North Somerset Local Plan 2023-2038

North Somerset Council has taken the decision to withdraw from the sub-regional West of England Joint Spatial Plan. The council now needs to prepare its own Local Plan to shape investment and infrastructure funding to support new homes, workplaces and local facilities for the next 15 years and beyond.

The Local Plan, which will guide housing, business investment, transport and infrastructure until 2038, will take around three years to produce. To launch the start of the new Local Plan we published a number of documents which set out why we need a new Local Plan, the timescales for producing it and how we will assess the sustainability of the plan. Engagement on the Local Plan Pre-commencement document which sets out the proposed content, scope and methodology ended on 22 April. The relevant documents are listed below.

Executive on 29 April considered a report on how we can now move forward from the pre-commencement document to begin discussions on what the challenges are in North Somerset and what choices there may be for meeting the development needs of North Somerset to 2038. Executive agreed  that engagement should take place firstly  on the “Challenges” facing North Somerset up to 2038. A second period of engagement should take place following consideration of responses received and that this should be on the “Choices” for potential spatial strategies for growth. It is anticipated that engagement will take place in June/July 2020 on the first “Challenges” stage, followed by consideration of the choices in the Autumn. Read the minutes here.


The Local Development Scheme is the council’s project plan for the preparation of new planning policy documents between 2020 and 2023.

The Planning Advisory Service Toolkit: Part 1 reviews the policies within the existing Local Plan to assess whether a new Local Plan needs to be produced.

The Sustainability Appraisal (SA) process is a process that aims to ensure that all significant plans and programmes that relate to land use issues are compatible with the aims of sustainable development. This Scoping Report sets out a framework for how the SA will be carried out for the new Local Plan.

North Somerset Council wants communities, individuals and organisations to influence the future of the area by getting involved in plan making. A press release has been published which sets out the issues facing the district and how we want to engage with communities.

Some of the issues the plan will be considering are how to:

  • Work towards the council’s target to be carbon neutral by 2030
  • Set out how the council will make sure it provides for the right type and number of homes, in the right places, to meet the needs of the people who live here now and in the future
  • Allocate space for business and set out what other infrastructure is needed to support economic growth and the new homes
  • Allocate sites for other land uses where these are known, including retail, community facilities and, transport, and local waste and minerals
  • Update or create planning policies to make sure all new buildings are high quality and of sustainable design, and to protect North Somerset’s natural and built environments
  • Address flooding and drainage issues.

How to get involved:

If you want to be informed about consultations on the Local Plan or any other planning documents, please sign up to the planning policy consultation database. You will then receive an e-mail notification at each stage of the process where you will have an opportunity to comment on the plan and engage with making the plan. You may have registered before but as this is a new Local Plan please register again to ensure you are on the database.