Residents are invited to get involved in planning for the future of the places where they live by identifying the key issues and opportunities in their local areas.
The council is holding a series of local engagement workshops across B&NES throughout January and February to help inform the development of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Local Plan. Community representatives will join other key stakeholders to discuss the key issues and opportunities in their area.
Residents are encouraged to contact their community representatives, including their town, parish or ward councillor, with any local information or issues they feel need considering during the development of the Local Plan.
The Local Plan will establish the planning framework to guide future change in B&NES up to 2042. It will contain a vision, strategy and policies to guide and manage how the district grows and changes over the next 20 years and how planning applications for new development will be decided.
Each of the workshops will be focused on a particular location: Bath and its Environs, Rural Areas, Keynsham & Saltford, Whitchurch, and the Somer Valley.
This is the beginning of a period of ongoing engagement about the new Local Plan that will continue until Autumn 2023, when the council will hold a district-wide consultation on potential policy options for B&NES. Communities, stakeholders and consultees will be consulted multiple times throughout the process.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Planning and Licensing, said: “Throughout the process of preparing the Local Plan we will be asking residents for their thoughts and ideas on how the district can grow sustainably in order to help address the challenges we face, such as the climate and ecological emergencies and the housing crisis, whilst protecting and enhancing the things we value about Bath and North East Somerset.”
The Local Plan is the council’s primary tool for place shaping — creating public places and new developments that are good for people’s health, happiness and well-being — and is the basis for decision making on development and the use of land across the district.
All local authorities are required to have an up-to-date Local Plan and the new B&NES plan needs to be adopted by 2025.
The council is updating parts of its current Local Plan, which runs until 2029, through the Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU). The planning inspector, who has been examining the LPPU, has found it sound and legally compliant subject to some changes, known as main modifications, being incorporated. His final report has recently been published on the council’s website. Adoption of the LPPU incorporating the modifications will be considered by council on 19 January.
You can find more information on the Local Plan and Local Plan Partial Update on the council’s website.