Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

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

Appendix A: Review of Plans, Programmes and Policies

Appendix A - Review of Plans, Programmes and Policies

The below lists a range of plans, programmes and policies and reviews the relationship with the North Somerset Local Plan and the Sustainability Appraisal. There are a range of national strategies, plans, programmes and policies, these are the high-level policy and strategy documents. A number of sub-national strategies exist and are listed alongside the relevant local strategies, plans, programmes and policies.

Title of Policy, plan and programme


Relationship with Local Plan and Sustainability Appraisal


International documents are not specifically reviewed as part of this SA scoping report, as it is considered that the objectives of these are translated into national policy, principally through the NPPF.


National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (2018)

This is an updated version to the original NPPF of 2012. It sets out the Government's planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. It sets out the Government's requirements for the planning system only to the extent that it is relevant, proportionate and necessary to do so. It provides a framework within which local people and their accountable councils can produce their own distinctive local and neighbourhood plans, which reflect the needs and priorities of their communities. The NPPF constitutes guidance for local planning authorities and decision-takers both in drawing up plans and as a material consideration in determining applications.

At the heart of the NPPF is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-taking.

Key objectives:

  • Delivering a sufficient supply of homes
  • Building a strong, competitive economy
  • Ensuring the vitality of town centres
  • Promoting healthy and safe communities
  • Promoting sustainable transport
  • Supporting high quality communications
  • Making effective use of land
  • Achieving well-designed places
  • Protecting green belt
  • Meeting the challenge of climate change, flooding and coastal change
  • Conserving and enhancing the natural environment
  • Conserving and enhancing the historic environment
  • Facilitating the sustainable use of minerals

Sets the current national level of planning policy that the Plan must conform to.

Local Plan policies should comply with the principles of sustainable development.

Sustainability appraisal should be an integral part of the plan preparation process and should consider all the likely significant effects on the environment, economic and social factors.

DCLG Housing White Paper - Laying the

Foundations: Fixing our broken housing market (2017)

The proposals in the white paper set out how the government intends to boost housing supply, create a more efficient housing market whose outcomes more closely reflect the needs and aspirations of all households and which supports the wider economic prosperity.

Key objectives/steps:

  • Planning for the right homes in the right places
  • Building homes faster
  • Diversify the housing market
  • Helping people now

The local plan should reflect these aspirations in policy

National Planning Policy Guidance:

Ensuring the vitality of town centres (2014)


  • Generate local employment.
  • Promote beneficial competition within and between town centres.
  • Create attractive and diverse places where people want to live, visit and work.

In order to deliver the objectives of this guidance, when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorities should;

  • Assess and plan to meet the main town centre uses in full, adopting a town centre first approach;
  • Be mindful of the different rates of development in town centres compared with out of town centre;
  • Improve the quality of car parking in town centres;
  • Use both sequential and impact testing;
  • Work with the private sector, Portas Pilot organisations, town teams, neighbourhood planning groups, town centre management organisations and other relevant groups to produce a strategic vision for town centres.
  • Take full account of relevant market signals keeping allocations under regular review; and
  • Assess the health of a town centre using relevant indicators.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance - Travel plans, transport assessments and statements in decision-taking (2014)


  • Travel plans, Transport Assessments and Statements are all ways of assessing and mitigating the negative impacts of a development.
  • Required for all developments which generate significant amounts of movements.
  • Travel Plans are long term management strategies for integrating proposals for sustainable travel into the planning process. They should where possible be considered in parallel to development proposals.
  • Travel Assessments are thorough assessments of a development's implication.
  • Travel statements are used to assess impacts in the instance where transport implications are thought to be less severe.
  • It is at the discretion of local planning authorities, developers, relevant transport authorities, and neighbourhood planning organisations as to what method should be used in what proposal.

There are no specific targets in relation to this document.

Transport Assessments can beneficially inform their HYPERLINK "http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/blog/guidance/local-plans/" \o "Local Plans" Local Plans (for example, in order to facilitate the use of sustainable modes of transport).

National Planning Policy Guidance:

Considering and enhancing the historic environment (2014)


  • To protect and enhance heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance;
  • Ensure heritage assets remain used and valued; and
  • Where a heritage asset is justifiably lost or partially lost steps are taken to interpret its contribution to the understanding of our past.

