If you want to know – and comment upon – what B&NES has in mind for the future development of land and resources you may like to know that a document that starts the process of preparing a new Local Plan for Bath and North East Somerset and explains how communities and stakeholders can be involved goes out to consultation today.
Residents, partners and stakeholders will be invited to comment on the content of the Local Plan Launch Document, which outlines key steps and proposed timetable for the preparation of the new plan and the key priorities for the plan to address.
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.
The decision to go out to consultation should have been considered by Bath and North East Somerset Council at a cabinet meeting on 8 September. That meeting was cancelled and, given the time critical nature, the decision was delegated and formally accepted in a single member decision on 24 September by Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Planning and Licensing.
The consultation starts today (4 October) and kicks off a period of ongoing engagement which will continue until August 2023.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Planning and Licensing, said: “The Launch Document for our new Local Plan is an important step forward to address pressing issues and to deliver on our shared priorities.
“Developing a Local Plan is a thorough process and it is important in shaping the future of Bath and North East Somerset. In the past it has enabled us to deliver change and safeguard our value assets. I want to encourage people to engage in the process to ensure we can incorporate innovative ideas and fresh thinking to help deliver our ambitious plans.”
The consultation will run for six weeks and close on 15 November 2022. You can take part in the consultation on the council’s website.
To help deliver its priorities, including addressing the climate and ecological emergencies, the council is also 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 (known as main modifications) have been incorporated and these main modifications are currently out for public consultation. The consultation closes on 2 November. All comments received will be forwarded to the inspector for his consideration.
You can find more information on the Local Plan and Local Plan Partial Update on the council’s website.
The council is also at an early stage of developing a Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Bath and North East Somerset which is closely linked to the Local Plan with their joint focus on improving people’s lives. They share common outcomes for people and places, such as homes, transport, jobs and tackling climate change. To find out about the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy consultation go to https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/joint-health-and-wellbeing-strategy-consultation