Planning Policy

The Policy & Community Team is responsible for preparing and monitoring planning policy documents to guide future development and use of land within Exmoor National Park. These documents are also used for making decisions on planning applications and appeals.

New Local Plan to 2031

Exmoor National Park Authority formally adopted the Exmoor National Park Local Plan to 2031 on 4th July 2017. Now adopted, the Plan is the statutory development plan and forms the basis for decisions on land use planning affecting Exmoor National Park.

Copies of the documents listed above are available at the following locations for inspection during normal office hours:

  • Exmoor National Park Authority reception, Exmoor House, Dulverton, TA22 9HL
  • North Devon Council reception, Lynton House, Commercial Road, Barnstaple EX31 1DG
  • West Somerset Council reception, West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton TA4 4QA

The Authority received the Inspector's Report on 15th June 2017. The report concluded that the Local Plan is 'sound' subject to a number of Main Modifications suggested by the Authority. It also sets out the Inspector's findings on matters which were discussed during the examination hearing sessions held in July 2016.

Inspector's Report (including the schedule of main modifications)

Further details relating to the examination process are available on the Local Plan Examination page and the Local Plan Examination Library page


Draft Somerset Strategic Housing Framework Consultation

The Somerset Strategic Housing Framework 2018- 2022 has a vision that seeks to achieve the following:

  • Strong and effective strategic Leadership
  • A local Economy that provides opportunity for all
  • Homes in Somerset that are good for your Health
  • A Society that supports the vulnerable  

It is proposed that the Vision will be delivered by a range of supporting Priorities and Ambitions. The Framework is now out for consultation until April 30th 2018.  

Please note that Mendip District Council are coordinating responses to this consultation on behalf of all Somerset district councils (local housing authorities), the County Council and partner agencies. You can complete an on-line consultation here

Draft Landscape Character Assessment SPD

A draft Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has been produced that provides a comprehensive update to the 2007 Exmoor National Park LCA, and also provides more detailed guidance on the policies relating to landscape character in the adopted Local Plan 2011-2031.The draft LCA SPD is a detailed and purposeful document that is both a celebration and an analysis of the diverse and distinctive landscapes of Exmoor.

The Draft LCA SPD consultation was held during 14th July - 8th September 2017. For further details click here

Historic England Guidance on Adaptive Re-Use of Traditional Farm Buildings

Historic England have recently published new advice on pre-application assessment, conversion and maintenance of traditional and historic farm buildings and has developed new ways of understanding the historic character, survival and use of farmsteads. This guidance will help applicants and agents understand the significance of these important buildings and how to retain their significance and character when submitting proposals for conversion and/or structural alterations, in accordance with policies in the new Local Plan.

Link to Historic England Guidance

Exmoor National Park Brownfield Register

Brownfield land registers will provide up-to-date and consistent information on sites that local authorities consider to be appropriate for residential development having regard to the criteria set out in regulation 4 of the Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017.

To find out more about the Exmoor National Park Brownfield Land Register, please click here

Exmoor National Park Self Build Register

To find out about registering your interest in self build please click here

Contact the Policy & Community Team via email: