A range of evidence and technical documents will be needed to inform and support the development of our new Local Plan. New documents will be added that are related to our new Local Plan as new evidence is published.

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Data and Access Profiles

To support production of our new Local Plan 2020 and provide evidence for adopted policies (CS8 and PSP11), we have produced 71 Data and Access Profiles (DAPs). These cover communities in our urban areas and rural settlements.

The findings within the DAPs published in November 2020, are based on information which was updated during early 2020. Each Data and Access Profile contains factual information for each area.

Density and Character - February 2022

This study will form part of the evidence base for the new Local Plan. The study sets out the character of each of the named Urban Lifestyles areas, and analyses the key elements which contribute to these places being appropriate for new optimised-density developments. A range of case study examples are provided of different density ranges development can achieve. This information is then used to support a bespoke density range for each area.

Density and Character Study – report and appendices

Employment and Land Review (ELR) - January 2022

The Future Economic Needs Assessment (FENA) 2023 (Please see separate section on this below for more detail) includes in chapter 7 a review and update of the supporting data and recommendations within the Employment Land Review 2022. You can read a copy of this chapter for ease of reference:

The ELR 2022 remains valid subject to the updates provided through the FENA 2023.

ELR 2022: Individual site proformas:

Energy management in new development

Flood risk - February 2022 update

The following technical guidance and information on the avoidance, reduction and management of flood risk has been taken into account when developing the Local Plan.

South Gloucestershire strategic flood risk assessment (SFRA) level 1 (2021)

The individual area maps from Appendix A of the SFRA are interactive PDF maps that allow users to switch on and off flood risk related mapping layers.

To use the interactive PDF maps, you need to open the maps in a PDF viewer such as Adobe reader. This will allow you to switch the layers on and off.

To do this you will need to open the map from the link and save a copy to your device. You should then be able to open the map in a PDF viewer and use the interactive element of the maps.

For further information email leadlocalfloodauthority@southglos.gov.uk.

In addition to referring to the SFRA, developers and applicants should also use the most recent Environment Agency flood maps “Flood Map for Planning (Rivers and Sea)”. The flood map is updated quarterly and therefore some areas of the SFRA will be superseded by more up to date mapping since the SFRA was published.

The Environment Agency’s website also maps the risk of flooding from surface water and reservoirs. The surface water mapping is not suitable for determining flood risk to individual properties, but provides an indication of whether an area may be affected by surface water flooding and to what extent.

Developers and applicants are responsible for ensuring all drainage designs, strategies and site-specific flood risk assessments are supported by the most accurate and up to date information on flood risk.

Oldbury on Severn Strategic Flood Risk Assessment  – Planning Policy Statement

National policy

To avoid inappropriate development in flood risk areas, the National Planning Guidance (NPPF) (paragraphs 100-104) directs development to areas of the lowest flood risk. Development should not be allocated to high risk areas where other reasonably available sites are available in areas with a lower probability of flooding (flood zone 1), this is called the sequential test. Following the sequential test, if it is not possible for the development to be located in flood zone 1, the exception test can be applied. For the exception test to be passed, it must be demonstrated that the development provides sustainability benefits to the community which outweigh flood risk. In addition a site specific flood risk assessment (SFRA2) must demonstrate that the development will be safe for its lifetime (taking account of the vulnerability of its users), not increase flood risk elsewhere and where possible reduce flood risk overall.

The Oldbury on Severn strategic flood risk assessment 2

Following the decision not to allocate through the PSP Plan, in 2017 we commissioned the Oldbury on Severn SFRA2 together with the Environment Agency and parish council to provide further detailed evidence supporting the potential for small scale housing development at Oldbury on Severn.

The main purpose of this strategic flood risk assessment 2 is to inform the second part of the exception test for the neighbourhood planning process. This will ensure that any potential new development would be in areas with least flood risk and safe for its lifetime (taking account of the vulnerability of its users), not increase flood risk elsewhere and where possible, reduce flood risk overall.

