Local Plan 2022-2042

A new Local Plan for the B&NES district is being prepared. It is the Local Authority’s mechanism for deciding how the district grows, managing change, delivering places and protecting what we value. Preparation is a long process which involves the public and stakeholders. The process provides us with the opportunity to review and discuss issues facing the City and what we would like to do about them. This is our big chance to secure a stronger more sustainable future for Bath.

Participation in the development of the Plan enables people to influence future policy which will guide planning applications and shape the city. The key areas are:

  • Responding to the climate and nature emergencies and create a healthy, more liveable, sustainable and resilient and low carbon city.
  • The approach to meeting the need for more affordable homes and jobs.
  • Priorities for improving places and quality of life, and enabling more sustainable lifestyles for all.

The issue of housing need and land allocation will be addressed through the Local Plan. The evidence base prepared so far to inform the Spatial Development Strategy will be published on the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) website, and will be used to inform the Local Plan.

The Local Development Scheme is a timetable for the production of the Local PlanDevelopment Plan Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents that the Council is preparing, or intends to prepare. These documents are known collectively as Local Development Documents (LDDs) and they are the starting point for residents and stakeholders to find out what planning policies relate to their area and how these will be reviewed.

Find out more about future policy here.

In October 2022, B&NES Council announced the new Local Plan, with a public consultation on the Local Plan 2022-2042 Launch Document. 

Primary ambitions for the new Local Plan, which would prioritise responding the challenges of the Climate and Ecological Emergencies and facilitating the goal of Net Zero carbon by 2030, protecting and enhancing nature, maximising affordable housing and creating economic opportunities are supported. Including sustaining Bath’s heritage as primary ambitions was suggested

Read our consultation response here.

Read our accompanying press release here.

BPT responded to the Options Consultation in April 2024.

We have welcomed the evident commitment to the climate and ecological emergencies, the endeavour to build much-needed homes, the recognition of shortfalls in economic growth, community parity, attainment and quality of life levels. However, alongside recognition of those aspirations we also raised the following key points:

  • Spatial priorities for the Local Plan must ensure active and inclusive consultation
  • Policies must ensure high quality design which sustains the special characteristics of the World Heritage Site (WHS)
  • Priority for affordable housing is strongly supported and requires a clear definition
  • There are no demonstrated exceptional circumstances for housing on strategic sites in the green belt
  • Placemaking policies for development sites must emphasise a requirement for more effective master planning and landscape-led development

You can read our full response (working document) in the context of the Options consultation document and current local plan policies here

And our submitted response is available here

Local Plan Partial Update

At the beginning of 2021, B&NES launched a public consultation for an Options Consultation to the existing Local Plan. The consultation sought feedback on a series of proposed updates to the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, to update existing policy in relation to changes in circumstances and national policy, particularly the declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency, to review site allocations for housing delivery, and to update specific policies to address short-term issues such as parking standards and Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).

The Local Plan Partial Update was accompanied by three new Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) for consultation:

Read BPT’s response to the consultation on the Local Plan Partial Update and the three new/updated SPDs here.

Read our accompanying press release here.

Whilst we were supportive of the approach to the proposed changes in the Local Plan Partial Update, particularly those prioritising action in response to the Climate and Ecological Emergencies, we felt that the proposed policies fell short of providing the context for Bath to become an international exemplar of integrated sustainable design and city planning. Read our full press release here.

The Local Plan Partial Update was submitted for Examination at the end of 2021, and a public hearing was held in June 2022, where the Inspector assessed the soundness of the proposed revisions in relation to the evidence presented, and representations made by interested parties.

Read BPT’s written submissions to the public hearing:

A number of minor modifications were proposed, following which the Local Plan Partial Update was adopted in January 2023.