Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

2. North Somerset Local Plan 2036 Sustainability Appraisal: Scoping Report

Task A2

3. Task A2 – Baseline information and assessment


3.1   Sustainability appraisal requires the collection of baseline information to provide the basis for predicting and monitoring effects and to aid the identification of sustainability issues and possible methods of dealing with them. Within the baseline data collection, the use of indicators can help to identify issues and help provide methods of monitoring within the sustainable development framework.

3.2   The data used to describe North Somerset’s economic, social and environmental state has largely been drawn from the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) and represents a wide range of indicators and data sources. The AMR for this and previous years are available on our website at: North Somerset Annual monitoring report

An introduction to North Somerset

Map 1. Administrative area of North Somerset:

Map 1

3.3 North Somerset covers an area of around 37,500 hectares (145 square miles) and has a population of 211,700 people . The District contains an international airport, a deep-sea west coast port, part of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (shown on Map 3 ), a large area of Green Belt stretching south-west (shown on Map 2) from the edge of Bristol, as well as areas of low-lying levels and moors. The main settlements include the strategically significant town of Weston-super-Mare and the three smaller towns of Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead. The M5 runs from north to south through the District and the mainline railway from Bristol to the South West also crosses North Somerset, where there are five stations.

Map 2. Green Belt:

Map 2

3.4 North Somerset is an area that has undergone rapid expansion over recent decades, arising principally from its strategic road and rail communications and location adjoining the City of Bristol. It is a generally prosperous area, with low unemployment, good scores on health indicators and lower than average crime rates. However, there is concentrated deprivation in parts of Weston-super-Mare. The Authority has one of the greatest range of measured inequalities. It contains significantly important environmental assets. Growth has brought increasingly acute transportation pressures, with high rates of car ownership and usage, and of road traffic growth, as well as pressure on community and social infrastructure and increased house prices. Further growth is difficult to accommodate given the area's infrastructure capacity which has not kept pace with past growth, its relative lack of previously developed (brownfield) sites and the environmental designations that apply to much of the rural area.

Social baseline

Demographic Structure

3.5 Some key statistics:

Population Size

  • The population of North Somerset is 211,700 (48.7% male, 51.3% female). This is an increase of 9,134 since the 2011 Census.

Source: 2016 Mid-Year Population Estimates, ONS

Table 1: Population growth 1991-2011

  North Somerset England and Wales
1991 177,472 49.9 million
2001 188,564 (6.2% increase on 1991) 52 million (4.2% increase on 1991)
2011 202,566 (7.4% increase on 2001) 56.1 million (7.9% increase on 2001)


  • The elderly are a larger proportion of the population than regionally and nationally and the working age population is correspondingly smaller. This also reflected in the higher median age.

Table 2: Population comparisons by age group

Age North Somerset South West England and Wales
  number % number % number %
Total 211,700 100 5,516,973 100 58,381,217 100
Aged 0 - 15 38,300 18.1 968,072 17.5 11,086,179 19
Aged 16 - 64 123,700 58.4 3,358,047 60.9 36,777,560 63
Ages 65 and over 49,700 23.5 1,190,854 21.6 10,517,478 18
Median age (2011 Census) 44 42 39

Source: 2016 Mid-Year Population Estimates, ONS


3.6 North Somerset is ranked as the 121st most deprived district out of 326 in England, based on the proportion of Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in the district that are within the most deprived 10% in England. Of the 135 LSOAs in North Somerset, 100 (74%) are in the leas deprived half of LSOAs in England, but this relatively low level of overall deprivation hides several highly deprived urban wards. North Somerset has the 3rd largest inequality of all the 326 authorities in England, based on the range between most and least deprived LSOAs. It includes areas within both the most deprived 1% nationally and the least deprived 1% nationally. Eighteen of the LSOAs are within the most deprived 25% of areas nationally, these areas being in Weston-super-Mare.

