Have your say: new Local Plan Options consultation starts

Options for how we address our future development needs, such as where to deliver new homes and jobs across Bath and North East Somerset and what policies we need for addressing the climate and ecological emergencies are currently being consulted on.

Residents and businesses can have their say during the eight-week consultation on the Local Plan Options Document, which is the next stage in the development of a new Local Plan for the district.

The Local Plan is an important statutory document used for decision making on development and the use of land, and when adopted will form the basis for determining planning applications until 2042.

The options, which were approved by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet, support the council’s Corporate Strategy and Economic Strategy for a fairer, more prosperous and sustainable economy.

Another key objective for the Local Plan is to maximise the delivery of housing that is more affordable and the document says an estimated 14,500 new homes are needed up to 2042. Of those, more than 6,000 will be built on sites, mainly brownfield sites in Bath, that are already committed for development via planning permission or allocated in the current Local Plan.

Residents and stakeholders will be able to comment on the options proposed by responding to an interactive version of the Local Plan online, as well as taking part in a series of in-person events.

Videos will be added to the council website giving step-by-step guidance on ‘How to Comment on the Local Plan’ and explain ‘What is a Local Plan’ as well as outlining how the various options will help to deliver the council’s priorities on housing, the climate emergency and sustainable transport.

A second set of videos will discuss locations identified in the Options Document that could be developed to create additional housing or jobs, together with the necessary supporting infrastructure: Keynsham and Saltford, Hicks Gate, Whitchurch, Bath and the Somer Valley.

A series of drop-in sessions where people can discuss the options with council officers have been arranged at the following locations:

  • Keynsham Community Space, 22 February
  • Trinity Church, Radstock, 26 February
  • Saltford Hall, 29 February
  • The Hive, Peasedown St John, 1 March
  • Bath Cricket Club, 4 March
  • Whitchurch United Reform Church, 6 March
  • Farrington Gurney Village Hall, 13 March.

All the drop-in events run from 3pm to 7pm.

Printed copies of the Options Document are available at Bath Central Library; Keynsham Library; Midsomer Norton Library; Bath Housing, Welfare and Advice Services, the mobile library and all community libraries. Easy Read copies can be requested by emailing planning_policy@bathnes.gov.uk and there is an Easy Read version of the document online here.

The consultation runs until 8 April. You can respond on the council website.

When the consultation closes, the issues raised in all comments and feedback will be considered and a Draft Local Plan will be produced which will be subject to consultation. It will then be submitted to the Secretary of State and examined by an independent planning inspector in 2025. If approved by the inspector, it will be adopted by the council.

More information about the development of the new Local Plan can be found on the council website.

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