Press releases

Masterplan Briefly Aerial Fly Through

Plans submitted for new town at Sherford

27 November 2006

A planning application for a proposed new town at Sherford has just been submitted to South Hams District and Plymouth City Councils.

The application by developers Red Tree is the result of three years of detailed public consultation led by The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment and involving a wide range of local authorities, organisations and community groups. The proposals are for a sustainable mixed-use community and are in line with strategic and emerging planning policy.

The planning application includes outline proposals for:

  • Up to 5,500 high quality new homes
  • Extensive community, sports and open space facilities, including:
    • A Community Park
    • Three primary schools and one secondary school
    • A health centre
  • Up to 67,000 square metres of business and commercial space
  • Up to 16,740 square metres of mixed retail accommodation
  • Two community wind turbines
  • A Park and Ride interchange at Deep Lane junction.

Detailed proposals are included for the Main Street link between Deep Lane junction and Stanborough Cross.

The planning application also features a Town Code the purpose of which is to translate the Town Plan into a set of design standards that define the type of streets, public and private spaces, frontages and buildings that will make up the new Sherford town. This is vitally important to ensure that the vision the community developed together for Sherford is not compromised as it is delivered.

James Koe, a partner of Red Tree, said: “An immense amount of work has gone into bringing the Sherford plans to this stage with the Town Plan evolving over the last few years. In early 2005, following the 2004 Enquiry by Design, The Prince’s Foundation chose to work with us because we share the same vision for Sherford and see it as a unique opportunity to create a place that would be in the vanguard of the evolution of development excellence in the UK. The resulting proposals submitted today offer the prospect of a well designed, healthy, environmentally responsible and sustainable community.”

Hank Dittmar, the chief executive of The Foundation, which managed key parts of the development of the Town Plan and Town Code said: “We want Sherford to become a town where people live, work, shop, go to school and make friends - a place which embodies the qualities of the best towns in the region that will be seen as an enhancement to the dramatic and enduring South Hams landscape. We are delighted to have contributed to the Town Plan and Town Code and look forward to remaining involved to ensure that the excellent aspirations contained in the plan are made manifest.”

In a significant change to earlier versions of the Sherford Town Plan, and in response to public concern, the application proposes that a new road link to the A379 originally planned to run through King George V playing fields, in Elburton, should be re-routed to the north.

Red Tree have also agreed to support proposals to protect Plympton St Maurice from additional traffic including, if necessary, bollarding Buller’s Hill, the road leading northwards from the A38 down Plympton Hill.

James Koe acknowledging the effect of local involvement said: “I would like to thank the great number of people who have contributed to this process and hope that the response to the issue of King George V is a good example of how, in the new development process, local community wishes and concerns can and should be accommodated in large scale development.”

Gill Whillock of Plymstock Forum, who with Joy Howard of Elburton Residents Association, helped spearhead a local campaign to protect the King George V playing fields, said she was delighted with the latest proposals which avoid constructing a road across the area.

She said: “The King George V playing fields were covenanted as an open space for the enjoyment of local people and I welcome these changes which will protect them into the future.

“We challenged Red Tree on their claim to want to consult with local people and I’m very pleased to say that they went to great lengths to listen carefully and act on our concerns.

“It is a vindication of the position we have always held and goes to show what a community working together can achieve”

Gary Streeter, South West Devon MP and chairman of the local Community Steering Group said: “While I, like a lot of people, would prefer that the development wasn’t necessary, I have to commend Red Tree and The Prince’s Foundation for what they have done in allowing local people to take the lead in helping shape this new community.

“When approached by local community groups they have been prepared to listen and change their plans. In particular, taking the much loved King George V playing fields out of the equation and putting in place robust measures to protect Plympton St Maurice from traffic are very welcome steps.”

The planning application will be considered by South Hams District and Plymouth City Councils. In addition the proposals will also be considered by independent Inspectors who will examine the Sherford and North Plymstock Area Action Plans in the New Year in the publicly held Examinations. The Inspectors conclusions will be binding on the two local planning authorities.

A copy of the full planning application is available to read online at:

Editor’s Notes

The Sherford area has been earmarked by the Devon Structure Plan and within both the South Hams District Council and the Plymouth City Council Local Development Frameworks as the location for a new community of 5,500 new homes with at least 4,000 delivered by 2016. The emerging Regional Spatial Strategy extends the plan period to 2026 and identifies a longer term requirement of 7,000 homes. Following the Examination in Public of South Hams Core Strategy, the Inspector is imminently publishing his binding report which now reaffirms the need for 4,000 dwellings and extends the requirement within the District to 6,000.

The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment is an educational charity which seeks to improve the quality of people’s lives by teaching and practicing timeless and ecological ways of planning, designing and building. More information about the work of The Prince’s Foundation can be found at

In April 2005 it was announced that The Prince's Foundation would spearhead the development of detailed plans for the proposed new community, having previously conducted a successful Enquiry by Design event in October 2004 on behalf of South Hams District Council, working in Partnership with Plymouth City Council and Devon County Council as well as the Highways Agency.

The Enquiry By Design is a planning tool, trademarked by The Prince’s Foundation. Not only does it deliver a masterplan based on principles of good urbanism, but it also develops the skills of all involved, engages everyone involved in the project in the design process and creates a consensus view of the way forward

The Foundation chose to remain a key contributor to the Sherford project, in hopes that it will create a model for future development in the UK.

Throughout 2005 the Foundation led a series of technical workshops to refine the masterplan drawn up during the Enquiry by Design. Working with a wide range of local authorities, organisations and community groups, these workshops have explored in detail issues such as the arrangement of streets, transport links, wide ranging community facilities including schools and health, sports and recreation, ecology, sustainability, open space and more;

Regular meetings with the local authorities and community groups, including the Community Steering Group, have continued through 2005 and 2006. While Red Tree’s project team, inevitably for a development of this scale, includes a wide range of consultants, dedicated to the delivery of the applications, The Foundation was a major resource whose role particularly focussed on the Masterplanning and Town Code.

For more information contact

John Casey
Deborah Clark Associates
01872 276276
Mobile: 07796 615864

Kathy Hasler
The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment
01666 823445
07710 418758

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