People have until 5pm on Monday 22 January to give their views on the final draft of the council’s ‘Local Plan 2039’. This document identifies where development can and cannot take place in North Somerset, while guiding investment for new housing, jobs, transport and community facilities over the next 15 years.
The plan has been shaped by the responses received to the three phases of consultation between 2020 and 2022. The council has used this feedback to inform the latest version.
Following this final stage of public consultation, the plan will then be submitted for examination by an independent inspector.
The new Local Plan, which covers the 15-year period 2024-2039, is based on a housing target of 14,902 homes over the plan period. This figure reflects local needs and the constrained nature of North Somerset, and is lower than the government’s standard method target calculation for the area. Through delivery of the plan, the council seeks to maximise the delivery of affordable housing wherever possible.
The plan supports the creation of new jobs and economic growth by encouraging local employers to grow and the regeneration of town centres.
The plan avoids development outside the towns in areas at risk of flooding and protects sensitive parts of the Green Belt from development. Tackling the climate and nature emergencies and maximising the sustainability of new development are key priorities within the plan, which:
- uses as much brownfield land as possible,
- supports green networks and outdoor space,
- ensures new buildings are sustainable in both materials and energy use,
- provides opportunities for walking cycling and public transport, and
- provides new homes close to jobs services and facilities.
Councillor Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council's executive member for spatial planning, placemaking and economy, said: “The government’s housing target for North Somerset goes too far and would require building in locations that are just not appropriate. Without a Local Plan we could end up with unplanned growth in the wrong places, with no supporting facilities.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has taken part and had their say throughout previous consultation exercises. We’ve listened and I strongly believe that we’ve produced a Local Plan which helps address housing needs in sustainable locations, and makes sure North Somerset continues to be a vibrant, quality place to live, work and visit. Our plan also rises to the challenge of tackling climate change and our pledge for North Somerset Council to be carbon neutral by 2030.
“The latest version of the plan is very much a product of all the extensive engagement and consultation work that has taken place so far. I would urge people to take the opportunity and have their say in this final round of consultation before the document is passed for independent examination."
To find out more, and to take part in the consultation by 5pm on Monday 22 January, visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/localplan2039.