Source: Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015


3.7 Some key statistics:

Dwellings, Household Types and Tenure:

  • At the 2011 Census there were 88,227 occupied households in North Somerset. This means that on average there were 2.3 people living in each household.
  • 30.7% of households are single-person households; compared to a national figure is 30.2%.
  • 8.8% of households are lone-parent households; nationally the figure is 10.6%.
  • 50% of households are comprised of couples; nationally the figure is 45.3%.
  • 36.8% of the population of North Somerset own their property outright and 36.1% own their property with a mortgage or a loan. This means that 72.9% of North Somerset residents are owner-occupiers compared to a figure of 63.5% nationally.
  • 25.4% of the North Somerset population rent their properties.

Source: 2011 Census

3.8 The North Somerset Site Allocations Plan identifies sites to deliver a total of 22,285 dwellings to meet the Core Strategy Policy CS13 housing requirement of a minimum of 20,985 dwellings. As at April 2017 8,847 of these units had already been built.

3.9 Current monitoring indicates that 91% of housing completions in 2013/14 were on previously developed land. Many of the committed sites are also on previously developed land. However, because of the level of housing growth up to 2026, increasingly new housing development will be on greenfield sites, as there is a declining amount of brownfield land available in sustainable locations.

3.10 In 2015, the council, working jointly with the other authorities in the West of England, prepared a Strategic Housing Market Assessment for the Bristol Housing Market Area for the period 2016-2036. More information can be found within the West of England Joint Spatial Plan.

West of England Joint Spatial Plan


3.11 Some key statistics:

  • 81.1% of people consider themselves to be in good or very good health (close to the national average of 81.2%), and a further 13.7% describe their general health as fair. This accounts for 94.8% of the total population, higher than the 91.4% that described their health as fair or better in 2001.
  • 4.1% of residents consider themselves to be in bad health, and a further 1.2% think they are in very bad health. Current proportions are similar to national averages.
  • 38,740 people (19.2%) in North Somerset describe themselves as having a limiting long-term illness of some form. This is an increase from the 18.5% in 2001. The national average has decreased, from 18.2% in 2001 to 17.9% in 2011.
  • The average female life expectancy in North Somerset is 86.7 years and the average male life expectancy is 83.4 years. This is very closely aligned to the England and Wales average life expectancies.

Source: North Somerset Health Profile 2017, Department of Health

3.12 The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) aims to identify the current and future needs for health and social care services for all people in North Somerset. It contains a range of information which is useful in ensuring that development plan policies are effectively contributing to overall health and well-being across North Somerset. Some of the findings in the JSNA include that large inequalities exist between the most and least deprived areas in North Somerset; where life expectancy is 9.0 years lower for men and 6.5 years lower for women in the most deprived areas than in the least deprived areas. It also details the age structure in North Somerset is older with fewer younger dependents and people aged under 40. One in five people in North Somerset are aged over 65 compared to 18% in England. The JSNA is available to view at:

North Somerset Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

Crime Rates and Perception of Safety

3.13 There were 15,390 crimes reported in 2016/7 in North Somerset. This is a significant increase on the figure of 13,069 recorded crimes within North Somerset over the 2015/16 financial year.

Source: ONS

3.14 55% of North Somerset resident adults feel very safe or fairly safe when outside in their local area after dark. 86% of adults feel very safe or fairly safe when outside in their local area during the day. These figures are lower than the last time the measure was recorded in 2014.

Source: North Somerset Residents Survey, October 2016


3.15 Some key statistics:

  • There were just over 8.2million visitors to North Somerset in 2016.
  • There were 7.6 million-day visitors to North Somerset in 2016.
  • There were 562,000 staying visitor trips to North Somerset spending a total of 1,765,000 nights in 2016.
  • Visitor expenditure in 2016 was £375,339,000.
  • The number of people employed full time directly and indirectly by tourism in North Somerset is estimated as 5,032 full time equivalents.

Source: The Economic Impact of North Somerset's Visitor Economy 2016

3.16 Tourism, whether day visitors or staying visitors forms a significant part of the North Somerset economy. The GVA of tourism is estimated at £375.3 million out of a total GVA for North Somerset of £3.141bn. The number of people employed directly and indirectly by tourism in North Somerset is estimated to be 5,031 full time equivalents.