The council considers that the exception test part 1 will not have been met until the neighbourhood planning process has been completed. We are committed to supporting the parish council to undertake this work through the neighbourhood planning process.

The South Gloucestershire Council Level 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for Oldbury on Severn can be viewed below.

Final report September 2017

Future Economic Needs Assessment - December 2023

This is an updated employment land study, providing both a quantitative and qualitative assessment of employment land needs and supply for South Gloucestershire, together with review and update of the ELR 2022.

The FENA provides the forecast number of new jobs being needed, and land requirements from new sites, over the local plan period, and informs our emerging employment land strategy. This is explained in Chapter 3b: Planning for Economy and Jobs of the South Gloucestershire, new Local Plan Phase 3 – Towards a Preferred Strategy consultation.

Read the Future Economic Needs Assessment (FENA) – December 2023.

Important note: for the avoidance of doubt employment evidence supporting the South Gloucestershire new Local Plan comprises only these documents:

  • Future Economic Needs Assessment (FENA) – December 2023
  • Employment Land Review (ELR) – January 2022 as updated by the FENA 2023

The Employment Land and Spatial Needs Assessment (ELSNA) – June 2021 and updated March 2023, produced for the West of England Spatial Development Strategy no longer forms part of the evidence base for the South Gloucestershire new Local Plan; the FENA 2023 replaces this.

Green Belt Assessment

We are working with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), Bath and Northeast Somerset Council and Bristol City Council to assess the performance of Green Belt land against national policy. Find out more.

You can also read:

Green infrastructure - December 2023 update

Strategic GI Corridor Mapping Project

Strategic Green Infrastructure (GI) when planned effectively can create a sustainable network of natural and semi-natural landscape and habitat areas and multi-functional green spaces.

The intention is for the strategic GI corridors to be defined on the new Local Plan Polices Map, as part of a new Strategic Green Infrastructure Network. Appropriate forms of development and land use change may be permitted within the strategic GI network providing they respect its integrity and enhance or maintain its functionality and connectivity.

The 2022 Strategic GI Corridor Mapping Project identified 9 identified strategic GI corridors. The purpose of this work was to refine the indicative GI network shown Local Plan Policy CS2 Figure 1. These nine corridors were previously presented through the Local Plan Phase 2 consultation.

Following comments on that consultation and to further update the evidence and information informing the Strategic Green Infrastructure Network we have updated the project and methodology. The current evidence base is set out in the Strategic GI Corridor Mapping Project – Methodology and Audit Report below.

The project incorporates the West of England Local Nature Partnership’s Nature Recovery Network mapping (e.g. strategic woodland, grassland, and wetland habitat areas and associated buffers), together with mapping of designated sites (such as Conservation Areas and SSSIs) and other strategic level GI assets/features (such as visually important hillsides).

You can view and comment on the proposed strategic GI network through the Local Plan Phase 3 consultation and interactive map.

The Strategic GI Corridor Mapping Project 2023 is available in 3 parts:

West of England Joint Green Infrastructure Strategy (JGIS)

The West of England authorities Joint Green Infrastructure Strategy (JGIS) sets out key priorities and will be the basis for identifying opportunities for enhancing and delivering green infrastructure throughout the district.

More information can be found on the West of England Combined Authority website.

Housing and economic land availability assessment (HELAA)- December 2023 update

The purpose of the housing and economic land availability assessment (HELAA) is to identify a future supply of land which is available and suitable for housing and economic development, over the period of our Local Plan.

Further information on the HELAA process is available at GOV.UK housing and economic land availability assessment guidance.

The call for sites to inform the HELAA is now closed. For further information check our Call for sites 2020 consultation page.

Local Housing Need Assessment (LHNA) - December 2023

The Local Housing Needs Assessment (LHNA) is technical evidence commissioned to understand the current and future housing needs of South Gloucestershire to inform our Local Plan.