In order to deliver the objectives of this guidance, when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorities should;

  • Identify specific opportunities within the area for the conservation and enhancement of heritage assets;
  • Consider the relationship and impact of other policies on the delivery of a strategy for conservation; and
  • Hold clear and up to date information on designated and non-designated heritage assets.

There are no specific targets relating to this document.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance:

Planning and Flood Risk (2014)


The NPPG section on HYPERLINK "http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/blog/guidance/flood-risk-and-coastal-change/" Flood Risk contains strict guidance on how local authorities should act on flood risk assessments in the preparation of its local plan and the decision making process. It states that the tests as set out in the NPPF should be followed and where the tests are not met, new development on flood risk sites should not be allowed.

To deliver the objectives of this guidance, when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorities should;

  • Undertake a flood risk assessment of the area which will inform the local plan;
  • For sites over 1-hectare developers should undertake a site-specific flood risk assessment;
  • Apply a sequential test approach to site selection and decision taking;
  • Where development is located in areas at risk of flooding, it should be appropriately flood resilient, resistant and safe for the developments lifetime; and
  • Seek flood risk management opportunities to reduce the causes and effects of flooding.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance:

Planning and Coastal Change (2014)


Reduce risk from coastal change by avoiding inappropriate development in vulnerable areas,

In order to deliver the objectives of this guidance, when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorities should;

  • Integrate Coastal Zone Management to integrate terrestrial and marine planning regimes;
  • Identify Coastal Change Management Areas likely to be affected by physical change to the coast;
  • Clear what development will be appropriate in Coastal Management Areas; and
  • Make provision for development and infrastructure that needs to be relocated away from Coastal Management Areas.

There are no specific targets relating to this document.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance:

Air Quality (2014)

In order to deliver the objectives of this guidance, when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorities should;

  • Consider what development is being proposed and where it is situated;
  • Encourage sustainable transport;
  • Take into account air quality management areas;
  • Take account of potential cumulative impact of a number impact of a number of smaller developments on air quality as well as the effect of more substantial developments;
  • Consider the impact of point source pollution; and
  • Consider ways in which new development would be appropriate in locations where air quality is likely to be a concern and not give rise to unacceptable risks from pollution


Refers to HYPERLINK "http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:152:0001:0044:EN:PDF" 2008 Ambient Air Quality Directive sets legally binding limits for concentrations in outdoor air of major air pollutants that impact public health.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance - Land affected by contamination (2014)

There are no specific objectives and targets relating to this guidance but when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorise should;

  • Consider a strategic, phased approach to dealing with potential contamination if this is an issue over a wide area, and in doing so, recognise that dealing with land contamination can help contribute to achieving the objectives of EU directives such as the HYPERLINK "http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/planning/33362.aspx" Water Framework Directive ;
  • Use HYPERLINK "http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/blog/guidance/strategic-environmental-assessment-and-sustainability-appraisal/strategic-environmental-assessment-and-sustainability-appraisal-and-how-does-it-relate-to-strategic-environmental-assessment/" \o "Strategic environmental assessment and sustainability appraisal" sustainability appraisal to shape an appropriate strategy, including through work on the 'baseline', appropriate objectives for the assessment of impact and proposed monitoring;
  • Allocate land which is known to be affected by contamination only for appropriate development - and be clear on the approach to remediation;
  • Have regard to the possible impact of land contamination on neighbouring areas (e.g. by polluting surface water or groundwater); and
  • Be clear on the role of developers and requirements for information and assessments.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance: Land Stability (2014)

There are no specific objectives and targets relating to this guidance but when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorise should;

  • Identifying specific areas where particular consideration of landslides, mining hazards or subsidence will be needed;
  • Including policies that ensure unstable land is appropriately remediated, prohibit development in specific areas, or only allow specific types of development in those areas;
  • Circumstances where additional procedures or information, such as a land stability or slope stability risk assessment report, would be required to ensure that adequate and environmentally acceptable mitigation measures are in place; and
  • Removing permitted development rights in specific circumstances.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance: Light Pollution (2014)

There are no specific objectives and targets relating to this guidance but when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorise should apply a test to a number of questions to access whether or not the artificial light being proposed would result in light pollution.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance - Noise (2014)