Source: The Economic Impact of North Somerset's Visitor Economy 2016

3.17 Key tourist attractions include the various beaches (including Weston, Uphill and Sand Bay) with associated events, the Grand Pier, the Mendip Hills AONB, Puxton Park, Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, Clevedon Pier, and Tyntesfield. The main events that bring people into the District are Weston Air Days, the Beach Race and the Carnival. The Bristol Balloon Fiesta held at the Ashton Court estate in North Somerset also brings many visitors to the north of the District.

Leisure, Open Space and Recreation

3.18 Across the District there is a wide range of both formal and informal open space, sport and recreation facilities. There are 12 sports and leisure centres in North Somerset, including public leisure centres in Nailsea, Backwell, Portishead, Clevedon, Weston-super-Mare and Churchill. Several schools also open their facilities at out of school times for community use, namely Gordano, Clevedon, Worle and Hans Price. The council also maintain sports pitches which are hired out to clubs. Many private health clubs exist around the District.

3.19 There are theatres at Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon and Backwell and cinemas at Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon. There are also many well-used community halls such as Somerset Hall in Portishead. The council operates 13 libraries and a mobile library service.

3.20 The local rights of way network of North Somerset extend to 826km, the majority (704km) being footpaths. As the highways authority, North Somerset Council is responsible for maintaining public footpaths, public bridleways, restricted byways and a byway open to all traffic (BOAT). Despite the District's relatively small size, it has an array of opportunities for the public to gain access to the countryside. The opportunities for walkers are reasonably well distributed around the area, meaning that most people will have ready access to the countryside. There are large areas of public access land at Ashton Court and Leigh Woods in the north of the District.

3.21 The northern parts of the Mendip Hills AONB (shown in Map 3. below) are within North Somerset and are popular for walkers and mountain biking.

Map 3. Mendip Hills AONB:

Map 3

Economic baseline


3.22 North Somerset is part of the West of England growth area. In 2012 an Enterprise Area was identified at Junction 21 in Weston-super-Mare. This is part of a select group of five strategically important employment locations across the West of England that complement the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone in Bristol. Each Enterprise Area will have defined incentives for business. These will be aimed at maintaining the importance of North Somerset for new business investment and growth. The North Somerset Enterprise Area (known as Junction 21) will focus on the development of food and drink innovation. The Area will include a Food Enterprise Zone, which will include a food and drink innovation centre and business units to promote start-ups in the sector.

3.23 The adopted Core Strategy focuses on supporting a successful economy and seeks to provide an additional 10,100 jobs by 2026, by allocating around 114 hectares of land for employment-related 'B' class uses. This will help address the issue of out-commuting and will increase self-containment, particularly in Weston-super-Mare.

3.24 Some key statistics:

Labour Market

  • There were an estimated 69,000 jobs in North Somerset in 2016, an increase of 3,000 since 2013.

Table 3: Percentage of persons in employment by occupation 

  North Somerset
1: managers, directors and senior officials 12.1
2: professional occupations 19.8
3: associate prof & tech occupations 14.2
4: administrative and secretarial occupations 10.0
5: skilled trades occupations 11.7
6: caring, leisure and other service occupations 9.6
7: sales and customer service occupations 7.4
8: process, plant and machine operatives 5.3
9: elementary occupations 10.3

Source: Annual Population Survey Jan 2017 - December 2017, ONS

  • The local employment rate remains considerably above the regional and national rates, while the local unemployment rate remains considerably below them.

Table 4: Employment and unemployment rates

  North Somerset South West England and Wales
Employment rate - aged 16 - 64 % 83.1 81.4 78.4
Unemployment rate - aged 16 - 64 % 3.0 3.3 4.4
  • 80.6% of North Somerset residents are economically active. This is higher than both the South West (78.6%) and England and Wales percentages (74.9%).
  • 62.7% of the economically active population of North Somerset work full time and 37.3% work part time. In England and Wales, 67.8% work full time and 32.2% work part time.

Source: Annual Population Survey Jan 2017 - Dec 2017, ONS


  • In 2016 the average gross annual pay for full time employees working in North Somerset was £26,943, a decrease of £31 since 2012. Currently average earnings for employees across the South West are £26,348 per annum.
  • The average full time gross pay for the residents of North Somerset in 2016 was £29,933, an increase of £3,240 from the 2012.

