Next Steps proposed for Bath & North East Somerset Local Plan Partial Update

Proposals for consulting in August and September this year on the future planning policies needed to address the climate and ecological emergencies in Bath and North East Somerset are being recommended in a report to cabinet member for planning Councillor Tim Ball.

The Single Member Decision seeks approval for a new timetable for the preparation of the Local Plan Partial Update and associated Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). This follows an options consultation held at the start of this year which saw significant level of support for policies aimed at delivering zero carbon development.

Under the proposed timetable, the revised Local Plan- which sets outs the future planning framework for affordable homes, high-quality jobs and sustainable transport in the area-  will be considered at a council meeting in July, followed by a public consultation in August and September. This would mean the Plan could be submitted to the Secretary of State before the end of the year for public examination. Once adopted the Local Plan will form the basis for determining planning applications until 2029.

Our current planning framework was agreed in 2014 before we declared climate and ecological emergencies. It is therefore essential we update our planning policies to reflect these commitments. I welcome this report as it sets out a clear timetable for consulting local people on the draft Plan, and I will consider its recommendations carefully.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for planning

Key issues which the council will be consulting on include:

  • requiring all new development to be zero carbon 
  • boosting the supply of affordable homes
  • facilitating a green recovery and protecting employment land
  • greater controls over houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
  • development at the university campuses and the location of student accommodation
  • reviewing the role of Park & Rides sites in the Green Belt to act more as transport interchanges than traditional Park & Rides
  • reviewing some site allocations

Three Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) form a critical part of the council’s planning policy framework and complement policies in the Local Plan and would also be reviewed and form part of the proposed consultation. These cover:

  • a review of houses in multiple occupation
  • a review of sustainable construction and retrofitting
  • a new transport SPD to include walking and cycling design, travel plans, ultra-low emission vehicles and parking standards and design.

Press release by Bath & North East Somerset Council.