There are no specific objectives and targets but when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorities should consider the following in relation to noise;

  • If a significant adverse effect is occurring or likely to occur;
  • The time of day and frequency of the noise;
  • Local topology and topography; and
  • General character of the noise.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance - Tree Preservation Orders in conservation areas (2014)

There are no specific objectives or targets in relation to this guidance. This guidance outlines the responsibility of the land owner and the responsibility of the council in question to inform relevant members of the public.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance - Natural Environment (2014)


  • Local Authorities should seek to make a significant contribution to the achievements of the commitments made by Government in its Biodiversity Strategy 2020;
  • Move away from a net loss of biodiversity to achieving net gains for nature; and
  • Conserve and enhance the natural environment and reduce pollution.

In order to deliver the objectives of this guidance, when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorities should;

  • Seek opportunities to work collaboratively with other partners to deliver a strategic approach towards protecting and enhancing the natural environment;
  • Consider the opportunities that individual development proposals may provide to enhance biodiversity;
  • Asses the need for an ecological survey; and
  • Consider the effect of a development on habitats or species in the natural environment.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

National Planning Policy Guidance:

Climate Change (2014)


  • Support the delivery of appropriately sited green energy; and
  • Reduce greenhouse gases through effective spatial planning.

In order to deliver the objectives of this guidance, when preparing development plans and considering planning applications, local authorities should;

  • Reduce the need to travel through provision of sustainable transport;
  • Provide opportunities for renewable and low energy technologies;
  • Provide opportunities for decentralised energy and heating;
  • Promote low carbon design approaches to reduce energy consumption in buildings;
  • Consider future climate risks such as flooding and availability of water;
  • Engage with appropriate partners; and
  • Advise developers on how to reduce energy consumption through materials and design.

There are no specific targets relating to this document.

Consider how policies will achieve these objectives

A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment (2018)

Sets out goals for improving the environment over the next 25 years. Key objectives are to deliver cleaner air and water in our cities and rural landscapes, protect threatened species and provide richer wildlife habitats. It calls for an approach to agriculture, forestry, land use and fishing that puts the environment first.

2 key areas of relevance to the Local Plan:

1) Using and managing land sustainably:

  • Embed an 'environmental net gain' principle for development, including housing and infrastructure.

2) Connecting people with the environment to improve health and wellbeing:

  • Help people improve their health and wellbeing by using green spaces including through mental health services
  • Encourage children to be close to nature, in and out of school, with particular focus on disadvantaged areas.
  • 'Green' our towns and cities by creating green infrastructure and planting one million urban trees.
  • Make 2019 a year of action for the environment, working with Step Up to Serve and other partners to help children and young people from all backgrounds to engage with nature and improve the environment.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives locally

2. Sub-national

West of England Joint Local Transport Plan 3 2011 - 2026 (2011)


  • Reduce greenhouse gases.
  • Promote walking, cycling and public transport.
  • Reduce the number of road casualties.
  • Implement Air Quality Management Areas.
  • Improve personal security on the transport network.
  • Improve access to health and employment.
  • Assist regeneration in deprived areas.
  • Improve access for rural residents.
  • Tackle congestion.
  • Support access to houses and jobs.
  • Increase capacity and reliability of transport networks.
  • Maintain, manage and make the best of transport assets.
  • Enhance the public realm.
  • Promote better access to leisure facilities.
  • Minimise the impact of the natural and historic environment.


The UK Climate Change Act 2008 has established legally binding targets requiring the Government to reduce the country's CO2 emissions by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 from a 1990 baseline figure. Road transport must make a contribution to these targets.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

West of England Duty to Cooperate schedule (2013)


  • To identify the strategic planning issues affecting more than one unitary authority area in the West of England;
  • To define the processes for taking these issues forward; and
  • To document the outcomes delivered.

To deliver the objectives of this guidance the schedule demonstrates a table showing a key theme, issues and anticipated delivery outcome/benefits, the Local Authorities which are affected, any actions required and a proposed action date and by whom.

There are no specific targets relating to this guidance.

