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

Local Plan 2038: Challenges for the Future

What should be our aims?

The next stage is to identify the aims and objectives which will help to deliver the vision. There are many competing objectives, some of which will be more important to one person than another. We need to balance all of these to come to a decision on the best way of planning for the homes, jobs and facilities we will need in North Somerset over the next 15 years. On balance we think these are the most important issues.

Tackle the climate change challenge:
We have a climate emergency. How we use and re-use resources will be very different in the future. Buildings will be carbon neutral. More renewable energy will be generated locally. Fewer journeys will be made by cars. Energy and land will be used more efficiently. More emphasis will be put on reducing flooding, sustainable drainage and ensuring development is resilient to the impacts of climate change. Walking, cycling and effective public transport will become the normal way to travel. There will be more employment in green technologies and solutions.

Build sustainable development:
We have a responsibility to provide enough homes to meet the needs of our future residents. The target figure is calculated by government and for North Somerset is very challenging – it would require us to almost double the number of homes built per year from the average of around 740 per year over the past five years to just under 1,400 per year.

Sustainable and attractive communities will need to be created with homes, jobs, schools, transport, shops and all the requirements which combine to make them great places to live. They will need to be designed to be inspiring, distinctive, vibrant and beautiful as well as friendly, inclusive and caring where people can enjoy life, live healthily, participate, make choices, be safe and are proud of. But we also need homes people can afford so that we have fewer people living in crowded bedsits, sofa surfing or stuck living with their parents well into adulthood.

Treasure valued assets:
Existing historical, built, natural and cultural features will be enhanced, protected and used to develop a greater sense of identity and enjoyment for local people, appeal to tourists and attract investment. The special character of existing towns and villages will be retained.

Raise design quality:
People often complain about bland housing estates and poor-quality buildings. Better design approaches which meet the needs of future users and enhance local identity and character and look great are required.

Improve the life prospects of local people:
Quality homes with a choice of locations, tenures, sizes, affordability and suitability need to be provided where there is access to a wide variety of services and facilities. Ensuring there is a range of job opportunities for workers in places they can get to easily is also important. Designing high quality, accessible, attractive, healthy places which enable active lifestyles and encourage social interaction will contribute to improving people’s quality of life.

Regenerate our towns and communities:
Most of our town centres have been badly hit by shops shutting down. Town centres are the heart of the community and encouraging jobs, new uses and revitalising centres is essential. Enabling people to live and work in the centre and creating attractive places where people socialise and spend their leisure time are becoming increasingly important for both new and existing residents.

QUESTION 12: Do these reflect your aims, those of your family, community or business?