Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document North Somerset Issues Q1. Do you agree with these or are there other challenges or issues which we have not included and how might the Local Plan address these? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 20338913//3
Respondent Aston [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 11 Jan 2019

Q1. Do you agree with these or are there other challenges or issues which we have not included and how might the Local Plan address these?

The content of the key issue list is generally agreed.

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) Update is Essential - The starting point for any forward plan work must be the updating of the NSC Strategic Flood Risk Assessment. It is understood from NSC that a project to update some parts of the outdated Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for North Somerset will commence shortly. However, the existing reports date from 2008/09 and updated Environment Agency guidance on climate change was published in February 2016. It is essential that any forward plan making starts with a fully up to date SFRA as this is an entirely avoidable constraint that must be at the centre of planning future sustainable development locations. Since the JSP is also under examination and therefore as yet remains untested, any SFRA update needs to be comprehensive for the North Somerset District and not limited in scope to the Strategic Development Locations (SDLs) which are yet to be tested and agreed.

The map (see attachment) illustrates both fluvial and tidal flood zone 3 surrounding Weston-Super-Mare and is based on NSC’s mapping (see here). Development within Flood Zone 3 is not sustainable.  Any forward plan making must have full regard to flood risk and for that it is essential that the outdated SFRAs are replaced before any land is allocated to consider all potential flooding risks based on robust data.

Employment - Urban intensification will be necessary but additional residential accommodation must remain supported and led by local employment. It is agreed that employment policies should be reviewed and updated. New policies for Live-Work units should also be developed and used as a tool across NSC’s district. With the fast evolution of fibre to the premises, Live-Work units provide the most effective opportunity to reduce transport pressures by reducing commuting pressures.

Live-Work Live-Work units were formally recognised in Planning Policy Statement 4 (PPS, Dec 2007). The PPS was drawn up as part of the government’s response to the Barker review of land use planning, published in 2007, which also supported the benefits of Live-Work units as an eco-friendly mechanism for housing and economic development. This mix of uses takes account of the changes in spatial work patterns allowed by advances in information and communications technology. With broadband roll-out, fibre to the premises (FTTP) will be accessible to all within the plan period and that promotes home working for many work functions. Many traditional small craft and art businesses are also now popular. A policy embracing and supporting Live-Work units is capable of delivering small residential units coupled with employment use, beneficially avoiding commuting effects. It is therefore recommended that Live-Work units be actively considered during this forward plan process and that a specific relevant policy is incorporated within it.

SFRA update is essential - a new plan must start with a fully up-to-date SFRA. Must have full regard to flood risk. New policies for live-work units should be developed - effective opportunity to reduce commuting pressures.