The North Somerset Local Plan will guide housing, business investment, transport and infrastructure in the district until 2038.
We need a Local Plan that will support a low-carbon, sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and to address the climate and nature emergency.
At the end of April 2020, North Somerset Council agreed an approach to consult in two stages. The first stage will communicate the issues faced by the district and seek views on them and then, following consideration of the responses received, we will consult separately on the options for potential spatial strategies for future development.
We want a more open and honest consultation with residents, businesses and stakeholders on meeting the challenges we face, with no pre-determined ideas about locations, quantity or types of development.
The first consultation stage opened on 22nd July and focuses on the challenges facing North Somerset and seeks views on the issues the Local Plan will need to address.
Challenges document 22MB
The responses received will help inform the second consultation phase which will focus on the choices around future development in North Somerset. It is anticipated this will take place in the autumn.
Some tough choices ahead but a promising platform. We will not simply dust off failed previous plans and repackage them. We want you to be involved in developing the plan and help influence the future of our district.
Central Government has imposed a target on North Somerset of building an extra 15,500 houses in the period 2023-28 over and above the currently estimated commitments of 5,035 houses – so 20,535 houses in total.
This would mean building 1,369 houses every year for 15 years. For context, North Somerset has only achieved that number of completions once before in the last forty years (in 2007/8). We average 803 housing completions per year.
We also have major constraints on development in North Somerset – 40 per cent of land being Green Belt and substantial parts of the district being on the flood plain.
The Council has written to the Government and the local MPs to challenge the basis for forecast housing growth, particularly in the light of the COVID-19 crisis and the climate emergency, and to highlight the ongoing need for substantial investment in infrastructure and jobs to support development.
It is also unclear what impacts the COVID-19 crisis will have on the housing market and the implications this will have for North Somerset’s housing needs. This requires further consideration and also recognition by Government that the basis of current forecasts may need to change.