Source: ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2015


Table 5: Enterprise births and deaths - 2016


Enterprise Births

Enterprise Deaths

Active Enterprises

England and Wales




South West




North Somerset




Source: Business Demography 2017, Office for National Statistics

Town Centres and Retailing

3.25 The traditional town centres are Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare (which is classed in the Core Strategy as a sub-regional centre). Retail monitoring is reported for the whole of each town centre and reported for just the units in the Primary Retail Frontage (PRF).

Table 6: Retail vacancy rates: town centres - 2016






Total units





Vacant units





% of vacant units





Total PRF units





Vacant PRF units





% of vacant PRF units





% of total units in A1 use





% of total PRF units in A1 use






3.26 In defined retail areas, policy indicators and targets state that the proportion of primary retail frontage (PRF) units in a non-retail use should not exceed 20% and vacant units should not exceed 10%. Of all the towns, only Nailsea currently does not exceed the target for PRF in non-retail use. This can be attributed to the continuing economic downturn, and it is positive to retain active frontages, rather than vacant PRF units.

District and Local Centres

3.27 There are 4 district centres and 19 local centres (including two proposed local centres) listed in the Core Strategy. The vacancy rates at the following district and local centres were as follows.

Table 7: Retail vacancy rates - district and local centres: 2016

Backwell 2% Pill 13%
Banwell 14% Queensway (W-s-M) 7%
Cleeve 0% Winscombe 2%
Clevedon Hill Road 8% Worle High Street 2%
Congresbury 5% Wrington 11%
Locking Castle (W-s-M) 0% Yatton 4%
Long Ashton 14%    


3.28 A1 (retail) uses in the local and district centres can be significantly lower than in the primary retail areas of the four towns, for example Banwell has an A1 use of 21%. This may be explained by the smaller size of the centres and the fact that they must serve a community as well as a retail function.

Other Retailing

3.29 There are retail parks at Weston-super-Mare and smaller groups of large retail units or freestanding superstores at Clevedon and Portishead.

Environmental baseline

Transport and Accessibility


3.30 In 2016 estimated traffic flows for all motor vehicles in North Somerset were 2,522 million kilometres, an increase from 2,339 million kilometres in 2015. Traffic on North Somerset roads has increased by 27.4% between 2000 and 2016.

Source: Department for Transport National Road Traffic Survey

3.31 Congestion continues to be an issue in North Somerset particularly around the motorway junctions and on key routes in urban areas. Many key corridors also go through more rural village communities, creating pinch points on the route which suffer from congestion particularly during peak hours. With significant housing and population growth, tackling congestion and supporting an employment-led approach will become a major challenge for the council.

3.32 North Somerset is an area where a high proportion of the working population commute out of the area to work. Data on travel to work patterns from the 2011 Census show that over 23,000 people travel to work in Bristol and areas of South Gloucestershire, approximately 24% of the working population. Mode of travel is predominantly car/van with 74% choosing this mode to commute.

3.33 The working population of North Somerset use the following transport to travel to work, shown in comparisons to the national breakdown:

  North Somerset UK
Car or van (driver) 68.5% 57.5%
Walking 9.5% 10.7%
Working from home 6.6% 5.4%
Public transport 5.5% 16.4%
Car or van (passenger) 5.2% 5.1%
Cycling 2.8% 2.9%
Motorcycling, etc. 1.0% 0.8%
Taxi 0.4% 0.5%
Other  0.5% 0.6%


Over 37% of the working age population travel over 10km to work.

Source: 2011 Census Travel to work statistics

3.34 Despite high car ownership levels, North Somerset contains pockets of deprivation with two wards in Weston-super-Mare within the bottom 5% of most deprived wards nationally. This is reflected in car ownership levels with up to 49% having no access to a car in these areas. Accessibility by public transport, walking and cycling to services, facilities and employment in the rural areas is limited. Information for 2010/2011 indicates the following:

  • 54% of households live within 30 minutes travel time by public transport of those health facilities in the Bristol Health Service Plan.
  • 55% of households live within 40 minutes travel time by public transport from key employment sites

Car ownership

3.35 North Somerset has a large rural area and a higher than average car ownership and usage. The total number of cars/vans owned in North Somerset at the time of the 2011 Census was 121,381. The 2011 Census identified that 17.2% of households had no car or van compared with 26% in England and Wales and 41.3% had two or more cars/vans compared with 32.2% in England and Wales.

