North Somerset Local Plan 2038 Challenges and Choices Part 1: Challenges for the Future

Local Plan 2038: Challenges for the Future

Challenge 4: Creating a sustainable future

What are the main considerations?

Sustainable development is defined at many levels. At the international level the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals set out the overall principles.

29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 30

For planning, the Government sees sustainable development as a combination of environmental, economic and social objectives. We need to follow these in drawing up Local Plans and making decisions on planning applications. We must interpret what sustainable development would look like for North Somerset and use this to shape where new development is located across the district.

This is called the ‘spatial strategy’. Some suggestions for what sustainable development will look like in North Somerset are set out in the table below.

29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 28Building on brownfield land in towns and through the reuse of existing sites and buildings. We already prioritise this and will continue to ensure that as much housing as possible is provided on pre-developed land. However, realistically this will only provide a small amount of the land needed. 29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 24When greenfield land is needed, limiting new development to locations where it is possible to make the most use of that land and avoid sprawl. ‘Greenfield’ means land that has not been built on before and is different to ‘Green Belt’ which is an area of land surrounding Bristol and Bath which has special protection from most new development.
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 27Developing in places where schools, jobs and services are accessible by foot and cycle or new neighbourhoods where walkability is central to the
design and promotes exercise.
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 23Ensuring there is access to open space.
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 26Making sure there is effective public transport that can be enhanced or where new frequent high-quality public transport can be provided. This could also mean locations where new public transport can be provided if there were enough homes. 29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 22Developing in towns and near public transport hubs where higher densities use less land and support public transport. This not only reduces the need to
travel but in turn makes meeting our day to day needs more convenient.
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 25Ensuring there is easy access to a range of job opportunities, ideally by walking or cycling or via sustainable public transport. 29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 21Being certain that new essential transport, digital and social infrastructure can be delivered.
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 20Ensuring affordable housing will be located where it meets people’s needs. By ensuring a range of housing types to cater for all age ranges and needs,
including affordable homes and to homes that support an ageing population.
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 17Avoiding areas of landscape quality. Primarily this means protecting the Mendip Hills AONB which is of national importance, but there may also be other areas which may be of local importance.
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 19Focussing on land not at a risk of flooding (Flood Zones 3a and 3b). Development should be directed away from areas at highest risk. 29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 16Avoiding the best agricultural land. Agricultural land is a finite resource. Planning decisions should consider the increasing importance placed on retaining our most productive land.
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 18Safeguarding areas which are highly sensitive for ecology. This includes nationally protected sites as well as other habitats and species of local
29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 15Designing places where people can feel safe, be part of a community and live healthily both physically and mentally and which enhance or compliment the
character of existing villages and towns.

QUESTION 7: Do you agree with these? Are there any others which are important to you?