North Somerset Local Plan 2038 Challenges and Choices Part 1: Challenges for the Future

Local Plan 2038: Challenges for the Future

Introduction and planning for the next 15 years


Portishead 2004 001A Local Plan sets out where developments can and cannot take place and ensures we get the right type of development in the right place with the right services and infrastructure – and avoids unplanned development.

We asked residents about some of the issues in September 2018. A lot has happened since then - the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) for the West of England has been withdrawn and the recent pandemic means we need to have a rethink. The consultation in September 2018 not only looked at places for new development but considered issues such as which types of settlements might be more suitable for development, whether settlement boundaries
need to be reviewed, the role of the airport and future detailed policies the plan might have. These issues and many others will all be covered in the consultation draft version of the plan which will be released next year.

This document sets out the challenges facing North Somerset. It explains why we need more homes and jobs and how climate change and ensuring sustainable development is influencing development.

Whilst it is not clear how things will alter in the long-term as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic this could fundamentally change the way we live our lives, including the way we travel, where we work, changes to our town centres and high streets and the impacts on our economy.

Planning for the next 15 years

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North Somerset is a popular place to live and visit. It has strong links with Bristol, an important economic base and attractive and characterful towns, villages and rural areas. Providing the right type of homes and communities we need, together with jobs, schools, open space, roads and sustainable transport whilst addressing climate change and other important issues is going to present some interesting challenges and opportunities.

We need more homes in North Somerset. This will involve intense debate and difficult decisions about where to develop especially when people fear increasing traffic congestion, high house prices and services that are struggling to cope. However, ensuring young people such as your children and grandchildren can find a home in the local area, that there are homes for people to downsize to, retirement homes or assisted living schemes is a fundamental requirement.
New housing is a controversial and complex subject; we all want homes for our families and ourselves but, let us be honest, we do not always want houses built near us.

The Council understands that concern. The prospect of more housing causes worries about traffic congestion, school places, loss of green space, difficulty getting a GP or hospital appointment and other vital issues. The only way to deal with these issues is to plan in a coordinated way. Having an up-to date Local Plan in place helps in delivering infrastructure and in rejecting demands from developers to build in unsuitable locations.