BPT has submitted comments to two important consultations for the Local Plan and Joint West of England Spatial Plan, which consider the housing numbers and associated spatial strategy for B&NES and the wider region. The B&NES review is an update of the existing Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, reappraising housing needs and trajectories and with a particular emphasis on student housing. The JWE plan attempts to find solutions to the very large housing need across the region and includes an alarming current shortfall in affordable housing. The key messages BPT has put across are:

  1. Market-led student housing should not go on land suitable for other purposes and there should be control of the type of student hosing built so that it meets actual needs rather than reaching only for the richer overseas student market.
  2. Better ways of ensuring delivery of affordable housing should be found in order to resist calls for over provision of market housing and ever expanding use of greenfield/Green Belt land.
  3. The failure of both plans to properly address the ‘duty to cooperate’ in relation to the spillover of Bath’s housing and transport market area into West Wilts and Mendip.

 See our full response here.

See more information on the Joint West of England Spatial Plan here.

As of 2019, government inspectors rejected the plans on the basis that the sites put forward for speculative housing delivery had not been justifiably selected on a “robust, consistent and objective” basis. In January 2020, B&NES Council withdrew from the Joint Spatial Plan, along with North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils. Plans for the reassessment of sections of the Local Plan have been postponed.

West of England Joint Spatial Plan Submitted to Government for Review | Newsroom