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

Towards the Emerging Spatial Strategy Document

Introduction

The Joint Spatial Plan ‘Issues and Options’ document was consulted upon between 9th November 2015 and 29th January 2016. The responses to the consultation and the summary consultation report which have informed this document can be found here: www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk.

This document is the second phase of consultation to inform the draft Joint Spatial Plan which is intended to be adopted in 2018.

The West of England (WoE) currently faces a key challenge: how to accommodate and deliver much needed new homes and jobs properly supported by infrastructure to create attractive places, while maintaining the environmental assets and quality of life unique to our area. The scale of the issue to be addressed requires an ambitious strategic response.

The local authorities of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council have joined forces to prepare the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP). The JSP will be a statutory Development Plan Document that will provide the strategic overarching development framework for the West of England to 2036.

A Joint Transport Study (JTS) is being undertaken to develop future strategic transport proposals for delivery up to 2036 that address current challenges on the network and to inform future development proposals. This work will inform the JSP. This joint approach to planning and transport will ensure that future growth decisions are made with an understanding of the necessary transport investment needed to achieve sustainable communities.

As the Leaders of the four Unitary Authorities which make up the West of England we are pleased to present this Towards the Emerging Spatial Strategy document. All feedback from this consultation will be evaluated and used to inform preparation of the draft plan. The Leaders of North Somerset Council, Nigel Ashton, South Gloucestershire Council, Matthew Riddle, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Tim Warren and the Mayor of Bristol City Council, Marvin Rees, said:

“The challenge we face as a region that is continuing to grow, is to continue to develop our economic prosperity in a way that benefits all our communities and protects the planet.

“We’re responding to the needs of our growing population; increasing demands for homes and jobs, and seeking to address the issue of affordability for people on lower salaries wanting to buy or rent their own home. There is a significant gap between the cost of houses and the level of income and whilst we cannot narrow the gap alone, we want to give more people the opportunity to get onto the housing ladder. “Our intention is to have a completely joined-up approach to providing the homes that people need and the supporting infrastructure, whilst retaining the individuality of each community. This is an opportunity to ensure that the housing is matched by the necessary support and facilities. This could mean new roads, public transport, schools, and health facilities to meet local needs.

“No decisions have been made at this stage, but we are in agreement that affordable housing is a high priority that will mean the next generation can live and work in the West of England and benefit from growing business and employment opportunities. We’re also committed to prioritising development on brownfield sites to rejuvenate existing derelict land.

“The solutions to these challenges will affect each of our council areas, which is why we are taking this joint approach and why we will consult extensively with all the communities and stakeholders across the West of England from the start of November.”