West of England Joint Spatial Plan: Publication

West of England Joint Spatial Plan: Publication - November 2017

FOREWORD

The West of England (WoE) currently faces a key challenge; how to accommodate and deliver much needed new homes, jobs and infrastructure alongside protecting and enhancing our unique and high quality built and natural environment. It is this combination that will create viable, healthy and attractive places. This is key to the ongoing success of the West of England which contributes to its appeal and its high quality of life.

Many people feel passionately about where they live and the impact new growth might have on their local communities.  They value their local environment, landscape and biodiversity in terms of how it enhances the character and identity of places, and the well-being of residents.  This plan, aims to build a common understanding of the need for new housing and the benefits that new development will bring including transport improvements, and the opportunity to improve the links for all our communities with homes and jobs.

This is not just a local issue. The UK is struggling to meet growing demand for new homes. The national economic prosperity relies on areas of growth such as the West of England to increase productivity.  It is important that the housing market enables a flexible labour market to support a productive economy. A range of suitable housing options is needed to meet the needs of our ageing population, increase community involvement and improve wellbeing.

We have to address key economic and social imbalances within our city region and support inclusive growth. In the WoE, we need to take steps to ensure more homes are built of the right type and mix, and in locations that people and businesses need. Businesses should be able to locate where they can be most efficient and create jobs, enabling people to live, rent and own homes in places which are accessible to where they work. Transport and infrastructure provision needs to be in place up front or to keep pace with development to support sustainable growth.

The challenges involved and the scale of the issues to be addressed require a strategic approach and a new strategic direction.

We have joined forces to prepare a different type of plan to tackle this challenge. The Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) is a strategic Development Plan Document that will provide the strategic overarching development framework to guide housing, employment and infrastructure requirements to 2036. 

We are committed to this plan led approach to provide certainty to our communities and investors, in order to secure high quality, sustainable growth for the West of England.