A plan mapping out the policies and principles for future development across the Bristol region has been endorsed by city councillors.
Full Council approved the final draft of the West of England Joint Spatial Plan, which will be published next week for public comment before it is submitted to the Secretary of State for adoption.
The Joint Spatial Plan is designed by the four West of England councils (North Somerset, Bristol City, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire) to provide the overarching development framework needed to guide housing, employment and infrastructure requirements until 2036.
Yesterday at Full Council, Bristol City Council councillors reviewed the latest document, which is the product of more than two years joint working with neighbouring West of England councils and two previous consultations.
Cllr Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning and City Design at Bristol City Council, said:
“It’s absolutely crucial that we work closely with our neighbouring authorities to plan for the future. We need to think about where our children are going to live, their job prospects and how they will move around the region. By 2036 we need at least 102,200 more homes and to make sure the West of England area provides to this, the plan identifies capacity for 105,500 new homes, including 24,500 new affordable homes for rent.
“Our housing ambitions for Bristol are greater than the joint plan outlines and the Mayor has recently announced significant future projects to unlock more housing.
“We are working with our neighbours in a way we’ve never done before because we jointly recognise the need to shape our growth and plan carefully and soundly for the future. That’s what this plan is all about – addressing our shared and growing needs as a region. The plan is a UK trailblazer as it’s the first spatial plan of its type where four local authorities are working together to plan our tomorrow. By working together we have a chance to reach the best possible solution for all residents in the area regardless of which side of the boundary they happen to live in.”
The four councils are continuing to develop a Joint Transport Study in order to help the region meet growing infrastructure demands and identify projects needed to upgrade existing transport links where there is already pressure on road and public transport networks.
The Joint Spatial Plan and its supporting evidence will be published online at http://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk for public comment on 22 November. Members of the public will have until 10 January to comment on the plan.
Original press release from Bristol City Council: