Core Strategy-Examination into consequential changes of remaining remitted policies Proposed main modifications

Core Strategy-Examination into consequential changes of remaining remitted policies Proposed main modifications

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Policy CS6

Green Belt

Within North Somerset the boundaries of the Bristol – Bath Green Belt will remain unchanged during the plan period.

 Further amendments to the Green Belt at Bristol Airport will only be considered once long-term

development needs have been identified and exceptional circumstances demonstrated.

 This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objective 7.

Background

The fundamental aim of the Green Belt is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open, the most important characteristic of the Green Belt being its openness. Green Belts perform five important functions in:

·        preventing urban sprawl

·        preventing towns from merging into one another

·        safeguarding the countryside from encroachment

·        preserving the setting and character of historic towns

·        helping urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of underused and outworn urban land and buildings.

The Joint Replacement Structure Plan (2002) set out the general extent of the Bristol – Bath Green Belt, with the detailed boundaries defined through the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan (2007).

The protection and maintenance of the Green Belt is very important to the affected communities, and ensures a clear distinction between urban Bristol and rural North Somerset. It makes an important contribution to their local character and distinctiveness, and is highly valued and strongly supported.

The Core Strategy approach

A key feature of Green Belts is their permanence. Green Belts are intended to be a long-term designation. Taking account of the recent changes to the Green Belt through the Replacement Local Plan (2007) and absence of any need for large scale further revisions to either the general extent or detailed boundaries of the Green Belt, no changes to the Green Belt are proposed in the Core Strategy.

There are two existing strategic developments which are constrained by Green Belt within North Somerset:

Bristol Airport

The Replacement Local Plan created an inset in the Green Belt to accommodate the medium term expansion requirements of Bristol Airport. Further Green Belt amendment would be premature in advance of exceptional circumstances being demonstrated through evidence regarding future expansion and its land use implications.

 

Royal Portbury Dock

The issue of port expansion was addressed through the Replacement Local Plan and land removed from the Green Belt and safeguarded for future port use. There is no further suitable, developable land remaining between the Port and the M5, and therefore no further Green Belt amendment is proposed.

How and where the policy will be delivered

Through applying the strong presumption against inappropriate development within the Green Belt.

Monitoring and review

Performance will be monitored by the assessment of planning applications, and developments within the Green Belt.

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Policy CS14

Distribution of new housing

New housing development 2006–2026 will be accommodated in accordance with the following hierarchy:

Weston-super-Mare will be the focus for new residential development within North Somerset, including the strategic allocation at Weston Villages. Development at Weston will be employment-led. 

Outside Weston, most additional development will take place at the towns of Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead on sites within or abutting settlement boundaries, but outside the Green Belt.

 At service villages there will be opportunities for small-scale development of an appropriate scale either within or abutting settlement boundaries or through site allocations. Elsewhere development will be more strictly controlled although appropriate development will be acceptable within the settlement boundaries of infill villages.

 Settlement boundaries define the area within which residential development is acceptable in principle, subject to compliance with other policies in the plan.  Development outside the settlement boundaries will only be acceptable where a site is allocated in a Local Plan or where it comprises sustainable development which accords with the criteria set out in the relevant settlement policies (CS28, CS31, CS32 and CS33).

 Priority will be given to the re-use of previously developed land. In all cases, new housing development must not conflict with environmental protection, Green Belt, nature conservation or any other relevant policies of the Development Plan and should provide any necessary mitigating or compensatory measures to address any adverse implications.

 Residential density will be determined primarily by local character and good quality design. The target net density across North Somerset is 40 dwellings per hectare, although this may be higher at highly accessible locations, and less in sensitive areas or where lower density development is positively encouraged.

 The broad distribution of new dwellings will be a minimum of:

 Area                                                                         Net additional dwellings

          2006–2026

 Weston urban area (excluding Weston Villages)     6,300

Weston Villages                                                      6,500

Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead                           5,100

Service villages                                                       2,100

Other settlements and countryside                         985

 

Total                                                                         20,985

 

This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objectives 1 and 5.

