Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Comment ID 6709249//1
Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Introduction Why do we need a new local plan? View all on this section
Respondent Roger Key View all by this respondent
Response Date 09 Jan 2019
  1. Prematurity
    1. The West of England (WoE) Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) has yet to reach the stage of being examined in public. Since the JSP was placed on deposit, inspectors deciding on planning appeals in the WoE have concluded that the JSP is not at an advanced stage of development, so little weight can be placed upon the proposals in the JSP. This will remain the case at least until the JSP has been subjected to public scrutiny and the Inspectors’ report is published.  Publication of and consultation on the Issues and Options Document prior to the emergence of the JSP Inspectors’ report, creates confusion amongst NSC residents about the planning process, so it is both unhelpful and premature. 
    2. If changes to the JSP are recommended, it could well be a wasteful and inefficient use of Council Tax in North Somerset because the consultation process may have to be repeated for a revised version of the emerging NSC plan to 2036.
    3. The emerging JSP and I&OD are both informed by documents that assess strategic transport issues.  In the case of the JSP, it is supported by a Transport Topic Paper (in turn informed by a Joint Transport Study) that identifies the infrastructure said to be required to mitigate transport impacts arising from the JSP proposals. However, the public has yet to be informed of the transport infrastructure that the WoE local authorities consider will be needed between now and 2026. This is promised in the form of the Joint Local Transport Plan 4 (JLTP4) for which consultation is predicted in January 2019. More specifically, in North Somerset, the Bristol South West Economic Link Study (BRSWEL) is ongoing and the findings have not been made public. As the transport strategy is a crucial part of a spatial plan, it is not reasonable to invite the public to offer comment on the I&OD before both the JLTP4 and BRSWEL work are published.      
      1. Noting all the above, I request NSC to:
      • delay further progress of the local plan for the period from 2026 to 2036 until the JLTP4 and BRSWEL are published and the JSP has progressed to a position where reasonable weight can be attached to it: and
      • conduct a full review of the SDLs, considering each in a full evidence-based technical and sustainability evaluation that includes options within the Green Belt. The review should include site options within the Green Belt that are located either closer to Bristol or, if not closer to Bristol, that are more likely to achieve higher levels of travel by sustainable modes and shorter journeys than that proposed at Churchill.
Prematurity - consultation on Issues and Options prior to JSP Inspector's Report causes confusion. If JSP changes are recommended this stage may need to be repeated. Transport is critical but JTLP4 and BSWEL work is yet to be published. Delay LP progress until these studies are available and JSP has progressed to a point where reasonable weight can be attached to it. Need to review SDLs including options in Green Belt.