The LHNA 2023 was undertaken by Opinion Research Services (ORS).  The LHNA provides robust evidence to support plan-making and is the first step in the process of deciding how many homes need to be planned for.

The housing need figure is not the same thing as the housing requirement figure in a development plan, as capacity and deliverability must also be considered.  The local housing need figure must be calculated at the start of the plan-making process. This number should be kept under review and updated where appropriate.

The LHNA evidence will also underpin planning policy requirements such as Affordable Housing and inform housing strategy. It will be used to inform Local Plan policies addressing the size, type and tenure of housing to be provided, and specialist housing such as for older people and those with reduced mobility requiring a range of accessible housing.

The 2023 LHNA will replace the existing 2021 LHNA as the technical evidence base to identify housing need in South Gloucestershire.

You can read the:

Local green spaces and designations

Local green space designation provides special protection against development for green areas of importance to local communities. Since the designation must conform with national planning policy, it is not suitable for all green spaces.  

A list of protected spaces within South Gloucestershire is available in our Policies, Sites and Places (PSP) plan. Within this plan, policy PSP4 Designated Local Green Spaces outlines the type of protection to these spaces. 

During public examination of the PSP plan, we agreed to reassess all nominated spaces that were not designated in this plan through the development of our new Local Plan (2018-2036) 

Local green space designations interactive map 

The following information on local green space designations applies to the end of the PSP plan process. The reassessment of spaces is not yet complete. 

You can view an interactive map to display: 

  • the local green spaces designated in the PSP plan and which are subject to Policy PSP4 Local Green Space Designations 
  • the nominated (but not designated) spaces which will be reassessed when developing the new Local Plan. These spaces are displayed with information outlining why they were not designated in the PSP plan. This information is also available as a spreadsheet. 

Comments and nominations were invited on local green space designations as part of the February-April 2018 Local Plan consultation, as well as the submission of new spaces. This consultation is now closed. 

For further information on the reassessment and designation process see guidance on local green space designations. 

Minerals evidence

We are the minerals planning authority for South Gloucestershire.  

To ensure that we plan for a steady supply of sufficient aggregates in the area, we  

  • prepare a Local Aggregate Assessment (LAA) 
  • participate in operating an Aggregate Working Party (AWP) 
  • make provision for land won aggregates in our Local Plan 

Local Aggregate Assessment 

The 2013-2022 West of England Local Aggregate Assessment (LAA) is the latest information on permitted reserves and production for crushed rock as of the end of 2022.

The assessment has been prepared jointly by the four unitary authorities  

  • Bath and North East Somerset Council 
  • Bristol City Council
  • North Somerset Council
  • South Gloucestershire Council 

which together comprise the West of England sub region. The assessment is part of the evidence base used to inform the Local Plan for each of these authorities. 

Renewable and low carbon energy

Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Study (RERAS) 2021

Joint evidence has been gathered by South Gloucestershire Council and our partners (Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority) to inform the development of local planning policy and a other areas of potential future work requiring the consideration of different renewable energy resources. The RERAS consists of a comprehensive assessment of the potential for the deployment of various renewable and low and zero carbon energy technologies at different scales and in different locations across South Gloucestershire.

You can read the full report or you can go to the sections below:

You can also view the maps that accompany the full report as follows:

The supporting document to the RERAS is also available to read.

Rural Villages and Settlement Study - February 2022 update

We have undertaken some technical work to inform our thinking about which villages and settlements might be appropriate to consider for growth through Pathway 2. This work has focused around a number of key themes such as: accessibility; an audit of facilities and services; evidence of existing planning designations, and has also drawn upon some of the evidence we published previously in 2020.

Interim Sustainable Rural Villages and Settlements Methodology

You can read more information about creating sustainable rural villages and settlements.