 

Background

3.191   The distribution of new residential development in the Core Strategy reflects a broad settlement hierarchy based on well-established national, sub-regional and sustainability principles. It seeks to steer development to those locations where there are most opportunities for employment, services and transport accessibility.

The Core Strategy approach

3.192   Weston-super-Mare is the principal town within North Somerset and because of its size and range of functions and services, has the potential to be the most sustainable location for new residential development. Weston is therefore the focus for development within the district, provided that development is employment-led to secure regeneration and greater self-containment.

A significant proportion of the overall requirement will be met at the Weston Villages strategic allocation (see Policy CS30). Its detailed implementation is being guided by the Weston Villages Supplementary Planning Document. Elsewhere in the Weston urban area the majority of new residential development over and above existing commitments is likely to be delivered through town centre/gateway regeneration opportunities. Development at Weston will be employment-led in order to secure improved self-containment and reduced out-commuting.

Elsewhere in North Somerset the scope for significant development is more limited resulting in a scale of development that is more clearly aligned to supporting the role and function of places in their individual localities. The three towns of Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead act as service centres for their surrounding areas and will be the focal points for locally significant scales of development, including provision for the majority of district housing provision outside of Weston.  It is considered that these towns offer the range of services, facilities and employment which could contribute to reduced trip generation and increased self containment.

In the three towns most of the growth is or has taken place at Portishead. Flexibility is introduced into the policy approach to support a suitable scale of development being delivered adjoining settlement boundaries of these towns. Clevedon and Portishead are both highly constrained by Green Belt and flood constraints, although there may be opportunities at Nailsea outside the Green Belt.

In the rural areas the Core Strategy approach is to support an appropriate level of small scale growth which reflects the function and character of individual villages. Nine of the larger villages which support a wider range of facilities and act as a hub for surrounding areas are identified as Service Villages. Within and adjoining the settlement boundaries of the Service Villages small scale development may be appropriate subject to the criteria set out in Policy CS32. Proposals of a larger scale outside settlement boundaries must come forward as part of a formal site allocation with revision to the settlement boundary through the Local Plan or Neighbourhood Development Plan. In those other villages with a settlement boundary, development of an appropriate scale and character within settlement boundaries will be acceptable. Elsewhere, in order to reduce unsustainable sporadic or piecemeal development, new housing will be very strictly controlled.

Settlement boundaries for Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead, the service villages and infilling villages will remain as defined in the Replacement Local Plan pending any alterations as part of any future Local Plan or Neighbourhood Development Plan. All other settlement boundaries will be deleted.

How and where the policy will be delivered

There are existing site allocations in the Replacement Local Plan and these will be supplemented by additional sites in detailed Local Plans or Neighbourhood Development Plans as appropriate.

Settlement boundaries as defined in the Replacement Local Plan will indicate the locations where new residential development is acceptable in principle. Settlement boundaries for those places outside Weston, Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead, the Service Villages and the Infill Villages have been deleted. Amendments to settlement boundaries will be addressed through detailed Local Plans or Neighbourhood Development Plans.

New housing will be primarily delivered by the private sector, but with a significant role from the Registered Providers in respect of affordable housing, and the Homes and Communities Agency and other organisations in the case of regeneration and redevelopment proposals in Weston-super-Mare.

3.2012   New housing must be seen as part of an overall approach towards increased sustainability, particularly where the emphasis is on increased self-containment.  There is therefore an important role to be played by a range of partners working with housing providers.

Monitoring and review

3.2023   Housing supply is monitored annually and assessed in relation to the four five year tranches in order to ensure that there remains a flexible supply of available and deliverable land for housing, across the district.

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Policy CS19

Strategic gaps

The council will protect strategic gaps to help retain the separate identity, character and/or landscape setting of settlements and distinct parts of settlements.

