Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Comment ID 20338913//5
Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document North Somerset Issues Q3. 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]
Respondent Aston [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 11 Jan 2019

Some development at these larger settlements, coupled with investment in necessary infrastructure and community facility upgrades, is sensible rather than the establishment of garden villages. The key issues to address are:

Community engagement – more user friendly access to consultation information and means to respond is necessary. It is clear from the 67 pages of responses to the November 2017 Generating Ideas Consultation that people felt excluded from full participation.

Green Belt Review – any proposals must start with seeking the optimum solutions and not follow outdated Green Belt constraints. The suggestion that the case for small-scale Green Belt release should be examined is supported and represents an essential requirement for effective plan making. The individual character of each settlement (Wraxall, Backwell and Nailsea) must be respected and protected during Place Making.

Transport – the historic constraint on the development of each of these larger settlements has been inadequate transport links. Any expansion in this location must be linked with:

  • Promotion of Live-Work units to reduce commuting pressures as fibre to the premises is rolled out.
  • The provision of accessible local employment
  • Rail and highway infrastructure
  • Improvement in pedestrian and cycle links to Backwell Station and from housing to the service centres.

Affordable Housing – this is desperately required across the district. Any land allocated must be able to support the JSP Minimum target of 35% affordable housing. This must be reflected in viability testing and is likely to create significant issues in funding the necessary associated infrastructure improvements.

These infrastructure improvements must be implemented ahead of new housing and not  afterwards, or not at all.

Far more work is required during the development of this plan and ahead of examination to demonstrate that the levels of infrastructure investment required can be supported by a robust viability assessment.

Land promoters, owners and developers technical evidence produced in support of their promoted land should be drawn into the process and objectively tested as site options are reviewed.

Some development at larger settlements is sensible rather than garden villages. Need Green Belt review. Historic constraint has been inadequate transport links - promote live-work units, accessible local employment, rail and highway infrastructure and improved pedestrian and cycle links to Backwell Station and to service centres. Affordable housing is desperately needed - must be reflected in viability testing. Infrastructure improvements must be implemented ahead of new housing.