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Settlement Assessment & Hierarchy

Status: Draft

Author: North Devon Council / Torridge District Council

Date: December 2012


The settlement assessment is intended to be a detailed appraisal of the role, function and potential of each settlement within North Devon and Torridge. The purpose of the settlement assessment is initially to provide evidence to support the preparation of a settlement classification for the Local Plan. The work should however also support the preparation of parish plans or village design statements. The settlement assessment is based on a survey approach and has been supported by the Town and Parish Councils.

Sustainable Rural Toolkit

The approach being followed has been influenced by the  – a toolkit devised to help public authorities, local communities and professionals reach a balanced view about the sustainability of rural communities. The toolkit was commissioned on the back of the Local Area Agreement to support the preparation of Local Development Frameworks, Sustainable Community Strategies and Community-led planning across and beyond Devon. Its purpose is to try to support the delivery of thriving rural communities.

Where are we now?

The preparation of the settlement assessment is ongoing. The initial survey work was carried out in the first half of 2009 by officers at the Councils and through the completion of questionnaires by the Parish Councils in the Districts. The purpose of this work is to undertake a detailed evidence-based assessment of each settlement. The results of this survey work have now been incorporated into a wider assessment of settlement services and facilities.

The outcomes of the assessment have helped to establish a robust settlement classification and hierarchy for the Local Plan. This approach is intended to help ensure a sustainable approach to future development across the Districts.

A further stage of the assessment is to share the findings and to come to a judgement about the future for each settlement – trying to identify how to make them more sustainable and thriving locations.


The following downloads are available in relation to the settlement assessment:

Sutatinable Rural Communities Toolkit

Settlement Hierarchy 

Further Information

If you would like further information on the Settlement Assessment please feel free to  with the Planning Policy Team.

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