Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft

Document Section Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft Employment in Weston-super-Mare WSM19 [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 8135201//7
Respondent Deleted User [View all comments by this respondent]
Agent Deleted User
Response Date 19 Apr 2013
Current Status Accepted

Though the Council is acknowledging a fundamental strategic issue here, the proposed development and the imposition of this policy neither get to the heart of the issue nor will provide an effective means of addressing the issue.  The basic issue is that because of historic circumstances to do with development values, planning policies and opportunities arising, large numbers of people live in Weston-super-Mare whilst working in Bristol, and far too many of those travelling into Bristol do so by car.  This has implications for both congestion and more fundamentally environmental harm and wasted resources.  Seeking to limit the number of homes in Weston until the number of jobs ‘catches up’ and the longstanding imbalance is addressed has merit, and could also provide for the needed regeneration of Weston if the development was in the right place.  It would be far better in principle however to address the imbalance in the Bristol – Weston corridor by promoting job growth at the Weston end and housing growth at the Bristol end (though within North Somerset). 

The policy mechanism provided for by the Council is unconvincing.  It is very clear that even with good intentions it will be very difficult to implement, and it was entirely evident from deliberations at the Core Strategy Hearings that the respective landowners and developers will seek to avoid being bound by the policy.  If on the other hand the policy was effective, the consequence would be that the required housing from these sites would not be forthcoming and the Council would fail in its delivery of the housing requirement.    This would require housing to come forward from other sites and sources even to meet the current and inadequate level of provision.