Core Strategy - Consultation Draft

CS14: Distribution of New Housing

CS14: Distribution of New Housing

Outside the Weston urban extension, new housing development to 2026 will be accommodated as follows:

Weston-super-Mare urban area will be the main focus for new residential development within North Somerset with 3,000 dwellings accommodated within the existing urban area.

Residential development at Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead will be acceptable within their existing urban areas on brownfield sites where this increases self-containment and enhances their service centre roles.

Within the service villages of Backwell, Banwell, Churchill, Congresbury, Hutton, Locking, Long Ashton, Pill/Easton-in-Gordano, Uphill, Winscombe, Wrington and Yatton, small-scale infill housing and conversions may be appropriate but only where it will maintain or improve self-containment, support the retention of existing services or fulfil an identified local housing need in respect of affordability or dwelling mix.

Elsewhere housing development will not be permitted unless it is for essential workers in rural enterprises, replacement dwellings or where a need for affordable housing cannot be accommodated in the higher order settlements.  A net increase of replacement housing (of a commensurate scale) and the relaxation of occupancy restrictions will only be permitted as part of a live/work development.

Priority will be given to the re-use of previously developed land.  In all cases, new housing development must not conflict with environmental protection, Green Belt, nature conservation or any other relevant policies of the Development Plan and should provide any necessary mitigating or compensatory measures to address any adverse implications.

The target net density across North Somerset is 40 dwellings per ha, although this may be higher at highly accessible locations, and less in sensitive areas.

Settlement boundaries for Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and the service villages will remain as defined in the Replacement Local Plan pending any alterations as part of any future Site Allocations Development Plan Document.  All other settlement boundaries will be deleted.

This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objectives 1 and 4.


The distribution of new residential development in the Core Strategy needs to reflect the broad settlement hierarchy based on sustainability principles as proposed in the Regional Spatial Strategy:

  • Development Policy A: Strategically Significant Cities and Towns (SSCTs).
  • Development Policy B: Market and Coastal Towns.
  • Development Policy C: Small Towns and Villages.

The Core Strategy must interpret how this approach is to be delivered in the North Somerset context.

The Core Strategy approach

The RSS identifies Weston-super-Mare as one of the Strategically Significant Cities and Towns within the South West, identified because they are the focal points for economic activity, cultural facilities, service facilities and transport accessibility, and with the potential to deliver sustainable development. Weston is therefore the focus for development within North Somerset, but it is also recognised that development at Weston, both within the urban area and at the urban extension, must be employment-led to secure regeneration and greater self-containment.

Away from the SSCTs, the RSS maintains that the scope for significant development is limited resulting in a scale of development that is more clearly aligned to supporting the role and function of places in their individual localities. The RSS recognises the role that many Market and Coastal Towns play in providing jobs and services both for their own populations and their hinterlands. Within such places, where there exist employment and other facilities and sustainable transport access, provision will be made for housing, employment, shopping and other services that increase self-containment and enhance their service centre roles. The RSS intends that these places will be the focal points for locally significant scales of development, including provision for the bulk of district housing provision outside the SSCTs. Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead are defined as falling within this category. It is considered that these towns offer the range of services, facilities and employment which could contribute to reduced trip generation and increased self-containment.

In addition, targeted small scale development for housing in accessible village communities may be appropriate if it is clearly related to identified local needs. The emphasis here is on creating greater self-containment and stronger local communities with development that supports economic activity appropriate to the scale of the settlement, extends the range of services to better meet the needs of the settlement and the surrounding area, and meets identified local housing needs. Within North Somerset 12 service villages are identified where this approach will apply. These are both the larger villages with a wider range of facilities and services, and also settlements with easy access to the SSCT of Weston. Elsewhere, in order to reduce unsustainable sporadic development new housing will be very strictly controlled.

How and where the policy will be delivered

The bulk of new housing development outside the urban extensions will be accommodated within Weston-super-Mare. Elsewhere, there will be some additional scope within Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead where this contributes to increased self-containment or improved service provision. Within the identified service villages there will be some opportunities for targeted small scale development to meet local needs.

There are existing site allocations in the Replacement Local Plan and these will be supplemented by additional sites in the Weston Town Centre Area Action Plan and the Site Allocations Development Plan Document as appropriate.

Settlement boundaries as defined in the Replacement Local Plan will indicate the locations where new residential development is acceptable in principle. Settlement boundaries for those places outside Weston, Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and the Service Villages will be deleted. Amendments to settlement boundaries will be undertaken through the Site Allocations DPD.

New housing will be primarily delivered by the private sector, but with a significant role from the Registered Social Landlords in respect of affordable housing.

New housing must be seen as part of an overall approach towards increased sustainability, particularly where the emphasis is on increased self-containment. There is therefore an important role to be played by a range of partners working with housing providers.

Alternative options and contingency planning

a) Market and Coastal Towns

Alternative options considered:

i) No settlements are included in this category given their dormitory nature;

ii) Nailsea is not included as an appropriate settlement given its relatively higher level of out-commuting;

iii) Add additional settlements such as Yatton given its range of existing services and rail station.

The Core Strategy seeks to maximise brownfield opportunities from the three largest towns, and recognises that there may be opportunities for locally significant development where this contributes to improving self-containment. The relatively smaller scale of Yatton and its range of facilities and services means that it is more appropriately defined as a service village.

b) Service villages

Alternative options considered:

i) Include more settlements;

ii) Include fewer settlements;

iii) Exclude villages included because of their accessibility to Weston.

The Core Strategy seeks to focus any development for local needs on the larger villages which have a role in acting as service hubs for surrounding areas. To widen the range of places identified could encourage a more dispersed approach, contrary to the emerging RSS. It is considered that although Banwell, Hutton, Locking and Uphill have a relatively fewer services and facilities, they are easily accessible to Weston, and therefore appropriate to include.

c) Elsewhere

An alternative option is to increase supply in the smaller villages and countryside.

While there is demand for a more flexible approach to village development, the cumulative impact of development would lead to less sustainable patterns and potentially an adverse impact on environmental quality.

Monitoring and review

Housing supply is monitored annually and assessed in relation to the four five year tranches in order to ensure that there remains a flexible supply of available and deliverable land for housing.