Residents help shape the future of North Somerset

10:35am - 24 May 2022

Over 700 people and organisations have given their view on a key planning document that will shape the future development of North Somerset over the next 15 years.

Consultation on the new Local Plan Preferred Options document closed on Friday 29 April and over 4,000 comments were received.

The plan identifies where development can and cannot take place in North Somerset and guides investment and funding for new housing, jobs, transport and community facilities until 2038.

It also shows how seriously North Somerset Council is taking its commitment to tackling climate change and environmental issues through the location and form of development, promoting renewable energy, minimising car use, encouraging green infrastructure and biodiversity, avoiding sensitive areas such as areas at flood risk and minimising waste.

The document also considers the future housing needs of the area including an increased affordable housing target of 40 per cent, a need for homes to support an ageing population and encourages supported housing for people with specialist needs.

The next stage of the Local Plan process is to report back on the Preferred Options consultation through the publication of a consultation statement. Once the feedback has been taken into account, the council will produce a publication version of the plan ready for consultation at the end of the year. 

This is the final version of the plan that will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. 

Cllr Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council's executive member with responsibility for placemaking and economy said: "The Government has told North Somerset Council to provide 20,880 homes by 2038 which is extremely challenging when all the environmental constraints are taken into account, including flood zones, green belt and the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"We have undertaken a robust assessment of development opportunities but there are no easy sites left and the standard method housing target is unrealistic.

"We are therefore interested that in statements following the recent Queen's Speech the Government appears to be moving away from mandatory housing targets based on need. As an area with considerable Green Belt challenges, we hope to be held to a lower housing requirement than less constrained councils. We will continue to engage with the Government on this sensitive issue.  

"We would like to thank everyone who took part in our recent local plan consultation and played their part in helping to shape the future of North Somerset."

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