Partial Update of the Local Plan: Because of the withdrawal from the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), the progression of the B&NES New Local Plan is currently on hold. This means that we will be subject to the current Local Plan, which comprises the ‘Core Strategy,’ the ‘Placemaking Plan’ and our ‘Neighbourhood Plan,’ for several years longer than had been anticipated. As a result, B&NES will soon be unable to meet a requirement of the Core Strategy, to demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites. B&NES also needs to ensure that its policies reflect National Policies and that they embed strategies that have emerged from their Climate and Nature Emergency Declaration. A Partial Update of the relevant policies is therefore being undertaken along with a further ‘Call for Sites’. The public were also asked to comment on their Draft Statement of Community Involvement.
An initial public consultation process took place during April and May 2020. In responding, East Harptree Parish Council decided to draw on the expertise of their ‘Climate and Nature Emergency Working Group’ and of the Village Environment Group, in respect of the policies relevant to their specific knowledge and interests. Their responses were attached to those of the Parish Council, which can be viewed via the link below: The Parish Council has been told that there will be a further ‘Options’ Consultation in the Autumn.BNES Partial Update Consultation.pdfBNES LP partial review response_CNEWG 27 05 20.pdfBNES LP partial review response_VEG.pdf
Update on the Joint Spatial Plan and developments following the hold up of the new Local Plan.
As anticipated, at its Council Meeting in January, B&NES decided to take the same action as the other three Authorities involved and approved the withdrawal of the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA’s) Joint Spatial Plan (JSP). This was following criticism by the Government Inspectors last August. So pending WECA’s production of a new Strategic Development Strategy (a legally required policy for growth), B&NES is now commissioning a review of its own Strategic Evidence Base, to inform future planning and development.
This will include a review of the anticipated housing need in respect of both the type and the numbers and will put greater emphasis on the Climate and Nature Emergency. The total figures are almost certain to rise as the time frame is now extending to 2040 (currently 2036) and this may affect the previous figure of 700 new homes assessed as being required across the rural areas. The other Authorities will be undertaking a similar process and North Somerset, whilst not a member of WECA, has agreed its duty to co-operate because of cross boundary considerations. So the New Local Plan is currently on hold, but further stages will be provided through a revised, “Local Development Scheme”.
However, B&NES has a problem in the shorter term because their Core Strategy (and the National Planning Policy Framework) requires that they must be able to demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites. Because of the delay with the New Local Plan, they will soon be unable to meet this requirement. They are therefore devising a three year work programme, which will include a partial update of the currentLocal Plan, which comprises the Core Strategy, adopted in 2014 and the Placemaking Plan adopted in July 2017. Planning development policy in B&NES is currently informed by these (and also Neighbourhood Plans, where they exist).
B&NES will be re-visiting sites that have been put forward for development in the rural areas under the HELAA (Land Availability) scheme and may also be seeking further sites across B&NES as a whole. Certain policies, including those of particular relevance to the Climate and Nature Emergency, will be reviewed. A Public consultation will take place during April and May.
Pam Carver. 18. 2. 2020.