Public consultation is now underway, seeking residents’ views to help inform the new South Gloucestershire Local Plan.
The new Local Plan will establish the number of homes and jobs that are needed, where these should be located, and the infrastructure to support this. It also sets out how the district responds to preserve and protect our climate and local natural world.
In-person and online events will give residents and other stakeholders the chance to hear more about these proposals and to share their own ideas, which will help to shape planning for the district over the next 15 years.
While much of the focus of a Local Plan is on how many new houses might be built and where it is also about where people will work and how they will travel around. And it is about how the needs of changing communities can be provided for sustainably and sympathetically with the natural environment.
South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for the new Local Plan, Councillor Chris Willmore, said: “A new Local Plan for South Gloucestershire will aim to tackle several challenges: Where and how will we and the next generations live, and how will we prepare ourselves for that, while preserving the wonderful environment that is why many people choose to live here in the first place.
“The ideas we are putting forward in this consultation are our emerging preferred strategy. That means the council hasn’t made any decisions yet, but we want to talk with our communities about these ideas and to hear theirs.
“When we say it is ‘preferred’, that simply means that we think the approach we’re presenting is a positive way of meeting our collective needs in response to the challenges we are all facing together. Those include the cost of living crisis, the risk of dramatic changes to our climate and environment, and the need for more homes that people can afford to live in.
“It is a strategy because we have taken a look at the different issues in the rural and urban areas of South Gloucestershire and the areas in between. We have factored in what we know is happening in the wider region and we think these approaches will work for us together.
“But we are still open to hearing more ideas. We want to know where people think this draft plan is right and where it can be improved.”
The draft plans are presented with a focus on a range of topics:
• Affordable and new homes requirements
• Achieving a net zero area
• Using urban sites and brownfield land effectively
• Identifying a strategic green infrastructure network
• Tackling the lack of facilities on new developments
• Investigating business opportunities
To help as many people as possible to take part in the consultation, there will be a number of in-person meetings in local communities, as well as online events where people can hear more, ask questions and make their own contributions. As well as this, a full online consultation survey is available.
For full details and to share your views please visit: www.southglos.gov.uk/newlocalplan.
Local consultation events will take place in January:
• Tuesday 9 January – Hanham Community Centre (4pm – 7pm)
• Thursday 11 January – Tesco Extra Yate (9am – 5pm)
• Friday 12 January – Charfield Hall (4pm – 7pm)
• Monday 15 January – Warmley Community Centre (4.30pm – 7.30pm)
• Wednesday 17 January – Mangotsfield Football Club (4pm – 7pm)
• Friday 19 January – Emersons Green Village Hall (12pm – 3pm)
• Monday 22 January – Pucklechurch Community Centre (3.30pm – 6.30pm)
• Tuesday 23 January – Almondsbury Old School Hall (4.30pm – 7.30pm)
• Wednesday 24 January – Easter Compton Village Hall (4pm – 7pm)
• Thursday 25 January – Shortwood Methodist Church (12pm – 3pm)
• Monday 29 January – Turnberries Community Centre, Thornbury (4pm – 7pm)
• Tuesday 30 January – Chipping Sodbury Town Hall (4pm – 7pm)
Online events will also take place on January 10 and 16, from 12pm – 2pm and from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. To register your interest in these, please visit the website at: www.southglos.gov.uk/newlocalplan. This phase of consultation is open until 7 February 2024.