 This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objective 7.

 Background

In many locations strategic gaps between particular settlements or distinct parts of settlements play an important role in maintaining local character and distinctiveness. The identification of these gaps will help to prevent their erosion by incremental development which would be detrimental to the settlements’ separate identities, individual character and/or landscape setting. Such protection is particularly important where such erosion could potentially cause coalescence of the settlements.

Reliance on countryside policies alone would be unlikely to provide sufficient protection against the reduction or loss of the important gaps to development, particularly in the long term. Without the added protection of strategic gap designation, it is likely that incremental development would eventually erode the gaps with the detrimental effects identified above.

The Core Strategy approach

Strategic gaps are defined as important open areas between settlements or parts of settlements and will be identified, and their boundaries defined in detail, in the Sites and Policies Development Plan Document. In appropriate cases such as at Weston, strategic gaps could be incorporated into the masterplanning process. At this stage the following locations have been identified as appropriate for investigation for possible designation as strategic gaps:

Between:

·        Weston-super-Mare and Hutton;

·        Weston-super-Mare and Locking;

·        Weston-super-Mare and Uphill;

·        Weston-super-Mare and St Georges;

·        Locking and Hutton;

·        Congresbury and Yatton;

·        Nailsea and Backwell.

This list is not exhaustive and other areas might be designated through more detailed planning policy documents.

How and where the policy will be delivered

Strategic gaps will be identified and a policy to guide assessment of development proposals affecting strategic gaps will be set out in the Sites and Policies Development Plan Document.

Monitoring and review

The policy’s effectiveness will be monitored by identifying to what extent identified strategic gaps have been maintained over time.

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Policy CS28

Weston-super-Mare

Weston-super-Mare will be the primary focus for development within North Somerset. A minimum of 12,800 dwellings will be delivered over the plan period at Weston-super-Mare and the sustainable new communities, together with approximately 10,500 jobs as part of an employment-led strategy to deliver improved self-containment and reduced out-commuting during the plan period.

 New development at Weston-super-Mare will be focused on two key locations:

 ·       Town centre and gateway where the emphasis is on the regeneration of a range of key sites to stimulate investment, and will include residential, retail, employment and leisure opportunities (see Policy CS29).

 ·       Weston Villages where the emphasis is on comprehensive development to create two sustainable new communities linked to the delivery of employment (see Policy CS30).

 Residential development will be delivered in accordance with the employment-led strategy (see policies CS20 and CS30 for more detail).

 No strategic development will be permitted to the east of the M5 motorway. The settlement boundary of Weston-super-Mare will be amended to incorporate the new Weston Villages.

 New development proposals at Weston-super-Mare within or adjoining the settlement boundary should take into account the following objectives:

 ·       support the focus of the town centre as the location for higher order facilities and services, including retail, tourism and leisure opportunities;

·       support existing community hubs of local retailing and other services located within the town;

·       respect the characteristic heritage of Weston-super-Mare;

·       provide high quality design;

·       support the enhancement of its green infrastructure and biodiversity, including the ridges and hinterland to the north and south, the woodland areas, the rhynes network, and the seafront;

·       improve accessibility within Weston-super-Mare by walking, cycling and public transport, particularly where they enhance connectivity with, for example, local facilities, service centres, the town centre and sea front and do not lead to significant adverse impacts on the transport network; and

·       ensure that services and infrastructure are adequate to support the development.

 Housing sites outside the settlement boundary in excess of about 75 dwellings must be brought forward as allocations through Local Plans or Neighbourhood Development Plans.

This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

 

Background

4.3 Weston-super-Mare will continue to be the primary focus for development in the district and provision will be made to maintain and enhance the town’s sub-regionally significant role and function for housing, employment, cultural, education, retail, health and other services and facilities.

