Councils team up to prepare housing strategy

PUBLISHED: 17:51 20 January 2015 | UPDATED: 17:51 20 January 2015

3d illustration of  Blueprints

3d illustration of Blueprints

Archant

A JOINT effort from four councils could change housing and employment strategies in North Somerset.

North Somerset, Bristol City, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset Councils are working together on the Joint Strategic Planning Strategy (JSPS).

The document will assess how many houses are required in the four areas and how they will be distributed.

A document setting out how the JSPS will be created says: “Preparation of the JSPS is a substantial task and will have significant implications for the future planning of the sub-region.

“Working together on strategic plan-making as opposed to relying only on separate plan reviews will be more effective, avoiding duplication on evidence gathering and reducing the risk, uncertainty and costs for the West of England authorities and other stakeholders associated with a successful legal challenge.”

The document will focus on how jobs and homes are distributed across the four authorities.

It will also pinpoint the key sites for development and how much infrastructure, including transport, will be required.

It is expected the document will be adopted in the spring of 2017.

Last year, North Somerset Council was told by a Government planning inspector that it needed to built 25,000 new homes in the district up to 2026.

Council leaders had originally planned for 17,130.

It is hoped the cross-council document could prevent similar legal challenges being made in the future.

Developers have already been putting forward proposals for sites and consulting with residents, while 150 homes in Yatton have already been approved.

Other plans include 185 homes in Winscombe, 132 in Sandford, 153 in Congresbury, 100 in Claverham and 170 in Yatton – with further planning applications being prepared.

The councils want public views on the JSPS document. Any comments should be emailed by March 6 to planning@westofengland.org

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