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West of England submits joint spatial plan

Words: Laura Edgar
Bath / iStock-601138252

Four councils have submitted a draft West of England Joint Spatial Plan to housing secretary Sajid Javid.

The local authorities involved are Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The plan has been submitted following three years of working together and public engagement to develop a strategy to help guide planning for housing and business growth across the council areas for the next 20 years.

It includes the policies and principles that have been used to determine “the most appropriate and sustainable” locations for development, says a statement from the councils.

The policies and principles have been the subject of stakeholder engagement and three consultation exercises in order to shape them.

The government will now review the plan, appointing an independent planning inspector to conduct an Examination in Public this autumn. The inspector will report back to the councils and may suggest amendments.

If approved, the councils will consider whether to adopt the spatial plan, which would sit above and guide the review of each council’s local plan.

The four councils are also taking forward the findings of a Joint Transport Study, which has been designed to help the region meet the increasing infrastructure demands that new growth will bring. It aims to identify the projects that are needed to tackle existing pressure on road and public transport networks, including reducing the reliance on cars.

A Transport Topic Paper, which provides more detail on the infrastructure investments being considered to support the growth proposed in the JSP is also being submitted.

More information on the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and the plan itself can be found here.

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