Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Garden Villages and New Communities What is proposed for North Somerset? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 21314273//1
Respondent Avon Wildlife Trust [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 10 Dec 2018
Comment

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the published Issues and Options Document for the North Somerset Local Plan to 2036. Please find attached responses on behalf of Avon Wildlife Trust
Avon Wildlife Trust (AWT) welcomes the commitment by the West of England's four Unitary Authorities to a joint approach to housing, employment and relevant infrastructure provision via the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP). For habitats, wildlife and functioning ecosystems, a joint approach is logical given that protection of biodiverse areas and important species requires a landscape-scale approach, recognising the importance of connectivity. The JSP has the potential to be a key tool in reversing the trend of biodiversity loss across the region and provide a national example of the way in which the environment and biodiversity can be put at the heart of the planning process. As such Avon Wildlife Trust are entirely supportive of this process and recognise the hard work that has been put in by North Somerset Council to enable this to occur.
The North Somerset Local Plan will sit within the framework laid out by the JSP and many of the issues highlighted here have been raised by AWT in our previous responses to the JSP consultation.
In summary, we remain concerned about the ecologically sensitive location of some of the proposed SDLs and related road infrastructure. Furthermore, the North Somerset and Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Guidance on Development: Supplementary Planning Document has not been referenced. This is a very positive piece of planning guidance and it is extremely important that it is used to shape planning decisions across North Somerset. We would welcome transparency about how this document has been applied to support sustainable development as described in the Local Plan 2036.

Summary
General comment with support to joint approach to planning, but concern over the ecologically sensitive location of some of the proposed SDLs and related road infrastructure. Extremely important that the North Somerset Bat SAC SPD is used to shape planning decisions across North Somerset.
Attachments