The Core Strategy approach to Weston-super-Mare

4.4 The purpose of this policy is to provide a set of objectives for all development at Weston-super-Mare to take into account and to ensure a comprehensive approach to development which results in a co-ordinated process of town-wide regeneration.

4.5 The policy also seeks to contain development of the town within the clear physical boundary of the M5 motorway. The town has sufficient land to the west of the M5 to deliver the required growth. Locating future development to the west of the M5 will consolidate the town ensuring sustainable new urban development that is well linked to the town centre by sustainable modes of transport, minimising car trips and ensuring that the future population of the town will support and sustain the regeneration of the town centre. Development to the east of the M5 is inappropriate as it would result in developing greenfield land in a less sustainable location effectively dispersing the development of the town further along the A370, potentially resulting in more car trips and increased congestion. 

The economic regeneration of Weston is a key strategic aim of North Somerset Council to be achieved through the promotion of a more sustainable balance between employment and housing. The primary objective of this policy approach is to rebalance the jobs to homes ratio in the town by strengthening the B use class employment sectors, in addition to employment that will be provided from non B use classes.

The delivery of jobs in the town will be subject to a ‘plan, monitor and manage’ approach particularly given the uncertainty of future economic activity and economic growth, with the potential for review of the specific delivery mechanisms in the future.

4.8 Weston-super-Mare town centre has been identified as a focus for higher order facilities and services. The town centre area (as identified in Policy CS29) includes the seafront and gateway area (from the train station extending along the A370 to just beyond Winterstoke Road roundabout). The focus will be on providing a significant increase in the town’s retail offer over the next twenty years focused on redevelopment opportunities within the retail core; creating an office quarter close to the railway station on vacant or under used sites; and focusing on the town’s role as a tourist destination by concentrating leisure, hotel and tourist uses along the seafront and in the town centre.

4.9 At Weston-super-Mare, to ensure a sustainable approach to development, the priority for housing development will be on previously developed land. This includes the phasing for the new development area at Weston Villages as identified in Policy CS30.

Although the majority of new development within the town will be focused in the town centre and Weston Villages, it is important to support existing communities and local centres as the town grows and develops up to 2026 and beyond. The council will resist the loss of small-scale shops outside the town and district centres that meet the requirements of local communities. Policy CS21 sets out the Core Strategy approach to supporting local centres.

4.11 Weston has a strong identity as a Victorian seaside town and the town centre and seafront contains five conservation areas and numerous listed buildings. This policy seeks to reflect and enhance this setting to reinforce the character and identity of the town.

4.12 Green infrastructure consists of strategic networks of accessible, multifunctional sites such as parks, woodland, informal open spaces, nature reserves, wildlife corridors such as rhynes and hedgerows and historic sites. Green infrastructure serves a number of important uses and the emphasis within this policy is on enhancing existing provision and ensuring that new development makes a positive contribution towards the provision of new green infrastructure.

The growth and development of Weston-super-Mare up to 2026 has an important role to play in helping to deliver on a range of regeneration issues including providing a broader range of jobs, provision of training and helping to improve the range of local skills. South and Central Wards in Weston-super-Mare have been identified as being in the top 2% most deprived wards in the country and there exists a range of social, environmental and economic issues that need to be addressed as part of the regeneration of the town, especially in terms of access to employment and training opportunities.

4.14 Weston-super-Mare has the benefit of being a predominantly flat town which lends itself to the promotion of walking and cycling as sustainable modes of transport. Any new development should consider how it integrates and connects with the rest of the town in terms of accessibility by foot and bicycle. Development of the urban extension must ensure that direct, safe pedestrian and cycle routes are provided to the town centre and seafront to ensure its integration with the rest of the town.

At Weston-super-Mare the main approaches to the town centre and seafront create a boulevard effect of direct routes, rather than through routes or ring roads that may be found in other towns. These routes create the first impressions of Weston-super-Mare and therefore any development along these approaches will be of an exceptional design to enhance their appearance. Public realm improvements, tree planting, public art and landscaping will also be sought along these routes.

