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Two-stage consultation on plan to shape North Somerset’s future

3:31pm - 30 April 2020

Residents and businesses will have the opportunity to engage in a two-stage consultation process this year on a plan that will shape the future growth of North Somerset.

The North Somerset Local Plan will guide housing, business investment, transport and infrastructure in the district until 2038.

North Somerset Council wants local communities, individuals and organisations to be involved in developing the plan and help influence the future of the area.

At its meeting yesterday (Wednesday 29 April) the council’s Executive agreed a two-stage consultation process to take place this year and urged local people to get involved.

The first stage, due to take place in the summer, will focus on the challenges facing North Somerset and will seek views on the issues the Local Plan will need to address.

The responses received will help inform the second consultation phase which will focus on the choices around future development in North Somerset. It is anticipated this will take place in the autumn.

The Executive also resolved to write to the Government and the local MPs to challenge the basis for forecast housing growth, particularly in the light of the Covid-19 crisis and the climate emergency, and to highlight the ongoing need for substantial investment in infrastructure and jobs to support development.

The council’s executive member for transport and planning, Cllr James Tonkin, said: “There is a need to create a clearer approach to consultation and engagement given both the challenges of engaging effectively during the extremely difficult times we are living through with the current Covid-19 crisis, and recognising the opportunity to give more time to reflect on the broader context for the choices to be made around future development in North Somerset.

“There is also a need to better understand the Government’s exit strategy from the Covid-19 crisis and the longer term economic impacts and implications for North Somerset.

“It is also unclear what impacts the Covid-19 crisis will have on the housing market and the implications this will have for North Somerset’s housing needs. This requires further consideration and also recognition by Government that the basis of current forecasts may need to change.”

More details on how people can get involved in the consultations will be made available nearer the time.