Core Strategy - Consultation Draft

Comment ID 3619969/CSCD/4
Document Section Core Strategy - Consultation Draft Chapter 2: Visions and Objectives Priority Objectives [View all comments on this section]
Respondent Deleted User [View all comments by this respondent]
Agent Deleted User
Response Date 23 Feb 2010
3.6 In order to deliver the CS visions, a number of priority objectives have been set, which according to the CS: 'look to identify issues of local importance' (CS, para.2.9). To ensure the robustness of the objectives, NSC has a statutory requirement to test their soundness as part of Sustainability Appraisal (SA).

3.7 To date the SA has not been made available for public viewing, therefore it is not possible to assess the objectives in respect of their sustainability credentials. Despite this omission, identified issues within specific objectives are highlighted below.

Priority Objective Number:

1) The first objective seeks to satisfy housing need through the provision of 17,750 new homes. The RSS sets a requirement for 26,750 residential units to be delivered within the plan period. This RSS requirement is based upon housing trajectories which consider anticipated housing demand. The level of housing currently proposed would result in a deficit in housing delivery, in turn resulting in continued housing need. Such an approach is not considered sustainable.

2) This objective requires major development to be carried out in tandem with necessary infrastructure requirements. Whilst the objective highlights some specific infrastructure requirements, no reference is made to those which would be delivered in association with the SWBUE namely the Bristol Outer Ring Road and Bristol Rapid Transit. Such an omission would not assist in the delivery of the Council's sustainable transport aspirations.

4) To ensure self containment of Weston-super-Mare, it is agreed that the Weston urban extension should be employment led. However we have concerns that, should employment delivery not be forthcoming, this could cause residential development to falter, further exacerbating issues concerning objective 1.

6) Whilst the principle of improving the: 'vibrancy, prosperity, distinctiveness, quality and range of services' in North Somerset's towns and villages is supported, it is unclear as to how this would be achieved simply by delivering environmental enhancements and regeneration opportunities in Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead. It is considered that of those settlements with limited service provision, the only ones to benefit from this objective would be those located in close proximity to these larger towns. In this respect the objective should recognise wider development opportunities which could serve to enhance the role and function of existing towns and villages, such as Long Ashton.

7) The desire behind this objective to preserve North Somerset Green Belt is recognised. However, to ensure the delivery of development within Housing Market Areas (HMAs), the SWRSS expects that where necessary, local authorities will be required to amend Green Belt boundaries. As already highlighted, the need to deliver development within the HMAs has been accepted by the EiP Panel as the very special circumstances necessary to justify Green Belt revisions and therefore the objective should be reworded to acknowledge this position.

9) The rationale behind this objective is generally supported, as the delivery of major transport schemes would serve to encourage more sustainable travel patterns. However, it would be envisaged that proportions of funding for such schemes would be generated through planned urban extensions. Therefore the failure to plan for the SWBUE is likely to have severe ramifications for the delivery of major transport schemes, to the detriment of the Council's sustainability agenda.