How and where the policy will be delivered

4.16     In assessing the suitability of development proposals the Council will assess the economic, social and environmental dimensions. The policy applies to development within and adjoining the settlement boundary of Weston-super-Mare. Flexibility is introduced to permit new sustainable development of up to around 75 units on sites adjacent to the settlement boundary of Weston-super-Mare.   Sites of up to about 75 dwellings will generally be able to be assimilated into the existing urban framework and are unlikely to result in the infrastructure and environmental impacts generated by larger developments which need to be properly assessed through a development plan.  Larger sites must come forward as allocations so that they can be consulted upon as part of the plan process, their impacts can be assessed in advance and any necessary mitigation measures identified at the outset. 

Further planning policy guidance including a master plan framework and delivery plan for Weston Villages, and Local Plans will provide detailed guidance to deliver this strategy. Development will primarily be delivered through private investment. As a landowner the council will ensure that its land is used effectively to meet the wider Core Strategy objectives and will, where appropriate, work closely with other landowning interests and developers.

4.18     The council will work in conjunction with the landowners, developers, the Homes and Communities Agency, the main service providers, the local community and other key stakeholders to deliver this strategy.

Monitoring and review

Key monitoring indicators will include:

·        Amount of new employment development completed and occupied.

·        Amount of new retail floor space.

·        Amount of new leisure development within the town.

·        Percentage of new development on previously developed land.

·        ‘Health checks’ on local centres in terms of monitoring loss or gain of retail units/services.

·        Levels of unemployment particularly in South and Central Wards.

·        Jobs to homes ratio in the town as a whole.

 

   

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Policy CS30

Weston Villages

To the south east of Weston-super-Mare two mixed-use, employment-led, socially, economically and environmentally sustainable new communities will be developed. A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) including a Masterplanning Framework and delivery plan provides the detailed guidance to support implementation. The Key Diagram Inset 2: Weston Villages sets out the indicative strategic development framework.

 The development of the Weston Villages must satisfy the following key requirements:

 ·       Development will be employment-led and should provide for 1.5 jobs per dwelling over the plan period. Detailed mechanisms for delivering employment-led development including the quantum, thresholds and phased release of land in each village will be determined through a combination of masterplanning, a Supplementary Planning Document, and through a Section 106 planning agreement that would accompany any such approval for development at each village.

·       Provide about 6,500 new homes in a mix of housing types, tenures, sizes and styles of which a target of 30% should be affordable. An average density of 40dph should be achieved across the area, with higher densities surrounding the local centres and, where appropriate, the inclusion of lower density areas.

·       Provide at least 37.7 ha of B Use Class employment land located within allocated employment sites, mixed-use development areas and at local and district centres. If provision of strategic infrastructure is dependent on development on greenfield land then this will be taken into consideration as part of the phasing strategy. In addition phasing will take into account sustainability and viability issues.

·       Each village will be anchored by a local centre which will provide necessary retail, health, children’s services and educational and community facilities to serve local needs. The location, type and mix of such uses will be agreed through the Weston Villages SPD.

·       Site(s) for on-site renewable or low carbon energy production including associated infrastructure to facilitate site-wide renewable energy solutions will be provided; such infrastructure should be planned with energy providers and developers including long term management and maintenance. Such provision could include a waste to energy plant. The Weston Villages area has been identified as being suitable for such waste treatment facilities in the West of England Joint Waste Core Strategy.

·       Provision of a network of green infrastructure across the whole Weston Villages including playing fields, allotments, play areas, pocket and community parks, and green corridors. This should be linked through development allowing wildlife movement and access to open space, wetlands and water corridors linking through development, including the retention and enhancement of existing rhynes where appropriate.