Source: 2011 Census


3.36 Work has progressed on a major bus transport scheme: Ashton Vale to Temple Meads MetroBus. This is part of a wider MetroBus network to provide a smarter way of travelling. Full Approval was given to the scheme in September 2014 by the Department for Transport and the first services are due to start operating in 2018. Updates on progress can be viewed at  https://travelwest.info/metrobus

3.37 This investment, together with further investment in other schemes and improvements, has in recent years contributed to increases in bus passenger numbers. The number of passengers boarding services in North Somerset increased to 5,971,610 in 2014/15.


3.38 Cycling trips have also continued to grow with continued investment in new routes and cycling facilities as well as ongoing promotion of cycling in the area. Department for Transport figures show a 52% increase in cycling on North Somerset roads between 2000 and 2013.

Source: Department for Transport Traffic Count Data


3.39 On a single selected survey day in November 2016, rail journeys were made using the five stations in North Somerset. Since 2003, the number has increased every year.


3.40 Bristol Airport is the largest airport serving the South West. During 2017, air transport movements increased by 3.3% to 76,212. Terminal air passengers increased by 8%, to a total of 8,232,628. An estimated 12.5% of air passengers used public transport for their journey to or from the airport. The number of people working at the airport in summer 2016 was 3,459 (full-time equivalent), up from 3,070 in 2016. The number of companies operating in the airport is 54 an increase of 2 from 2016.

3.41 Planning permission was granted in 2011 for a comprehensive expansion of the airport. A new hotel has opened as well as a new reception, expanded car park, and a new multi-storey car park opposite the terminal.

3.42 Bristol Airport announced their intention in 2018 to submit a planning application to increase the current annual cap of 10 million passengers per annum, to up to 12 million passengers per annum by the mid-2020s. It is recognised that planned expansion has the potential to impact a range of environmental (and socio-economic) receptors, and as such an Environmental Impact Assessment will be required to demonstrate how these have been considered and where appropriate mitigated.

Natural Environment


3.43 North Somerset contains four areas with statutory designations of international/European importance. These include the coastline, which comprises part of the Severn Estuary European Site, with its multiple international/European designations of Ramsar (as a wetland of international importance); Special Protection Area (SPA), for the internationally important assemblages of overwintering waders and waterfowl, and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) (under the European Habitats Directive), for its habitats and qualifying interest bird species. The other SACs are: The North Somerset and Mendip Bats, Mendip Limestone Grasslands and Avon Gorge Woodlands SACs. The qualifying interest species of the North Somerset and Mendip Bats SAC comprise greater and lesser horseshoe bats, which are dependent on foraging and navigation habitats outside of the designated SSSI/SAC roosting areas. Therefore, any Habitats Regulations Assessment of likely significant effects would relate to how these species may be negatively impacted by loss of habitats within key foraging distances (5km) of the North Somerset and Mendip Bats SAC.

Map 4. Ramsar sites, SPAs and SACs in North Somerset:

Map 4

3.44 Key habitats within the District include the coastline, inland wetlands (rivers, ponds, the extensive rhynes of the floodplain grazing marsh of the Levels and Moors (wet ditch drainage networks which may comprise SSSIs in certain locations)); grazed pastures (notably cattle grazed as an important habitat for greater horseshoe bats); tall hedgerows, tree lines, and semi-natural deciduous woodlands. North Somerset is a stronghold for many rare species of European importance, including species of bats, otter, hazel dormouse and great crested newt. It also supports many other legally protected species which have suffered severe declines, such as water vole, which has been successfully reintroduced into the area at Portbury; and Schedule 1 birds under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), such as kingfisher and peregrine falcon. Other such notable species of Principal Importance in England include the brown hare and common toad.

