a 6-week pre-submission consultation of the prepared Neighbourhood Plan. The consultation must include local people, business and other interested groups, such as Natural England, the Primary Care Trust and Highways agency (for the full list, click here).



What can communities use neighbourhood planning for?

Local communities can choose to:

·       set planning policies through a neighbourhood plan that forms part of the development plan used in determining planning applications.

·       grant planning permission through Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders for specific development which complies with the order.

Neighbourhood planning is not a legal requirement but a right which communities in England can choose to use.

A neighbourhood plan attains the same legal status as a local plan (and other documents that form part of the statutory development plan) once it has been approved at a referendum. At this point it comes into force as part of the statutory development plan. Applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise (see section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004). (copied from the Neighbourhood Planning Guidance published by the UK Government, accessed 13th December 2022).