Council identifies more housing sites


A number of additional housing sites have been identified by North Somerset Council in order to meet the area’s housing needs over the next nine years.

The council has been required to find more potential sites by a government planning inspector.

Earlier this year the inspector considered the council’s Site Allocations Plan which sets out the detailed housing sites needed to deliver the agreed North Somerset housing requirement up to 2026.

She concluded that some of the sites in the plan were “unlikely to be delivered” by 2026 and asked the council to bring forward other sites which had a more realistic chance of being delivered in the plan period and in particular within the next five years.

Following the inspector’s findings the council has been working hard over the summer to identify more sites which meet the following criteria:

  • sites broadly consistent with the Core Strategy spatial strategy ie sites within or adjacent to Weston, the towns and service villages, but not infill villages, countryside or Green Belt
  • sites already considered through the Site Allocations Plan examination process
  • sites in the development pipeline as these are more likely to be deliverable and could potentially contribute to the government’s five-year housing supply requirements.

Comments were invited from interested parties during this assessment process.

As a result 22 sites have been identified providing a total of 821 homes which are all expected to be delivered within the next five years.

At its meeting yesterday (Tuesday 5 September) the council’s Executive agreed that these sites should be recommended to the inspector for inclusion in the Site Allocations Plan.

“None of us are happy with this, but we are faced with a situation where we have to meet the inspector’s requirements or we face developers building where they like when they like with no control whatsoever,” said Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for planning.

“We need to work with the inspector to ensure we end up with a sound plan which will resolve the five-year supply issue and enable us to retain some control.”

There will be a formal consultation on all the proposed modifications to the plan, including the proposed additional housing sites, which will be taken into account by the inspector before she issues her final report.

A list of the 22 sites can be found in the report that went to Executive on the council’s website at: http://apps.n-somerset.gov.uk/cairo/committees/comidx10-2017.asp.