3.45 In terms of key assets in the natural environment, North Somerset has:

  • 2 National Nature Reserves (NNR)
  • 13 Local Nature Reserves (LNR) covering 291.424ha
  • 204 Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) covering 8509.39ha (although their condition is largely unknown as the majority are privately owned)
  • 56 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) covering approximately 3,483 ha of area, as assessed by Natural England (2013)
  • 1 Wildlife Site of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • 4 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
  • 1 Special Protection Area (SPA)
  • 75 Local Geological Sites (LGS)
  • 988 Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
  • 1 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Source: North Somerset Council and Natural England

Map 5. Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in North Somerset:

Map 5

Map 6. National and local nature reserves in North Somerset:

Map 6

3.46 The 2016 mid-year population estimates from the Office for National Statistics gives the population of North Somerset as 211,700. This provides a ratio of 1 hectare of LNR per 707 residents, well within Natural England's access to natural green space target of 1 hectare of LNR per 1,000.

3.47 SSSI condition is assessed by Natural England. 77.2% of North Somerset SSSIs are in favourable condition. This greatly exceeds the national target of 50% of SSSIs in favourable condition by 2020 set within 'Biodiversity 2020'.

Table 8: SSSI Condition

  2013 hectares
Favourable 2,691.11
Unfavourable Recovering 441.19
Unfavourable No Change 278.46
unfavourable Declining 64.80
Assessed Area  

Source: Natural England


3.48 North Somerset has a highly varied landscape. The North Somerset Landscape Character Assessment, adopted in 2005, indicates that the District contains sections of four National Character Areas: Bristol, Avon Valleys and Ridges, Severn and Avon Vales, Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels and Moors. A review of the Landscape Character Assessment has been undertaken. This review document includes updated references, reflect new development, incorporates consequential changes to descriptions and boundaries and updates previous photos and maps.

Landscape Character Assessment update 2018

3.49 These labels provide a broad indication of the landscapes of the District which range from the carboniferous limestone uplands of the Mendips to the level, wet pasturelands of the levels and moors. The significance of the landscape of the Mendip Hills is acknowledged by their designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) (Map 3 ), for which a Management Plan has been produced.

3.50 The North Somerset Landscape Character Assessment states that the District is characterised by a diversity of landscapes and these variations and differences are represented by 11 landscape types, e.g. Moors, and River Flood Plain. These have a distinct character with similar physical and cultural attributes, including geology, landform, land cover and historical evolution. The landscape types are further sub-divided into component landscape character areas; e.g. Clapton Moor and Lox Yeo River Flood Plain. The assessment identifies the characteristics of the landscape character areas and the forces for change affecting them.


3.51 Most agricultural land in North Somerset is Grade 3, with areas of Grade 1 and 2 along some of the river valleys and notably around Nailsea, Pill and Churchill. However, the age and precision of this data is variable. There are large areas of woodland in the centre of the District and along the Avon Valley as well as along major ridges. There is relatively little rural land in other non-agricultural uses, though two areas are used for reservoirs. Details can be found here:

Defra agricultural land classification map

3.52 The re-use of previously developed land has contributed to major housing and employment growth at Weston-super-Mare (Weston Airfield and RAF Locking) and Portishead (Port Marine and Ashlands) but these opportunities are now approaching exhaustion.

Historic Environment

3.53 The built heritage and historic landscapes of North Somerset are an important element in providing a sense of place and civic pride for residents and visitors. This diverse heritage ranges from palaeoenvironmental deposits to prehistoric hillforts, Roman, Saxon and medieval settlement and the industrial archaeology of Nailsea.

3.54 In terms of key assets in the historic environment, North Somerset has:

  • 36 Conservation Areas
  • 1,100 Listed Buildings
  • 68 Scheduled Monuments
  • 8 Registered parks and gardens
  • 58 Unregistered parks and gardens.

Source: English Heritage / North Somerset Council

Map 7. Conservation areas, Listed buildings, Scheduled monuments, Registered and Unregistered Parks and Gardens in North Somerset

Map 7

3.55 These numbers give only a taste of the much larger numbers of regionally and locally important sites, monuments and structures that pepper the landscape of the District.

