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

Towards the Emerging Spatial Strategy Document

Urban Living (maximising the potential of urban areas)

Urban Living is a central plank of the Spatial Strategy, and commands a high degree of public support. The four UAs have carried out an assessment of the potential of existing urban areas to deliver land to meet development needs. In recent years a high proportion of new homes have been delivered on brownfield land in urban areas. This process has been aided by new approaches to urban density, and new thinking about the nature of liveable cities and towns and the trends in the type of accommodation we seek. It is recognised that the success will rely on the ability to plan effectively the use of all public services as part of this concept.

Further work undertaken has indicated that brownfield land in the future could deliver greater levels of development than in recent years. Bristol has delivered 45% of the new housing provision across the JSP plan area since 2006, much of it on previously developed land. In the Issues and Options document 10,000 homes were identified to come forward through urban living in Bristol (12,000 across the plan area). More recent evidence has identified that through maximising opportunities for development, this number could be increased to a potential for 12,000 homes to be delivered in Bristol (14,300 across the plan area). Opportunities for maximising the potential of existing land will result from:

  • —The change of use of non-residential brown field land to residential – where the previous use is no longer required or the most efficient use for the land — Identifying land which is currently underused and has potential for residential development. —
  • Identification of mechanisms to ensure more certainty over the delivery of large windfall sites
  • Increasing the density of development: on allocated sites by reappraising and increasing their development potential on existing sites where the opportunity for redevelopment arises