Core Strategy - Consultation Draft

Comment ID 706241/CSCD/4
Document Section Core Strategy - Consultation Draft Chapter 3: Spatial Policies Delivering Strong and Inclusive Communities CS13: Scale of New Housing CS13: Scale of New Housing View all on this section
Respondent Nailsea Town Council View all by this respondent
Response Date 02 Mar 2010
The Parish Plan states that "The Town Council supports a policy of limited growth, sufficient to maintain a balanced population age structure, stable in size." It also supports "limited growth" of housing.

The numbers quoted in the Strategy are not specified as to the mix of housing which is required, even though CS31 refers to housing development "which will improve the current mix of house types and sizes, improve affordability and make contributions towards infrastructure and facilities" (4.87).

Increasing housing numbers by opportunistic developments is unacceptable, since the likelihood is this approach will compound existing and future demographic problems. In other words the goals of strong and inclusive communities and delivering a prosperous economy could be actively undermined by a reactive approach to planning.

If the age structure of the Town changes as our research suggests the vision to retain community assets such as schools will be under threat. Successful schools of optimum size are critical to Nailsea's future. The vision also refers to new development focussing on "addressing local housing need to encourage a more balanced age structure and support economic growth." A demographic picture over the next 20 years that significantly reduces the population of school and working age residents presents a major challenge to this vision.

The key questions are:
- Does the planning authority have the power to be prescriptive regarding housing mix when it assesses planning applications? and
- If it does have the power, does it have the will to pursue the goal of 'strong and inclusive communities' i.e CS15 - 3.252 "The policy will be delivered through the preparation of detailed masterplanning, briefs and urban design codes for new developments, the assessment of planning applications, and exploring opportunities to re-balance the housing stock within existing communities."