3.56 Eleven sites within the District are on the English Heritage 'At Risk Register' 2017. Four of these sites are Conservation Areas, five are Listed Buildings and two sites are Scheduled Monuments.

The four Conservation Areas at risk are:

  • Clevedon Triangle, Clevedon
  • Boulevard/Montpelier, Weston-super-Mare
  • Birnbeck, Weston-super-Mare
  • Melrose/Grove Park, Weston-super-Mare.

The five Listed Buildings at risk are:

  • Ashton Court, Long Ashton (Grade I listed)
  • St Mary's Church, Portbury (Grade I listed - place of worship)
  • Birnbeck Pier, Weston-super-Mare (Grade II* listed).
  • Church of St. Michael, Church Road, Dundry (Grade 1 listed - place of worship)
  • Christ Church, Montpelier, Weston-super-Mare (Grade II listed - place of worship)

The two Scheduled Monuments at risk are:

  • Elms Colliery, Nailsea (the buildings are also Grade II listed)
  • Worlebury Camp, Weston-super-Mare.

Worlebury Camp at Worlebury Hill, Weston-super-Mare is a new addition to the At-Risk Register.

Currently four out of 36 of North Somerset's Conservation Areas are on the 'At Risk Register'. This represents 11.1% compares to 6% throughout England. These Conservation Areas have been identified as being 'at risk' due to their deteriorating condition.

Air Quality

3.57 The council has a duty to monitor and manage air quality within the District. The main pollutant of concern locally is nitrogen dioxide, which originates primarily from road traffic emissions. Data from non-automatic monitoring sites operating around the District indicates that nitrogen dioxide remains well below the national annual mean objective.

Flood Risk

3.58 Much of North Somerset is low-lying and in Flood Zones 2 and 3, including extensive areas of fluvial floodplain (Zone 3b). See map below. A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment was published in parts between 2008 and 2010 and its mapping has been partially updated since. A review is to be commissioned shortly. The sources of flood risk of greatest relevance to plan-making are fluvial, tidal, surface water, groundwater, and from reservoirs. North Somerset has examples of each. Climate change will raise the risk from most of these sources and the prediction of its effects will be a particular focus of the SFRA review.

3.59 As a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), North Somerset Council has prepared a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS) which outlines how local flood risk is intended to be managed. Local flood risk means flooding from surface runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses. Further details are available at: North Somerset flooding.

Map 8. Fluvial and Tidal Flood Zones 3a and 3b

Map 8

Renewable Energy and Climate Change

3.60 The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) provides data for the total amount of energy from renewable technologies in North Somerset. For 2015 this was 92,105 MWh. Most (67,198 MWh) of this is from solar photovoltaic sources.

3.61 BEIS also provide statistics detailing greenhouse gas emissions at national and local authority level (Table 9). This shows that the trend seen is a reduction in emissions over the years 2005 - 2016. However, there is some way to go to meet nationally prescribed reduction targets.

Source: Department of Business, Energy and Industry

Waste and recycling

3.62 North Somerset Council has responsibility for providing waste and recycling services to 88,227 households. Most of facilities for waste management in North Somerset are at Aisecome Way, Weston-super-Mare. There are also recycling centres across the district.

3.63 The four unitary authorities (South Gloucestershire, Bristol City, Bath & North-East Somerset and North Somerset Councils) adopted the West of England Joint Waste Core Strategy in March 2011. This sits alongside the Core Strategy adopted in January 2017.

3.64 North Somerset Council achieved a recycling rate of 60.1% in 2014/5, making in one of the best performing councils in the UK. Since 2005 the councils recycling rate has risen from 22%.

Source: Letsrecycle.com (2014/5)

Table 9: Carbon Emissions

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), have provided data at local authority level measuring industry/commercial, domestic and road transport carbon emissions in tonnes. Figures are available from 2005 to 2016.


Industry and Commercial




Net Emissions

Grand Total

Population ('000s, mid-year estimate)

Per Capita Emissions (t)


































































































Question 2. Is any significant environmental, social or economic data missing or misrepresented?