THIS summer, North Somerset Council will be launching another round of consultation on its draft Local Plan.

The Local Plan, which the council started to prepare in 2020, identifies where development can take place.

It also guides investment for new housing, jobs, transport, and community facilities in the region for the next 15 years.

Responses from four phases of public consultation have already helped to shape the plan. 

However, during the consultation periods between 2020 and 2024, the government published changes to national planning guidance which impacts how local plans are assessed in relation to the housing requirement and approach to the use of Green Belt. 

As such, the council has set a housing target of 14,902 homes over the plan period, a figure which is below the government's standard method target calculation for the area but is calculated to be the amount of housing required to meet the needs of the area’s growing population.

The upcoming consultation will last for six weeks before being assessed by an independent examiner against the new guidance.

Before the consultation launch, North Somerset Council’s Executive committee will meet in June to consider a revised version of the Local Plan.

North Somerset Council has said that the delay is "unfortunate", but that it will use this time to take people's feedback on board from the last consultation phase.

Councillor Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for spatial planning, placemaking and economy, said: “Since 2020 we’ve been working hard to create a Local Plan that reflects the needs of our communities. We remain committed to adopting this as soon as possible. 

“By rerunning the last consultation phase, we can hear from the public again and make sure the Local Plan is assessed against the latest national policy position. Getting the views of the local community has been hugely important in shaping the plan, and I’d like to thank everyone who has had their say so far.

“While the delay is unfortunate, it does give us the opportunity to take people’s feedback on board from the last consultation phase and make further adjustments to the Local Plan.”