Ensures that cross boundary issues are consulted on at a strategic level

West of England Strategic Housing Market Assessment SHMA (wider Bristol - 2018)

The SHMA identifies the Objectively Assessed Need (for market and affordable housing) for the 4 local authorities within the West of England (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and S Gloucestershire). This is determined to be 87,000 dwellings for the period 2016-36. This number takes into account the need to meet household and population projection, taking account of migration and demographic change, address the needs for all types of housing, including affordable and the needs of different groups in the community, and caters for housing demand and the scale of housing supply necessary to meet this demand.

Consider policies to help deliver non-strategic housing growth in the district where there is community support

West of England Strategic Economic Plan 2015 - 2030 (2014)


  • Create the right conditions for business to thrive. Give confidence and certainty to our investors to attract and retain investment to stimulate and incentivise growth.
  • Ensure a resilient economy, which operate within the environmental limits. That is low carbon and resource efficient economy, increases natural capital and is proofed against future environmental, economic and social shocks.
  • Create places where people want to live and work, through delivery of cultural infrastructure, including broadband, transport and housing to unlock suitable locations for economic growth.
  • Shape the local workforce to provide people with skills that businesses need to succeed and that will provide them with job opportunities.
  • Ensure all our communities share in the prosperity, health and well-being and reduce the inequality gap.


The West of England LEP aims to exceed the Oxford Economics baseline growth figure of 65,000 jobs and 2.6% GVA growth up to 2030.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

Mendip Hills AONB Management Plan (2014 - 2019)


Development will:

  • Enhance the distinctive character of the location as described by the relevant landscape character assessment, strategy and guidelines.
  • Avoid damaging visual intrusions in to the landscape (such as radio masts, overhead power lines and wind turbines in unsympathetic locations).
  • Incorporate designs and landscaping consistent with the above, respecting the local settlement pattern and building styles and materials.
  • Incorporate appropriate sustainability elements and designs.
  • Ensure quarrying takes place in the least environmentally damaging manner until the consent expires.
  • Maintain or improve the existing level of tranquility and dark skies.
  • Not have an adverse impact on the local community amenities and services and access to these.
  • Protect and where possible enhance, biodiversity.
  • Be in accordance with a more sustainable pattern of development reducing dependence on travel by motorized transport.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

Severn Estuary Shoreline Management Plan (SMP1)

The Aim of the Shoreline Management Plan is: To provide the basis for sustainable coastal defence policies and to set objectives for the future management of the shoreline. Sustainable coastal defence policies need to take account of the interrelationships between defences, developments and processes within the Estuary, and they should avoid as far as possible tying future generations into inflexible and expensive options for defences.

Consider policies to achieve this aim


North Somerset Core Strategy (2006 - 2026)

Shared Priorities (with the sustainable community strategy):

  • Tackling disadvantage and promoting equality of opportunity;
  • Developing strong inclusive communities
  • Ensuring safer communities
  • Improving health and wellbeing
  • Developing a prosperous economy and enterprising community
  • Living within environmental limits

Summarised Priority objectives:

  • Deliver sustainable housing development to meet housing needs, through the provision of a minimum of 20,985 new homes by 2026
  • Ensure that major development proposals are delivered in tandem with the necessary improvements in physical and social infrastructure
  • Prioritise employment growth to support self-containment
  • Make provision for the needs of an ageing population
  • Focus strategic development at Weston-super-Mare as part of an employment-led strategy
  • Improve the vibrancy, prosperity, distinctiveness, quality and range of local services
  • Continue to support the existing Green Belt
  • Continue to redress substantial inequalities between most deprived and prosperous areas
  • Improve accessibility through delivery of major transport schemes
  • Ensure that sufficient parking is provided in new developments

Ensure that commitments identified in the Core Strategy are carried through.

North Somerset Sites and Policies Plan: Development Management and Site Allocations Plan (2016-7)


  • Responding to Climate Change and High-Quality Design
  • Managing Future Development
  • Tackling Congestion and Improving Accessibility
  • Managing the Environment and Heritage
  • Maintaining Economic Prosperity
  • Providing Housing and Community Infrastructure

Ensure that commitments identified in the Sites and policies plan are carried through.

North Somerset Community Strategy (2008 - 2026)

Sets out a vision for the district: to be a distinctive place with vibrant, sustainable communities where everyone fulfils their potential. A place that:

  • maintains and enhances its outstanding built and natural environment;
  • has a dynamic, low carbon economy;
  • achieves connectivity;
  • has world class arts and culture.

