People are being urged not to miss the chance to have their say on a major consultation seeking views on the future provision of housing and transport in the West of England.
Consultation on the Issues and Options for the Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study, led by the area’s four local authorities, comes to a close at the end of the month (29 Jan).
Organisers have been touring the West of England since last November sharing information on various options about where housing and infrastructure could be provided and gathering feedback.
More than 1,000 people have given their feedback to date, and on social media the #WEbuildourfuture hashtag has been used, shared and commented on hundreds of times since the consultation launched on 9 November.
The end result will be a locally created plan that will be used by local authorities to guide housing, employment space and transport provision in their areas until 2036.
The West of England is growing and economically successful: the area is worth around £26bn a year to the UK economy, and around 95,000 new jobs are targeted to be created by 2036. Estimates state that the area needs 85,000 new and affordable homes by 2036, which is 29,000 more than currently planned and predicted.
Leaders from each of the four local authorities say they are pleased with the level of engagement.
George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “We are the most successful UK city region outside London and the South East, but in order to maintain momentum we need a strong shared plan across the four authorities to deliver the right housing and transport infrastructure.
“Working in partnership across boundaries is the only way we are going to achieve a cohesive and strategic plan for housing and transport that will enable good sustainable growth in and around Bristol for the next 20 years and beyond.”
Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council, said: “This consultation has looked at some of the areas that are going to be critical in decision making going forward: supply of accommodation that more people can afford, sustainable development, protecting the green belt, areas prone to flooding and the environment, as well as improving transport infrastructure.
“It’s important that all the areas are taken into account to provide communities where people want to live, so I urge people to take part during these last stages of the consultation.”
Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “Balancing the need for more, affordable communities without creating dormitory villages with inadequate supporting infrastructure is a challenge but it’s one we need to meet if we are going to build a better future for the next generation.”
Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council said: “This is the final opportunity for people to have their say on the Issues and Options document which will influence one of the most important pieces of region-wide planning for the next 20 years. If you haven’t already contributed, please get in touch before the consultation closes.”
There are a number of other ways people can share their views before the consultation closes on January 29, including online and by emailing email@example.com,uk and by mail to West of England Joint Planning Consultation, c/o South Gloucestershire Council, PO Box 299, Corporate Research and Consultation Team, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 0DR.
For more information, visit the website at http://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk