Core Strategy - Consultation Draft

Comment ID 1017121/CSCD/6
Document Section Core Strategy - Consultation Draft Chapter 5: SW Bristol Urban Extension Chapter 5: Introduction View all on this section
Respondent GOSW View all by this respondent
Response Date 17 Mar 2010
As we have already discussed, in taking this document forward from consultation draft to final draft publication, I consider that there are a number of steps that you would need to take to ensure that, in the current policy environment, this document could be found sound on submission to the Secretary of State.

You are aware that the Government Office considers that the document should plan positively for 9000 homes at SW Bristol that were identified in all stages of the RSS, from submission draft onwards, and the subsequent release of green belt given the clear evidence that the West of England will experience unprecedented pressure on housing demand in the next 20 years. Whilst I understand your concerns over delivery rates, and I acknowledge that you have some evidence to support this, it would be a better approach to plan for the whole figure of 9000 homes and address any shortfall by monitoring. Without the SW Bristol urban extension I consider that the planned provision will fall significantly short of addressing predicted levels of housing growth

I note however that the document does consider limited options for homes to the SW of Bristol in Chapter 5. I suggest that only Option One (the linked new settlement) in the Consultation Draft Core Strategy would maximise the sustainability benefits of the development. Whilst I appreciate that the alternative options you set out would have less landscape impact, this is far from being the most important consideration. These options would not maximise the potential for integrated transport links to Bristol City Centre, and links to the regeneration of South Bristol.

I accept the broad reasoning that if the 9000 homes are not accommodated at the urban extension, then there is no where else in North Somerset where such a quantity of housing could be accommodated sustainably.

Although as you know we have stated that the draft RSS should have material weight in the development of core strategies, I appreciate that in part your position has not been helped by delays to the finalisation of the RSS. But because this is still a consultation stage, I am sure that this fundamental issue can be addressed at the final publication draft stage. It is likely some additional consultation work would be required to enable this and I am happy to discuss the nature and extent of that work.