Green light for major housing plan


A major plan which shapes housing development in North Somerset up to 2026 has been approved by a Government inspector.

The Site Allocations Plan sets out the sites needed to deliver the agreed North Somerset housing requirement over the next eight years.

Its approval means there is now much more certainty about the location of future development and the supporting infrastructure required.

The focus of the inspector’s examination was on housing land supply. During the examination process, the inspector asked the council to consider additional housing sites which could provide greater choice, particularly in the short term. This resulted in the identification of sites for 23,080 dwellings, some 2,000 dwellings more than the council’s Core Strategy target, and provided the reassurance that the housing requirement could be delivered by 2026.

The inspector also commented on objections to development proposals for an existing industrial estate at Old Mill Road, Portishead.  She agreed with local residents that there was a significant demand for employment uses on the site, and that its loss to residential use could be detrimental to the local economy, particularly in Portishead where the opportunities for new employment are limited.

The Site Allocations Plan also confirms the allocation of areas of local green space of particular importance to local communities and strategic gaps between defined settlements to protect their separation and character.

The Site Allocations Plan will be considered at a full meeting of North Somerset Council on Tuesday 10 April where it will be recommended that the plan is adopted.