PLY6 - Improving Plymouth's city centre

The Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan has now been adopted! To find out more please visit the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan: Adoption page.

Visit the interactive Plymouth Plan to see other policies that affect decision making across Plymouth City including the Council and its partners.

Plymouth City Centre will be renewed and enhanced through a combination of major new developments, proactive management of change and support for community and trader led initiatives. This will deliver a modern, high quality, vibrant, accessible and adaptable centre that reflects its status alongside the waterfront as the showcase of Plymouth. This will be achieved through making sure that development and change: 

  1. Capitalises on and strengthens the City Centre’s role as a regional centre.
  2. Respects and celebrates  the centre’s mid-twentieth century built heritage, including the Beaux Arts grid of the 1943 Abercrombie Plan and the highest and good quality non-designated assets identified in the City Centre Masterplan.
  3. Recognises the importance of reinforcing the primacy of Armada Way as the principal thoroughfare from the station to the Hoe. This will be achieved by focusing larger development - building heights of six to eight storeys - on the Armada Way frontage to provide enclosure to the space and to maintain a degree of consistency to these increased building heights to respect the Abercrombie Plan’s form and historic context.
  4. Supports the intensification and diversification of uses through redevelopment of City Centre blocks, with specific sites identified where tall buildings will be acceptable in principle.
  5. Addresses the size and need for a clearer focus of the retail area, through prioritising the prime retail role to the east of Armada Way and through diversification of uses for the centre as a whole. 
  6. Strengthens the role of the West End as an Independent Quarter, anchored by the City Market, which supports independent traders, niche retail and food shopping to serve the nearby residential communities, and provides for the introduction of alternative higher value business uses, cultural uses, community uses and creative business clusters. 
  7. Delivers a vibrant mix of uses to diversify the centre including, in addition to retail: 
      1. Regionally significant office uses and the coordination of public sector investment as a catalyst for transformational change. 
      2. A vibrant destination, with leisure, culture, visitor accommodation and food and drink uses, especially making best use of key assets such as the Armada Way boulevard and piazza, and creating greater synergy with the cultural hubs at Royal Parade, The Hoe and historic waterfront, and North Hill / Tavistock Place. 
      3. A new residential community, through development and environmental changes which provide high quality urban living environments. 
      4. Education and community uses, optimising the benefits from the proximity of Plymouth University and Plymouth College of Art, and the potential for a more vibrant mix of uses especially along Armada Way and to its west. 
      5. Student accommodation, but only where it is targeted to support prioritised regeneration opportunities, and delivers new housing and/or office accommodation and ground floor active uses as part of mixed use development. 
  8. Supports a diverse and active evening and night time economy catering for a wide cross section of the public. 
  9. Delivers high quality public car parks in strategic locations around the edge of the centre with excellent pedestrian connections to key attractions. 
  10. Facilitates easier movement in and around the City Centre for all modes of transport, including reconnecting the City Centre with its neighbouring areas - which include Millbay, Sutton Harbour and the Hoe – by high quality walking and cycling links.
  11. Supports the delivery of a coordinated programme of investment in the public realm, and delivers structured environmental improvements, creating a safe accessible and attractive environment for the community and visitors alike, and exploring opportunities for weather protected spaces.
  12. Delivers proposals that are resilient and respond to the challenges of climate change and protect the Plymouth Sound and Estuaries European Marine Site from pollution, providing where appropriate improvements to flood management infrastructure, surface water drainage systems, and future connection to critical drainage infrastructure and district heat networks relevant to the site.