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Help ensure future homes and jobs in our city are sustainable


Members are encouraged to take the opportunity to influence Bristol’s development over the next 20 years by responding to a review of the city’s Local Plan (other local plans are also available – see below).

Our shared Partnership vision is a sustainable city with a high quality of life for all. A strategic, long-term, joined-up, systems approach to planning for new homes and work places is vital for achieving that environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive prosperity for our city and not just maintaining but enhancing the quality of our city’s natural environment that makes it so special.

What’s is a local plan?

We previously encouraged member organisations to engage with the Joint Spatial Plan – a high-level process which sets the regional policy framework and general locations for development up to 2036 across the four West of England local authority areas. The final stage of this process – consideration by a planning inspector – comes later this year. Several Partnership members submitted responses, in addition to the BGCP CIC.

Each of the region’s four councils are now reviewing plans, places and policies for building more homes and new employment opportunities, and what transport and other improvements and infrastructure will be required to support it. All four council area Local Plans will sit under the new regional plan.

The first stage of Bristol City Council’s review launched this month with a consultation that runs to 13 April, and South Gloucestershire is running a process to 30 April. Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset ran initial calls for input alongside the JSP consultation and are likely to run further consultations (see links below).

Bristol’s local plan review: An urban living strategy for the future

While 20 years may seem a long way off, at least 33,500 new homes are planned for the city of Bristol in that time (that is the Bristol City Council area, so not including areas to the north and east in South Gloucestershire for example). This would be an increase of around a sixth (17%) in the number of households in the city compared with 2016. With an expected 105,000 new homes being planned across the West of England by 2036, this sees around a third being in the Bristol City Council area.

The Local Plan review brings the regional process closer to communities and where we live and work. Once agreed, the final Local Plan will influence individual planning decisions for many years to come, so is an important step in this critical process for planning a sustainable future for our city and region.

This is why we are encouraging all Partnership members – and others who want to see a sustainable Bristol – to participate in this process at this early stage to contribute to shaping these plans. We would also like to receive any submissions, to get a sense of members’ views on the proposals.

The initial consultation includes interesting proposals for policies very relevant for a sustainable city: climate change, resilience, air quality, clean and sustainable energy and heating, pollution, open and green spaces, food systems, green infrastructure and design standards. In addition to locations and policies to govern development, the council is also running a consultation on an urban living policy, which includes potentially denser development and higher buildings. More detailed plans for areas and policies based on feedback will go for further consultation from October to December. Regional and local authority level transport infrastructure and investment planning processes will also be going on alongside revisions to these local plans – more information on this will follow.

The Local Plan review presents an enormous opportunity to build on Bristol’s strong environmental reputation, the good work done in the lead up to, during and since European Green Capital 2015, and ensure Bristol and the West of England region becomes an even brighter beacon for environmental sustainability within the UK and globally.

You can change our city – get involved:

  • Read the Bristol Local Plan review document;
  • Feed in your thoughts and questions to the process: How could the proposals affect your home or work life, your company or organisation, your community and how you experience urban living?
  • Are development locations in the right places and of the right scale? Is the connectivity needed – walking, cycling and bus routes – in place or is further consideration needed?
  • What do the plans mean for green spaces in your area? How could these not just be maintained and preserved, but enhanced and made more nature-rich and biodiverse?
  • Will the proposals help build high quality, low carbon communities?
  • Are key themes of energy, food, nature, resources and transport adequately addressed by the proposed policies?

Please look at the proposals and send your responses to Bristol City Council (and if you are willing, to us) ahead of the 13 April deadline. Written responses can also be mailed to the consultation team and there is a helpline: 0117 922 3000. You can also register interest by email in updates from the local plan team.

There will be further opportunities for members to help to ensure sustainable development of the region later this year, and we’ll keep you informed of developments.

Help ensure that our city’s future development helps us achieve the sustainable city with a high quality of life for all that all of us in the Partnership want to see.

More on the four Local Plan reviews:


Nature, Place, Energy, Food, Resources, News & Information, Opportunities
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