Over the next 12 months planning policy will go through a period of significant change across the four West of England Authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. All four authorities are committed to the preparation of new Local Plans, which will shape the city region for the next 20 or so years to come.  When combined with the proposals for a Metro Mayor, and the emerging Regional Transport Strategy, these emerging policies will play a major role in the development of the city region.

The West of England authorities are currently in the process of producing a Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) which will set out the strategic plan for the area over the next 20 years. The JSP is currently at draft emerging strategy stage and sets the housing requirement for the whole West of England area at 105,000, however this is currently being challenged by multiple parties who state that the housing figure should instead be in the region of 130,000 – 145,000.

Bath and North East Somerset Council’s (BANES) Placemaking Plan is currently at Examination. Hearings were held 13th September – 13th October 2016 and a subsequent consultation on the main modifications was held from the 5th January – 14th February. It is anticipated that the plan will be adopted in late Spring 2017.  BANES have also started to work on the New Local Plan and held a Call for Sites until the 8th March.

Bristol are also undertaking a Local Plan Review. They are currently holding a Call for Sites until the 21st April with consultation due in Autumn 2017 on their new Local Plan.

The modifications to North Somerset Council’s Core Strategy commit them to an early review by the end of 2018. They recently held a Call for Sites from the 20th January – 17th February. The Sites and Policies Plan Part 2: Site Allocations Plan was submitted for Examination on the 24th February with Hearings due to commence on the 15th May 2017.

South Gloucestershire Council consulted on their New Local Plan Prospectus from the 12th January – 23rd February. The SGC Policies, Sites and Places Plan is currently at Examination.

Overall, the planning policy framework across the region is evolving and the next 12 months will certainly be interesting and is a key time for anybody with an interest in bringing forward development proposals!

DLP are supporting a range of clients who have interests across the region.  If you require any further information or if you have a site that you wish to promote please contact the Bristol office.