New homes and jobs – key targets and information

How many new homes?

Our new Local Plan will be judged against whether or not it sets out a robust and clear strategy to ensure a certain number of new homes can be developed.

New policies on design, climate change and making plans for renewable energy and infrastructure will need to be consistent with the strategy for delivering our requirement for new homes.

Although, our plan period is over 20 years from 2022 to 2042, we intend to adopt our new Local Plan in 2024. Because of this the calculation of how many new homes we need to plan for will need to cover 18 years.

The number of new homes which need to explore planning for in our new Local Plan is established in three steps:

How many new homes do we need to plan for?
How many homes do we need to plan for in 3 steps

As we begin this consultation the minimum number of new homes we need to plan for is: 11,577, although we also know WECA may want to increase this level of housing provision.

This is the starting point for considering how many homes we need to plan for.

In this consultation we want to explore how effective use of land in our urban areas, and within the existing settlements of our market towns (Urban lifestyles approach) and all our rural villages and settlements, might contribute to meeting the need for new homes in South Gloucestershire.

Over the next year there will be more certainty on the requirement and broad locations for growth as public consultation takes place on the sub regional strategy for growth and change, the SDS. This is being developed in parallel with our new Local Plan and will influence and update the number of new homes we need to plan for.

When we know this, we can have further Local Plan consultations on the approach we might need to take to accommodate large scale growth and change. For example discussing potential locations for; urban extension, new settlements and growth of our market towns, or larger scale growth of some of our rural villages and settlements.

Jobs and employment

A Local Plan helps to ensure that land is protected for employment development and economic activity. This allows existing businesses and economic uses to continue, invest, grow and change.

Planning for safeguarded employment land supports a ‘strong, responsive and competitive economy, providing land of the right type in locations across our area. However, this needs a long-term view to safeguard existing employment areas and allocate new land and sites for employment.

In our new Local Plan we need to consider which of our existing employment sites and areas we continue to protect, and whether we need to allow more flexibility for other uses (such as housing, leisure, commercial and community uses) on other selected employment areas.

Some level of change on our existing safeguarded employment sites can allow an increase in job density and allow for new types of businesses. Introducing non employment uses or mixed use sites in urban areas can also assist our town centres and high streets by bringing in new residents and community, leisure and commercial uses, to support existing and new businesses.

Key decisions for the new Local Plan

  • Where to allocate space for new employment sites so that key sectors, industries and businesses can expand and new economic opportunities can thrive and grow; and
  • Whether any of our existing safeguarded employment areas can be released for new homes, other uses. Or allowed to be developed for a mixture of uses, where new or existing employment uses are maintained but mixed in with leisure, retail, community and/or housing developments.

Targets for new employment land

The regional Employment Land and Spatial Needs Assessment (ELSNA) sets out a requirement for a minimum additional 10Ha of land for research and development, and offices.

These targets show the minimum amount of new employment land required and assume that the existing safeguarded employment areas continue to be protected and used primarily for employment.

If we are to consider a wider mixture of uses on protected employment land as part of our regeneration plans in urban areas, we will need to find more space and replacement employment land.

But we also need to ensure our existing employment land and areas are making the best use of sites and space, to maximise the opportunity for jobs and economic activity. Regeneration and change on some of our existing employment land for a variety of uses, might lead to changes and loss of the overall area, but encourage new forms of employment and higher densities of jobs overall in the same community.

Two key pieces of employment evidence are informing our strategic approach to employment land provision and change in the Local Plan:

  • the West of England Economic Land and Spatial Needs Assessment (ELSNA) has assessed future employment land requirements for the entire West of England area, with a South Gloucestershire proportion; and
  • the South Gloucestershire Employment Land Review (ELR) assesses our existing safeguarded sites across the authority – initial findings state that all the employment sites currently protected under policy CS12, should remain protected for employment development, but it does note that there are some sites which would benefit from a mixed-use approach to increase the quality and range of employment sites and opportunities

In our urban lifestyles section of the plan, we highlight several existing employment areas, where suggestions have been made through the call for sites and masterplanning processes to change the nature of part or all an employment area, to different types of use. These suggestions include a wider mix uses, different types of commercial and or infrastructure types or residential developments.

If the option to change the use or mix of uses on these employment areas was taken forward, our local plan would need to consider finding and providing additional employment land, in close proximity including outside of the urban areas, or require new types of employment space on the site, that complement and work with the new uses.

Where replacement land for employment is needed, under our plan objectives on sustainable access and balancing jobs and residents in communities, it would be expected to be in close proximity to the community where the existing land and sites are being lost, with a focus on still being accessible by walking and cycling.

Read the next chapter – New strategy – where to grow and protect

Go back to the Local Plan 2020 – Phase 2 Urban, Rural and Key Issues document landing page.

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