The Planning Application for 28 houses within the AONB in Frogmore (ref: 1768/16/OPA) is the subject of a Planning Appeal. Representations are to be submitted to the Planning Inspector by 6th March 2018.

Parishioners have enquired about the process for voicing their view on the Appeal.  They have requested clarification on statements made in the Appeal documents.  What follows factually states government policy pertaining to the application and suggests questions that parishioners might consider in making their own decisions on the input they wish to make to the Inspector.


The Appeal site is situated within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Under the provisions of the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Areas of Outstanding Beauty are afforded the highest protection against development.

For planning permission to be granted a development proposal would need to be fulfilling an EXCEPTIONAL NEED and would demonstrably be IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.


Is there a need for housing and can it only be met in the AONB? If need is established, could requirements be satisfied elsewhere in the district?  The applicant is required to apply particular tests in submitting an application. These assessments include:  

  • The cost of and scope for, developing outside AONB.
  • An examination of the detrimental effect on the environment, landscape recreational opportunities which may arise from development in the AONB.

Points to consider:

SHDC’s 2016 ‘Our Plan’ assessment is that the site is not considered appropriate for development.

Frogmore has a creditable 30% proportion of affordable housing and most recently met South Hams District Council’s ‘objectively assessed need’ at Creek Close in 2017.

Further local and district needs will continue to be monitored under the emerging Frogmore & Sherford Community Neighbourhood Plan.

South Hams District Council, like others Councils, has been set a 5-year housing land supply target. While it has been claimed that this is currently met, the position is challenged. The picture is not clear. On the other hand, the emerging Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan (JLP), now being scrutinised by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, sets more precise targets. Frogmore, as one of 46 sustainable villages, is to procure 10 or more houses between 2014 and 2034. This minimum target has already been met in the village.

There are presently substantial applications for additional ‘windfall’ housing including in neighbouring West Charleton and Chillington. Frogmore has relatively limited access to local services, such as schools. Is there a greater, exceptional need for more housing in Frogmore?

Would the development of the proposed 28 houses be detrimental to the AONB environment and landscape?     


Although advocated by the Government and South Hams District Council, pre-application community consultations were not offered by the applicant. Parish Council consultations have been conclusive – overwhelming opposition at each stage to the proposals as documented and reported to the Planning Authority.

Frogmore Creek is an important area of scenic beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Would the setting, conservation and character of the estuary and the village be served by new housing in the AONB?

Would local economic and community benefits outweigh the consequences of building in the AONB?

Nigel Smith
Chair, Frogmore and Sherford Parish Council
01548 531618