·       Deliver integrated strategic transport infrastructure including:

- the Cross Airfield Link at Winterstoke Village;

- the Airfield Bridge Link linking Winterstoke Village to land to the north   across the railway line;

- Junction 21 Relief Road or alternative;

- A371 to Wolvershill Road/Churchland Way Link;

- potential park and ride subject to feasibility studies;

- convenient and accessible bus routes;

- accessible and safe cycle routes and public footpaths;

- rail and bus improvements.

·       Deliver a clear hierarchy of roads (from distributor to home zones) producing discernible and distinctive neighbourhoods which are integrated and linked to existing areas.

·       The delivery of the strategic flood solution plus onsite flood mitigation measures, such as sustainable drainage systems, must be delivered as part of any development proposal in addition to long term maintenance details. This is required in order to facilitate the development of the Weston Villages. Any development within the Weston Villages will be required to contribute towards these flood mitigation measures.

·       Any proposed development will need to be supported by a flood risk assessment which will include a surface water drainage strategy.

·       Facilitate and recognise the realignment and safeguarding of safety and noise corridors associated with the helicopter flights linked with the Helicopter Museum in line with specialist advice. Employment, open-space and uses that are least sensitive to helicopter disturbance will be located around the museum.

·       Development proposals within the Weston Villages area will be expected to contribute to identified strategic infrastructure requirements in order to deliver a comprehensive and sustainable development.

·       Development must be of a high quality and locally distinctive to Weston enhancing the existing character and qualities that contribute to the town’s identity. This should include a comprehensive approach to place-making including all the elements that make up an area including land uses, parking, movement and green spaces.

·       Strategic gaps between the Weston Villages and Hutton and Locking and green corridors around the Weston Villages will protect their individual character and identity.

·       Development must include a comprehensive approach to community building in respect of measures and facilities to support social interaction and community engagement throughout the life of the proposal.

 

This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objective 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Background

4.37 It is essential for Weston-super-Mare to secure employment-led regeneration by significantly improving the employment offer of the town, reducing the impacts of car-based commuting, whilst requiring housing growth to be phased and linked directly to employment growth. It proposes two well planned, mixed use villages to the south east of Weston-super-Mare to accommodate about 6,500 new homes. The Weston Villages will be developed with an emphasis on placemaking and community building as the key determining principles in order to create two new villages, each with their own character and sense of community.  In addition, the provision of at least 37.7ha of B Class employment land should be provided to accommodate employment development in the period to 2026, and to facilitate the employment-led strategy.

The Core Strategy approach to Weston Villages

 

The Site

Weston Villages includes a total of approximately 245 hectares of land surrounded by the A370 to the north, the A371 and open land to the Cross Rhyne to the south, the M5 motorway to the east and Winterstoke Road to the west. It comprises of two main areas:

·        the disused Weston Airfield which forms the Winterstoke Village.

·        RAF Locking which was in operation until 1998 as an RAF training facility and has now been cleared although some former features remain. This includes Flowerdown Park which is an area of housing at the former RAF Locking which is now in private ownership. RAF Locking in addition to land to the north forms the Parklands Village.

4.39 Also within the Weston Villages area is the industrial estate on Winterstoke Road which contains a large number of former airfield buildings and is currently used for a variety of vehicle, transport and storage uses, and the Helicopter Museum which is an important tourist attraction for the town.

Urban design

4.42 The aim is to achieve a development that is exemplar in its design and based on key sustainability principles such as being low carbon, less reliant on the car and incorporates a full range of local services, facilities and employment opportunities. The completed development must be an area which residents are proud of and respect and which will meet most of their day to day needs. More detailed design guidance will be set out as part of the Weston Villages SPD, through masterplanning and design codes.

Connection to existing town

4.43 While the Weston Villages will create individual distinct communities, they will function within the wider urban area and therefore need to be integrated with the existing town and other developed areas. This can be achieved through a series of direct and safe pedestrian/cycle routes as well as better road and public transport connections to Weston town centre, local facilities and adjacent communities. Notwithstanding this, the new development will be as self-contained as possible with key community facilities within walking distance of most dwellings.

