West of England Joint Spatial Plan

West of England Joint Spatial Plan: Publication - November 2017


1. The authorities recognise that the policies in this Plan are applied consistently across the plan area and used to inform local plan reviews. Whilst most of the actions required are the responsibility of or within the control of the authorities it is acknowledged that some rely on action from statutory agencies and delivery partners. These include the Homes and Communities Agency, Highways England, Network Rail, Environment Agency, the Local Nature Partnership, infrastructure providers and the development industry. The West of England authorities through the Duty to Cooperate will continue to work with these organisations.

2. The West of England has a Strategic Solutions Panel comprising the key delivery agencies and has worked closely with neighbouring authorities in the production of the JSP. The JSP is supported by an evidence base on infrastructure delivery as set out in the Infrastructure Position Statement.

3. The governance structure, within which joint working in the West of England operates, facilitates meeting the Duty to Cooperate. The four local authorities have a history of close joint working. Previously this was under the Planning Homes and Communities Board. There is now a formally constituted Joint Committee (Leaders/Mayor) and an Infrastructure Advisory Board (constituted of Cabinet Members and a business representative), to take a coordinated approach to Transport and Planning. These meetings are held in public as required to ensure transparency and accountability. The nature of the ongoing work to meet the Duty to Cooperate is set out in the Duty to Cooperate schedule which is reported to the Infrastructure Advisory Board.


4. The scale of the challenge means that delivering the JSP will require a multi-agency approach. The West of England Authorities recognise that our potential can only be achieved through collaborative working, and finding new ways and models of delivery such as compulsory purchase powers, in which we can secure the investment required to stimulate growth.

5. The JSP sets out our delivery priorities and seeks to influence decision making on investment (securing funding and directing that funding obtained) by internal and external decision makers.

6. In the West of England working closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership the four authorities operate a joined up approach to funding. This is a single pot which includes the revolving infrastructure fund, city deal funding and growth deal funding. In 2016, the three Authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire agreed a devolution deal with Government and the West of England Combined Authority was established in 2017. As part of devolution, Government devolved funds of some £900m investment (£30m per annum over 30 years) to the Combined Authority to assist in supporting priority infrastructure schemes. This includes schemes coming forward to support the JSP development locations.

7. Infrastructure delivery will be enabled through the most appropriate blend of funding and a range of funding mechanisms from the West of England and our partners. The principle of funding development is an equitable share of costs between the public and private sector.

8. Different sources of funding will be proactively sought and brought together. This enables a co-ordinated, targeted approach to investment, often with investment in infrastructure up front, to assist in 'unlocking' locations/sites in a timely and co-ordinated manner to achieve the most development potential. Where appropriate and necessary we will actively look to use Compulsory Purchase Powers (CPO) to undertake land assembly and to resolve barriers to the delivery of new homes, jobs and supporting infrastructure.

9. Positive planning in this way will support opportunities to accelerate sustainable growth. The JSP aims to direct investment to our shared strategic development locations, to seek alignment with other agencies capital investment programmes and to collaborate with the development industry, to assist in implementing the Plan.


10. The preparation of the JSP has been informed by a supporting evidence base. The JSP will steer local plan reviews. Once adopted local plans will continue to be informed, monitored and reviewed so that they may respond to changing needs and circumstances.

11. Information on monitoring of the JSP is expected to be reported through joint or individual Council's Authority's Monitoring Reports.

12. Each authority will: -

  • undertake a consistent and jointly agreed process of monitoring which will identify changes in stock, the contributions of different sources of supply, changes in housing requirements, and the provision of necessary infrastructure and services; and
  • in considering the release of sites for housing through local plans, take account of progress in implementing the Plan's proposals across the Joint Spatial Plan area as a whole, including its neighbouring authorities.