World Heritage Site Supplementary Planning Document (2017)

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As a signatory to the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), the United Kingdom is required to protect, conserve, present and transmit to future generations its World Heritage Sites, and in the UK, this is achieved primarily through the spatial planning system.

The World Heritage Site Office has a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which sets out how the planning system will seek to fulfil the responsibilities and opportunities that come with World Heritage Site status. It seeks to unpick what makes the WHS important, why it must be protected and how the planning system can help to do this. It also provides advice for all decision makers, developers and the public on ensuring that the responsibilities conferred by this status are fully taken into consideration and opportunities taken advantage of.

The SPD was formally adopted by the partner local authorities Cornwall Council, West Devon Borough Council, and Devon County Council in 2017, and, as such, is material consideration in the planning process. Please use the link at the bottom of the page to download.

Neighbourhood Development Plan Guidance Note

For those communities within or partially within the World Heritage Site we have also produced a guidance note to help you when developing a Neighbourhood Plan for your area. The purpose of this guidance note is to encourage communities to consider what Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs) can do to protect the World Heritage Site.

Neighbourhood plans are designed to enable local communities to set out strategies, policies and objectives for the development and growth of their local area.

These plans can set out what is special and distinctive about the area and where communities want new development to be located as well as what new buildings, landscaping, etc. should look like and what infrastructure should be provided to support sustainable development.

Once a neighbourhood plan has been approved at referendum and formally adopted, then it forms part of the development plan and sits alongside the Local Plan prepared by the local planning authority. 

Decisions on planning applications are then made using both the local plan and the neighbourhood plan as well as any other material considerations.