West of England Joint Spatial Plan: Towards the Emerging Spatial Strategy

Towards the Emerging Spatial Strategy Document

Vision and Objectives

The West of England Joint Spatial Plan vision is consistent with national policy, and stems from the critical issues identified in the Issues and Options document, and the WoE LEP Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) economic vision for the subregion to 2036. The economic vision has been augmented to reflect social and environmental aspirations. The proposed vision for the JSP has public support as demonstrated by 71% of respondents to the public consultation in 2015.

 Proposed Vision for the West of England Joint Spatial Plan
 By 2036 the WoE will be one of Europe's fastest growing and most prosperous city regions with the gap between disadvantaged and other communities closed and a rising quality of life for all. The rich and diverse environmental character will be integral to health and economic prosperity. Patterns of development and transport will facilitate healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Existing and new communities will be well integrated, attractive and desirable places and supported by the necessary infrastructure. New development will be designed to be resilient to, and reduce the impacts of climate change.


A complementary vision has also been developed to specifically guide the preparation of the Joint Transport Study. This vision seeks an affordable, low carbon, accessible, integrated and reliable transport network to achieve a more competitive economy and better connected, more active and healthy communities.

There are four overarching priorities guiding the preparation of the spatial strategy in order to respond to the critical issues facing the West of England and ensure that the strategy is founded on sustainable development principles.

Strategic Priorities                                                                                                                               
  1. Economic: To identify and meet the need for housing and accommodate the economic growth objectives of the LEP Strategic Economic Plan
  2. Social: To ensure that the JSP benefits all sections of our communities
  3. Environment: To protect and enhance the sub-region's diverse and high quality environment and ensuring resilience including through protection against flood risk
  4. Infrastructure: To ensure a spatial strategy where new development is properly aligned with infrastructure


There are spatial implications for the spatial strategy arising from the four strategic priorities:

Spatial implications of the strategic priorities
  1. Economic rebalancing to help address inequality, improve accessibility to jobs, support economic growth, and address unsustainable commuting patterns by aligning jobs and homes.
  2. Sufficient land should be identified to meet the needs to development including:
  • Deliver the housing needed at a range of sustainable locations
  • Facilitate economic growth of both existing employment centres such as the Enterprise Zones and Enterprise Areas and in new locations which will most successfully deliver the appropriate scale and type of jobs and contribution to the West of England economy.
  • Recognise the need for affordable housing delivery in accessible locations close to employment centres and other services and close to where the need arises.
  1. Retention of the overall function of the Bristol & Bath Green Belt as set out in the NPPF.
  2. The environmental quality of the West of England is maintained and enhanced by:
  • Planning positively to ensure that development encourages and does not restrict the benefits the natural environment can provide
  • Ensuring no net loss to biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem service provision
  • Developing a more resilient environment to help tackle the challenges of future climate change
  1. Strategic development should be in locations which maximize the potential to reduce the need to travel or, where travel is necessary, maximise opportunities to travel by sustainable, non-car modes, especially walking and cycling or be in places accessible to existing or new high quality public transport links. The focus of new transport infrastructure should address both existing challenges and create capacity for sustainable growth.