Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document

Garden Villages and New Communities

What is a garden village?
Garden villages are freestanding new settlements with their own distinct sense of identity, rather than extensions to existing built up areas. They will be of high quality, be attractive and well designed and provide their own community facilities.

What is proposed for North Somerset?
The Joint Spatial Plan identifies locations across the plan area which are proposed to accommodate a strategic scale of growth (defined as 500+ dwellings). These ‘strategic development locations’ (SDLs) are indicated diagrammatically on the Key Diagram and each has a policy broadly describing the general extent of the proposal and an indicative dwelling capacity. These areas are the locations for two new garden villages at Churchill and Banwell and new communities at Nailsea and Backwell.

The Joint Spatial Plan was accompanied by an evidence base which included templates for each of these locations. These identified the constraints, issues and opportunities associated with each site. This included information on factors such as flooding, ecology, heritage, services and facilities and transport and other infrastructure requirements.

The Local Plan 2036 must identify what sustainable development means for North Somerset in terms of its environmental, social and economic dimensions. For the garden villages and new communities this means carefully considering the potential impacts of new development and their mitigation such as in terms of landscape, ecology and flooding, and balancing these against potential
opportunities and wider objectives, infrastructure delivery and the creation of attractive well-designed sustainable communities.

JSP Policy 5 – Place Shaping Principles of the Publication draft JSP provides a series of high level key principles intended to inform the development and delivery of high quality and sustainable places, and will inform Local Plan policy and the masterplanning framework. More specific principles were also included for each location.

A consultation to generate ideas and discussion about the four new communities took place from 22nd November 2017 to 10th January 2018. This and further technical work has informed the further planning of the locations. This Issues and Options document provides an update on how the proposals are being refined and developed. This will lead to detailed allocations in the Local Plan 2036 and take into account any changes resulting from the JSP examination process.

A range of infrastructure will be needed to unlock the developments coming forward, including transport improvements, sustainable drainage, schools, health centres and other community facilities. The Local Plan will be supported by an Infrastructure Delivery Plan setting out and prioritising the infrastructure requirements and how they will be funded. This will build on the infrastructure planning and transport studies carried out for the JSP, including the Joint Transport Study and Options Appraisal Report identifying potential new transport routes and phasing.

Objectives of this Issues and Options consultation
Work prepared to support the JSP has already identified key constraints that apply to the SDL locations using a methodology applied to all strategic sites across the West of England. This led to the identification of general areas of search for the new development and an indication of overall development capacities.

The initial concept diagrams included in this Issues and Options document take this work forward developing the vision, principles and refining the form and potential location of the proposed developments. The plans presented are not final masterplans and do not represent site allocations at this stage. Instead they begin to express some of the principles and themes that are influencing the development proposals at this stage, and take into account responses from previous consultation and representations on the planning of the strategic sites. The concept diagram and alternative scenarios presented for each location are indicative at this stage. The point of this Issues and Options consultation phase is to explore potential options and encourage and stimulate further debate. We value your feedback on the plans and key issues that it raises.

At this stage the specific boundaries of the development are not confirmed as there are alternative choices around which land is included. The potential capacity of the locations will vary in relation to the extent of developable land identified and assumptions about densities.

Following this consultation, further masterplanning will be undertaken working with developers and landowners and taking into account responses to this consultation. This process will be informed by further evidence, and technical assessment of the options to deliver the strategic sites. This is expected to inform more specific land allocations at the next stage of the Local Plan in addition to more specific proposals for transport infrastructure.

Key aspects we wish to test at this stage include:

  • The proposed vision for each location.
  • The Concept Diagram and Alternative Scenarios.
  • The integration of strategic transport schemes and other key infrastructure.
  • The development principles identified for each location.

Transport corridor studies:
Plans A and B below are taken from the Joint Spatial Plan – Emerging Findings of Transport Technical Studies’ , which it is anticipated, will be published on the West of England and North Somerset websites in November 2018. They present scheme development at this time and are subject to on-going technical assessment. The schemes are identified with the purpose of facilitating growth at the four strategic development locations identified through the JSP.

The plans do not represent specific alignments and are purposely diagrammatic in nature. They are intended to signal options at this stage of the process that will be taken forward for further assessment including the identification of corridor options and eventually, proposals for specific, safeguarded alignments.

Nailsea and Backwell Transport Schemes
In the context of supporting the strategic development locations at Nailsea and Backwell the emerging findings are suggesting the infrastructure could be delivered in a phased manner in step with housing build out. The first phase proposes focusing on developing Nailsea & Backwell railway station as a transport hub with cycle and pedestrian links from the strategic development locations [MM] and MetroBus services from the station to join the existing MetroBus infrastructure at Long Ashton Park & Ride [E6]. The first phase also proposes a new highway link from the railway station to the A370 near Farleigh [E3]. This link offers congestion relief to Backwell Crossroads.

The second phase suggests further cycle and pedestrian links to the railway station [MM], car park expansion at the station, and improvements to the existing highway networks to the M5 at Junctions 19 and 20 [N1 & W10]. The second phase also suggests a new highway link between Hanham Way (Queens Road) and the B3130 [W4]. This link offers congestion relief to the Stone-edge Batch junction.
The third phase suggests further improvements to the existing highway network towards Junctions 19 and 20. This includes a new highway link between B3130 and Junction 20 [W5]. This link offers congestion relief to the existing roundabouts within Clevedon. Finally a fourth phase suggests a highway link [W3], within the Nailsea SDL, to join to the earlier proposed highways W4 and E3.

Option development has also identified the potential need for a direct highway link between Nailsea and the M5 at junction 20, shown yellow on Plan A. This may be required towards the end of the Plan Period, subject to further assessment.

Plan A Clevedon to Bristol transport schemes

Banwell and Churchill transport schemes
In the context of supporting the SDLs at Banwell and Churchill emerging proposals suggest:

The Banwell Bypass which is assumed to be the alignment already reserved in the development plan, a highway link from the Banwell Bypass to the A38 (two potential alignments are emerging, shown red and green), a number of potential connecting highway links, shown in orange and a possible additional junction on the M5. This proposal offers congestion relief to the existing J21 at Weston-super-
Mare as well as accommodating the Banwell and Churchill strategic development locations.

Plan B M5 to A38 transport schemes

Employment potential at the SDLs
Potential employment locations are generally identified within each of the concept diagrams and with principles for each location. Policy 7 of the Publication Draft JSP included a land area for employment for each location to further test through the local planning process. The potential for employment development at these locations will be further investigated aligned to more detailed masterplanning with the objective of allocating specific sites for business development.