Changing demographics

Dartmoor’s population is ageing, which brings challenges and opportunities for the economy in terms of attracting new businesses in sectors such as health and well-being alongside residential domiciliary care, but also the need to enable a younger profile of employees to live and work on Dartmoor. The high quality of Dartmoor’s natural and built environment makes it an attractive location for people to retire to, or buy second homes, which alongside a low-wage economy with significant employment in the agricultural and tourism sectors means that often local people cannot afford housing.


  • The statutory purposes of National Park designation mean that Dartmoor is not a suitable location for large-scale or unrestricted development.
  • Development will continue to be carefully planned and managed to balance the competing, and often conflicting, demands of local communities and businesses, visitors, and the high-quality environment.
  • Planning decisions are guided by national policy and local policies set out in the Local Plan. This includes positive policies which enable affordable housing delivery in the most sustainable locations, housing which is suitable into later life, new employment opportunities, and support appropriate services and facilities
  • The Authority will establish mechanisms to work with Next Generation representatives to involve young people and ensure that their views are reflected in decision-making