A three-month public consultation is now underway to hear residents, communities, businesses and other stakeholder views on how South Gloucestershire can grow to provide for all of our futures.
We are developing a new Local Plan, which will shape our district for the next 15 years and will guide important choices including where large numbers of new homes and jobs should be delivered? Which places should be protected? What can we all learn from the pandemic about how we should live, work and socialise?
How should buildings be designed and built in ways that make a positive contribution to our response to the Climate Emergency? And, how can growth and change in the places we live and work help alleviate disadvantage and help to eliminate inequalities?
Every council is required by law to have an up-to-date Local Plan and we have now launched the consultation on our Phase 1 – Issues and Approaches document. This is the first stage of preparing our new Plan and it covers the issues we think the final document will need to address. It suggests the potential approaches we could take to manage future development in our urban areas. It also outlines concepts for planning for the future of our rural villages and settlements.
In addition to exploring the issues and priorities that could shape our plan, we want to begin to establish the initial building blocks and potential guiding principles that will shape our new growth strategy. These will help us to identify locations that could be considered for their potential to be realistic options for sustainable development of new homes, jobs, key services, facilities and infrastructure in South Gloucestershire. You can find further details about these in our consultation document.
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Strategic Infrastructure, Councillor Steve Reade, said: “We are committed to plan-led development. We want to hear your views on the direction and shape of our new Local Plan, so that we can take forward a shared vision for all of our futures. South Gloucestershire is part of a thriving region and we must grow to meet new challenges, but we also want to protect what makes our area special. We want to get better, not just bigger.
“Our new Local Plan is an opportunity to look back at our existing policies and begin thinking about what type of new policies and approaches are needed in the future. In this consultation, we have set out the range of policies we think will be required and which emerging plan priority they would assist in achieving.
“It is really important that as many people as possible take the time to look at these ideas and have their say. The new Plan will be in place for 15 years, but if we get this right together, the benefits will be shared by the coming generations.”
To help guide communities through the consultation, we have identified nine potential priorities that can shape our new Local Plan’s content and approaches. These potential priorities will guide new planning policies and will inform the choices for the location of new homes, jobs, facilities and services. The priorities are:
1. Pursue a carbon neutral and resilient future in a changing climate
2. Protect and enhance our environment
3. Development that promotes health and well-being
4. Creating exceptional places and spaces
5. Planning for urban and rural areas
6. Provide the right type and number of new homes
7. Enable a productive, clean and inclusive economy
8. Achieve sustainable travel and transport
9. Ensure the timely and efficient provision of infrastructure to support growing communities
Individual development sites or detailed proposals for growth and change are not included in this document or consultation because we currently have not confirmed the total figure for how many new homes and jobs we will need to plan for across the West of England. This total figure will be established through the West of England Spatial Development Strategy which will also set the high-level principles to inform choices which our Local Plan will need to make. To help support this, your views on the issues, priorities and potential approaches to growth, change and protection will inform the next stages of the new Local Plan when we will discuss options, places and sites in your area.
To have your say and provide your feedback on the Phase 1 – Issues and Approaches consultation visit www.southglos.gov.uk/Localplan2020 by Monday 1 March 2021.
We have prepared a number of short videos to explain what a Local Plan is and what is contained in the consultation document, which you can view on our website.