Abbots Leigh, Ham Green, Pill and Easton-in-Gordano Neighbourhood Plan consultation on submitted Neighbourhood Plan

Abbots Leigh, Ham Green, Pill and Easton-in-Gordano Neighbourhood Plan

2 Strategic Planning Framework

For much of the time while this Neighbourhood Plan was being assembled, the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) was being prepared, and successive drafts of the JSP provided a policy context for our work. In August 2019, however, the strategic context changed. Public Examination of the JSP and subsequent letters from the Inspectors indicated that they were minded to conclude that the JSP was unsound.

A new Local Plan 2038 is now being developed and our Neighbourhood Plan has been informed by the July Challenges and Choices Consultation to which we made a submission. The two Parish Councils have also responded to the September 2020 Call for Sites by submitting the sites proposed for the two development schemes set out in Section 5.5 below. At the same time there are Government proposals for changes to the planning system, to local housing numbers and to the Green Belt, all of which will have an effect on long-term thinking about our area.

The strategic framework for this Neighbourhood Plan, however, remains North Somerset’s current Development Plan which consists of its Core Strategy (January 2017), its Development Management Policies (July 2016) and the Site Allocations Plan (April 2018). The implications of this are that our Plan assumes that, with the exception of two sites in Ham Green, the Green Belt remains as it is at present, the Pill Settlement boundary remains unchanged and Abbots Leigh remains ‘rural’. The policies suggested in the Plan relate only to the period up to 2026.

At the same time, however, much of our thinking still relates to the longer term and a number of the issues explored are clearly applicable to the fifteen years 2023-38. We expect that once a strategic framework has been finalised for North Somerset, hopefully in early 2023, our Plan will be updated and/or revised and we are happy to make a commitment that this will be done.