2. Council priorities and Local Plan objectives

Changing circumstances

2.1 We have already discussed the land use issues facing the area, and Local Plan objectives to address these issues in our 2 previous consultations which you can view using the links below.

2.2 Local Plan 2020: Phase 1 – Issues and Approaches consultation document (Nov 2020 to March 2021)

In the consultation document we introduced and sought your views on:

  • a summary of the environmental, social and economic assets in South Gloucestershire which have shaped our preparation of our new strategy for development – Setting the scene.
  • 55 key issues for our area. These were identified through national guidance and local evidence.
  • 9 potential priorities for the Local Plan to address these issues Strategy – Where will new development go?

2.3 Local Plan 2020: Phase 2 – Urban Rural and Key Issues Consultation Document (Feb 2022 to April 2022)

In the consultation document we:

2.4 Since we did this, some circumstances have changed which means we need to update our priorities and objectives in this consultation. Firstly, we need to reflect the fact that the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has stopped work on their Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) which has changed the scope of our Local Plan. We now need to include strategic policies setting out the homes, jobs and infrastructure we need to plan for and the strategy for how this will be achieved. Secondly the political leadership of the council changed in May 2023. Our new Local Plan now needs to reflect the shared objectives of the new partnership, as set out in the Joint Partnership Agreement and in the emerging update of the Council Plan.

Priorities and objectives for the plan

2.5 At this stage we are seeking your views on the council’s proposed new objectives for the Local Plan which have at their heart and reflect the Joint Partnership Agreement of May 2023 to:

“Address the twin challenges of the climate and nature emergencies as well as the cost of living, with due regard to future generations in all decision making”.

2.6 To deliver this council priority and address the issues in our area, we have identified the following objectives for the Local Plan:

Objective 1 – New homes for all communities

1a Support people with the cost of living, by helping to ensure that everyone has access to a decent, safe and sustainable home by allocating sites to deliver a sufficient supply of high-quality homes, including affordable and specialised homes of different sizes, types and tenures to meet identified needs for all sections of our community including gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople.

1b Ensure that a range of differently sized sites for new homes are planned for in sustainable locations across South Gloucestershire to deliver and maintain a rolling 5 year supply of housing.

1c Make effective use of land by optimising density in sustainable and appropriate locations.

Objective 2 – Travel and transport

2a Locate new homes in places where employment, key services and facilities are easily accessed by walking, cycling and wheeling and effective public transport, or where these are capable of being provided as part of the new development.

2b Locate small and proportionate development within and around existing, suitable villages and settlements to support their future vitality as well as existing services and facilities, in particular rural primary schools.

2c Enable more active lifestyles, minimise the need to travel and, where travel is necessary, decarbonise it by designing new development and infrastructure to make it easier and safer to walk cycle, wheel and to use public transport.

Objective 3 – Climate, nature and heritage

3a Increase our resilience to climate change impacts and threats, including buildings, infrastructure, and the natural environment.

3b Recognise the impact of locational decisions on both the causes and consequences of climate change, including risk of flooding.

3c Protect and enhance the character, distinctiveness, quality and intrinsic features of the natural and historic environment.

3d Establish, maintain and enhance the function and connectivity of green infrastructure and Nature Recovery Networks for all our communities and achieve at least 10% biodiversity net gain in new developments.

3e Protect existing trees and increase tree cover, new tree-planting and require the replacement of trees lost to development.

3f Ensure access to high quality green infrastructure, nature rich habitat and open spaces, for all our communities, including our urban communities.

3g Work to achieve net zero by significantly increase renewable and low-carbon energy generation including through community energy projects.

Objective 4 – Design and place-making

4a Create a positive sense of place by responding to key natural, built, historic and landscape assets and character of both the local landscape and townscape to create high-quality developments.

4b Require zero carbon, energy-efficient building design and construction and support retrofitting to reduce energy bills, decarbonise heating and adapt to climate change.

4c New homes and infrastructure should be adaptable and accessible to cater for households whose needs may change over time, and for our ageing population.

4d Optimise the quality, density and range of uses in all new development, with higher density in the most accessible locations.

4e Ensure new homes and workplaces provide high quality private outdoor space and internal layouts, with positive residential amenity, including suitably sized new homes.

4f Streets and areas of public realm should be safe, functional, accessible and attractive, with new streets being tree lined.

Objective 5 – Jobs and businesses

5a Plan for a better balance between local jobs and resident workers in all our communities, recognising the need for more employment opportunities in the communities of our Bristol East Fringe urban area and the economic and environmental benefits of avoiding the need for long distance commuting.

5b Plan for the employment land required to meet evidence-based need on existing and new sites.

5c Support a ‘green’ economic recovery through the growth of green technology and businesses which contribute to carbon reduction.

5d Ensure safeguarded employment areas are flexible and attractive to accommodate businesses of all sizes, including key local sectors in a rapidly changing economic and retail environment.

5e Rethink town centres and high streets, in terms of what they offer and how they operate, delivering local regeneration which contributes to positive and inclusive development and change.

5f Plan for mineral working to ensure a steady and adequate supply of aggregates.

Objective 6 – Deliverability and viability

6a Direct development to those locations well-served or capable of being well served by existing utilities and infrastructure.

6b Ensure that the delivery of new development is supported by the timely provision of all necessary infrastructure and that that the development industry plays its role in providing infrastructure.

6c Safeguard land for infrastructure and renewable energy where necessary.

6d New development should enable and support the long-term success and sustainability of schools, sports and community infrastructure and public open spaces and areas identified for biodiversity net gain.

6e Build on and enhance digital connectivity across the area.

6f Infrastructure for alternative-fuel vehicles should be available in new developments.


Do you have any comments on the council’s priorities and Local Plan objectives?

Send us your feedback by completing the questionnaire on our consultation page.

Read the next section – Building a new strategy.

Or return to the contents page.

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