Council to consider ditching 'failed' Joint Spatial Plan

PUBLISHED: 06:55 07 January 2020

North Somerset Council could create its own housing plan.

North Somerset Council could create its own housing plan.

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North Somerset Council 'will not simply dust off' and repurpose the 'failed' 25,000-home plan as it reveals its proposal to withdraw from a West Country-wide masterplan.

Following the feedback from the Planning Inspectorate, the local authority is recommending withdrawal from the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) in favour of developing its own Local Plan.

The move would see the council set out its own planning framework for the area over the next 15 years. The draft JSP was developed in partnership with Bristol City, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset and was set to become the planning document to guide sustainable development across the area until 2036.

Planning inspectors advised the process to create the JSP would need to be restarted after calling a halt to meeting after they identified 'significant concerns' with the plan. The masterplan aims to plug the West Country's housing shortfall and would have seen the development of 2,500 homes in Nailsea, 700 in Backwell as well as a proposed garden village between Churchill and Langford.

However, following the concerns raised by the Planning Inspectorate, the proposal to withdraw will be considered at the full council meeting on January 7.The Local Plan will cover a wide spectrum of development, not just that of building homes. It will explore employment space, transport infrastructure, town centres, shops, leisure facilities and open spaces.

Cllr James Tonkin, executive member responsible for planning, said: "It is not the council's intention simply to dust off the proposals of the failed JSP and represent them in a new form.

"The Local Plan is a key document which will become an overarching planning policy which guides development across our area. It is vitally important we get it right and we will be inviting residents and other partners in the New Year to get involved in the creation of the document.

"We must all recognise the need to provide more homes, employment and infrastructure hasn't gone away. We will need an honest conversation about what our community needs, now and in the future and we will need to ensure all sections of our community are listened to, not just those with the loudest voices."

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