Maximizing the delivery of affordable housing and responding to the challenges of the climate emergency are just two of the ambitions set out in a new Local Plan to be considered by Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet.
The Local Plan is the council’s primary tool for place shaping — creating public places that are good for people’s health, happiness and well-being — and is the basis for decision-making on development and the use of land across the district.
All local authorities are required to have an up-to-date Local Plan and the new B&NES plan needs to be adopted by 2025.
Cabinet is asked to agree publication of the Local Plan Launch Document, which outlines the purpose, scope and timetable of the Local Plan development and how communities and stakeholders can be involved.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Planning and Licensing, said: “The launch document starts the process of preparing the new Local Plan for Bath and North East Somerset, which is an opportunity to take a fresh look at the council’s planning policy framework for the district. It’s important that the plan is ambitious, delivers our priorities and is responsive to local community concerns so we’ll be running a programme of engagement with residents, communities, partners and stakeholders to help us develop the plan’s objectives, policies, and proposals.”
The council’s primary ambitions for the Local Plan are:
- Maximizing delivery of affordable housing to respond to the district’s demographic, social and economic needs
- Responding to the challenge of the climate emergency and facilitating the goal of net zero carbon by 2030
- Establishing a transformational approach to protecting and enhancing nature
- Creating the opportunity for the types of jobs that are needed in our communities and ensuring that there is the right type of space for businesses to grow.
The publication of the Launch Document in September 2022 will start a period of ongoing engagement with communities, partners and stakeholders which will continue until August 2023. The next key milestone for the Local Plan will be the Options public consultation in autumn 2023.
To help deliver its priorities, including addressing the climate and ecological emergencies, the council is in the process of updating parts of its current Local Plan, which runs until 2029 through the Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU).
That draft LPPU has been through public engagement and consultation and was examined by a planning inspector. The inspector’s recommended changes will be incorporated and the revised proposed/draft LPPU will go out to public consultation in September for six weeks. It will be a separate consultation to the new Local Plan Launch document.