Small Sites Windfall Topic Paper - December 2023

Strategic Viewpoints - December 2023

The Strategic GI Corridor Mapping Project identified strategic viewpoints as an associated GI asset, and the intention is for these viewpoints to be defined on the new Local Plan Polices Map, as part of a new Strategic Green Infrastructure Network.

Set out in our draft Strategic Green Infrastructure and Environment policy, consulted on in Phase 2, was the intention for these to be a policy criteria and considered as development proposals come forward. View the draft policy.

As part of the Phase 3 consultation the location of the Strategic Viewpoints are being shared and consulted on. During the consultation period you can comment on these.

To support the consultation analysis and justification of the strategic viewpoints has been undertaken as part of the Landscape Character Assessment SPD refresh project and is presented in in Annex 2 of this document.

Sustainability appraisal - December 2023

Alongside preparing our new Local Plan, we will be undertaking a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) to understand the economic, environmental, and social effects of the Local Plan from the outset and as it progresses.

Scoping Report

The first stage of the SA process is to prepare a Scoping Report, which sets out the scope of what will be included within the SA of the Local Plan. We prepared a Scoping Report in autumn 2020, and this was published in October 2020 for a five-week consultation period with the three statutory consultees. The responses received during this period have informed the preparation of the Sustainability Appraisal of the Local Plan Phase 1 consultation document (see below).

The October 2020 Scoping Report was republished, with the Phase 1 Local Plan to show the development of the SA to this stage of preparing the Local Plan.

Sustainability Appraisal – Phase 3 (December 2023)

As part of the Phase 3 Local Plan consultation, we have published a Sustainability Appraisal.

You can also read the non-technical summary.

Sustainability Appraisal – Phase 2 (February 2022)

As part of the consultation on the Phase 2 consultation document, we published a Sustainability Appraisal and invited comments in April 2022.

Sustainability Appraisal – Phase 1 (November 2020)

As part of the consultation on the Local Plan 2020 Phase 1 consultation document, we have also published a Sustainability Appraisal Report.

The SA Report sets out how the responses from the statutory consultees (on the Scoping Report) have been addressed (see Appendix 1).

Comments on the Sustainability appraisal are now closed. This ran between 27 November 2020 to 1 March 2021.

Transport Modelling - January 2024 update

Three documents have been published, as part of the Phase 3 New Local Plan consultation. These form the preliminary transport evidence:

  • Local Model Validation Report
    This is a technical document that describes the build and performance of the transport model. It describes the data used to recalibrate the West of England Transport Model (WERTM) for use in South Gloucestershire and reports on key model metrics.  
  • WERTM Network Updates
    This is a technical note that describes the network adjustments made to the transport model, WERTM.
  • Local Plan Stage1 Transport Report
    This is a technical report that describes the transport modelling carried out to provide a high-level assessment of the three lenses, set out in the Phase 3 consultation document. The modelling has sought to assess the impacts of the lenses without any new mitigation packages coming forward.

It should be noted that this transport assessment was based on early iterations of the lenses and there may be small discrepancies with how the lenses are described and individual sites, compared to the final lens versions shown in the Local Plan Phase 3 consultation documentation. 

Further transport modelling will be carried out on the Emerging Preferred Strategy and will be published in due course.    

Visually Important Hillsides - December 2023

The Strategic GI Corridor Mapping Project identified nine identified strategic GI corridors, which included the mapping of visually important hillsides (landscape GI assets) as indicatively shown in currently adopted Local Plan Policy CS2 Figure 1.

The intention is for these hillsides to be designated on the new Local Plan Polices Map.

As part of the Phase 3 consultation the location of the Visually Important Hillsides are being shared and consulted on. During the consultation period you can view and comment on these.

To inform the new Local Plan and following feedback from Local Plan Phase 2 consultation, further analysis and justification of the visually important hillsides has been undertaken as part of the Landscape Character Assessment SPD refresh project and is presented in in Annex 1 of this document.

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