Has vibrant sustainable communities, that:

  • are lively and inclusive;
  • places where people feel safe, take responsibility and contribute;
  • are carbon neutral;
  • where the disadvantaged are supported;
  • where the vulnerable are protected.

Here people feel proud to live Communities where everyone fulfils their potential by having an equal opportunity to:

  • Learn and develop skills;
  • Enjoy a healthy, low carbon lifestyle;
  • Influence the future of their area;
  • Contribute to the economy and society.

The Plan needs to consider the relevant objectives and sustainability needs of communities and how this will be delivered both strategically and on the ground. Resulting sustainability objectives will apply to multiple topics reflected in the SA Framework.

Affordable housing SPD (2013)


To advise applicants on how the council applies its affordable housing policies. It sets out the council's definition of affordable housing and preferred methods of ensuring delivery.

On-site affordable housing provision will be sought to meet local needs on all residential developments of 10 dwellings or more (or on sites of 0.3 hectares or above). On sites of 5 - 9 dwellings the council will seek to negotiate either on-site provision or a financial contribution towards the provision of affordable housing.

Local Plan policies should seek to achieve these objectives

North Somerset Economic Plan (2017 - 2036)


  • To create the conditions for higher value local employment - to raise average wages and raise standards of living, recognising the need for a range of job opportunities for all;
  • To grow and enhance the competitiveness of our businesses base - to address the productivity challenge;
  • To foster a culture of enterprise, innovation and aspiration - to become an outstanding place to start and grow a business;
  • To enhance the area's skills profile - to meet the needs of the current and future economy;
  • To nurture and build on the area's distinctive identity - to attract and retain young people, families, visitors and investment.

Consider policies to achieve these objectives

North Somerset Biodiversity and Trees SPD (2005)

The purpose is to ensure that biodiversity is full incorporated and best practice is observed in development proposals.

Follows a five-point Royal Town Planning Institute approach:

  • Information - questions will be asked to decide if more information is needed on the
  • Potential effects of the development and on the expertise required to inform the decision
  • Avoidance - wherever possible all the adverse effects on wildlife species and habitats should be identified and avoided
  • Mitigation - to minimise any adverse effects and aim to guarantee proposed mitigation with planning conditions
  • Compensation - to offset any residual harm and aim to guarantee this with planning obligations or agreements
  • New Benefits - what and where are the opportunities to provide new benefits for


Consider policies to achieve these objectives

Landscape character assessment supplementary planning document (2005)

Update document (draft 2018)

The main purpose is to document the status of the North Somerset landscape, furthering the understanding of the landscape resource available in the area and giving an indication of areas in need of enhancement and of conservation. This will enable better-informed decisions to be made on the future management of the landscape. The landscape character assessment of North Somerset provides an audit of the landscape in 2003 and sets out a positive direction for its future management to ensure that valued elements and features are protected, conserved and enhanced.

A review of the Landscape Character Assessment has been undertaken. This review includes updated references, it reflects new development, incorporates consequential changes to descriptions and boundaries and updates the previous photos and maps.

Inform policy in Local Plan

North Somerset Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (2014)

The strategy focuses on managing the risk of flooding to people and property due to surface water runoff, ordinary water courses and groundwater. It identifies proposed actions to reduce flood risk. Strategic objectives include:

  • Improve understanding of flood and coastal erosion risk
  • Develop plans and policies to manage these risks sustainably
  • Work in partnership with other flood risk management authorities and lead by example
  • Maintain and improve flood and coastal erosion risk management infrastructure
  • Avoid inappropriate development in areas of flood and coastal erosion risk and ensure that development doesn't increase flood risk elsewhere
  • Increase public awareness of flooding and promote individual and community level flood resilience

Where appropriate develop policies to address strategic objectives

North Somerset Climate Local Commitment (2017)

The council signed up to the Local Government Associations Climate Local Commitment in 2013 to demonstrate its commitment to action on Climate Change. An annual progress report is published on the council's website. The Councils commitment was refreshed in 2018 with the inclusion of an area-wide carbon reduction target.

  • 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2035 (from a 2014 baseline)

The Plan needs to consider policies to contribute towards the carbon reduction target and also adaptation to climate change