Open space

4.44 The main open space areas will be:

- Open space link on the line of the Hutton Moor Lane.

- Green corridor based on the Grumblepill Rhyne north of Locking Parklands.

- Open space focussed on the motte and bailey west of Locking Parklands.

4.45 Development should front onto these areas as much as possible so as to improve its setting and provide public surveillance.

4.46 The design of the road layout within the area should aim to eliminate ‘rat running’ and allow for safe and direct cycle/pedestrian access to key community facilities and employment areas. Densities will be varied throughout the development with a wide range of heights and styles. Key gateway sites at junctions, district centres and entrances will need to be occupied by landmark buildings that will act as focal points and generate a sense of identity for each neighbourhood area.

4.47 Hedgerows, trees and important viewpoints should be retained and enhanced as central elements of the character of the area. The character and identity of the surrounding villages of Hutton and Locking should be protected by appropriate green buffers and sensitive design of the edges of new development.

Employment

4.48 The delivery of an employment-led strategy to the future strategic development of Weston-super-Mare is founded on a significant body of evidence and policy. Regional Planning Guidance 10 (RPG 10) includes a policy SS10 that seeks to ‘limit further housing growth (in WsM) until employment is more closely in balance with housing’, and this fundamental starting point was supported through the Replacement Local Plan Inquiry (Paragraph 4.5 of the Inspectors Report).

4.49 The approach advocated and engrained within the Replacement Local Plan (2007) was to deliver significant employment development up to 2011 and thus achieve a better job to homes ratio, and then to allow for strategic growth of new communities balanced with employment opportunities. This approach is not solely based on sustainability but also due to concerns from the Highways Agency on impacts of further unchecked residential growth in particular on out-commuting.

4.50 This policy recommends a linked mechanism between housing and employment which was again supported through the Inquiry into the RLP due to the serious imbalance between jobs and homes exacerbated by recent housing growth in the town, and the failure of the market to maintain a balance of uses. The mechanism will seek to achieve 1.5 jobs per dwelling at Weston Villages over the plan period. B class employment will be prioritised as a primary driver of the local economy, a stimulus to the creation of an office market in the town, and the delivery of these types of jobs as part of the new communities.

4.51 To support this strategy, the following minimum land requirements are proposed within the Weston Villages.

- Class B1 Offices = 25hectares

- Class B2 General Industrial and B8 Distribution/Warehousing = 12.7hectares

4.52 This results in a total of at least 37.7ha of land to be allocated for B Class employment uses. The employment uses will be identified as specific allocations at Winterstoke and Parklands Villages. This will be aligned to ongoing work on the Weston Villages as part of the Supplementary Planning Document.

4.53 It is envisaged that this could provide for around:

- 7,810 B1 use jobs.

- 910 B2/B8 (industrial and warehousing) jobs.

4.54 It is recognised that achieving the employment-led strategy relies on the timely delivery of infrastructure to ‘unlock’ employment potential; the enhancing of the image of the town through recognising and building upon the characteristics and qualities that underpin the town; delivering high quality building and urban design and addressing skills and training.

4.55 In the Weston Villages the emphasis is on a comprehensive development. The mechanisms for delivering the employment-led strategy will be set out in detail within the Supplementary Planning Document and/or other planning policy documents and guidance. LDF Documents. It will also set out a mechanism for monitoring and reviewing the employment-led strategy throughout the plan period.

4.56  In releasing residential development, employment opportunities will be:

·        delivered in a phased approach with quantities and thresholds to be agreed. In all cases deliverability will be key to this but in all cases residential will need to be led by employment to ensure the principal policy objectives are met;

·        planned as part of a comprehensive, masterplan-led approach guided by the Weston Villages SPD which provides the framework for bringing forward an appropriate range of employment opportunities.

·        provided in addition to wider measures to stimulate employment creation.

4.57 In assessing the amount of employment potential from a proposal, standard employment densities will be used for given employment types.

Residential

4.58 Capacity studies indicate that the new development will deliver about 6,500 dwellings. Each Weston Village will be planned with the objective of integrating employment and facilities so as to maximise their sustainability.

4.59 As part of the detailed delivery mechanisms applied through the employment-led approach, residential development will be released in 250 unit tranches with each tranche being supported with necessary employment provision. This will be subject to a review mechanism to ensure adequate employment is being provided to balance the residential and will form part of a planning condition attached to any planning approval.

Strategic infrastructure requirements

4.60 The following categories identify the specific strategic infrastructure requirements.

These are further explored as part of the Weston Villages SPD and other documents.

Highways/transportation

 

In terms of essential infrastructure required within the new development area there are four main transport routes. These are:

1) Cross Airfield Link connecting Winterstoke Road with the A371.

2) A371 to Wolvershill Road/Churchland Way Link.

3) Airfield Bridge Link from Weston Airfield to Winterstoke Road roundabout.

4) Junction 21 Relief Road.

5) Contributions to rail and bus improvements.

4.61 The exact alignment of these routes will be fixed through detailed masterplanning at the two villages, in line with the Masterplan Framework set out in the Weston Villages SPD.

4.62 The Cross Airfield Link has a dual purpose. It not only gives access to Winterstoke Village but will improve traffic circulation around the town by giving relief to Herluin Way and Winterstoke Road. In the first instance the road will be a single carriageway but with a land reservation that can accommodate a dual carriageway if this is justified by projected traffic flows. In designing the road, regard will need to be had to its route through a residential area and the need to facilitate safe crossings by pedestrians and cyclists.

4.63 In addition there may be a longer term requirement for a Park and Ride facility.  A site to the north of the Helicopter Museum meets all the requirements in terms of accessibility, but its detailed implementation will be subject to feasibility studies. The exact requirement for and location of a Park and Ride facility will be identified following modelling work. A flexible approach is considered appropriate at this stage to allow for such a facility if deemed necessary.

Flood mitigation

 

As parts of Weston Villages are within the Environment Agency flood zones, the focus is on avoiding development areas most liable to flooding. The Environment Agency has confirmed that no development would be allowed in the functional floodplain (flood zone 3b) between the Weston Villages on the corner of A370 and the A371. Given the development requirements for the Weston Villages, it is clear that the majority of the remaining land is in flood zones 2 and 3a, and mitigation measures would be necessary and agreed by all parties including the Environment Agency.

4.65 Given the flood risk issues relevant to Weston-super-Mare as a town, a holistic approach has been advocated by the Environment Agency to promote a comprehensive flood management scheme. North Somerset Council commissioned a Weston-super-Mare Flood Management Study for the area which was completed in March 2007. The study recommended the creation of a lake and wetland area to the south of the Weston Airfield, and improvements to the River Banwell, and this is the agreed flood management solution to development at the Weston Villages. Any proposed development will need to be supported by a Flood Risk Assessment which will include a surface water drainage strategy.

Renewable energy

On site energy generation is anticipated to be required in order to meet the aspirations of a low carbon development. Site wide solutions will be encouraged with necessary infrastructure masterplanned in and delivered from the outset. Specific solutions should be negotiated between the interested parties to ensure as high a standard as possible is achieved.

Parks/green spaces/allotments

There is a requirement for green infrastructure within the Weston Villages. These include formal parks and gardens, community parks and neighbourhood parks as well as allotments. Detailed green infrastructure requirements will be set out in the Weston Villages SPD.

Children’s services

Schools will play a vital role and be a key focus of the community. Having regard

 to the population created by the new development it is anticipated that five 420 place primary schools, one 1500 place secondary school and one special school will be needed to serve the new population.

Retail

The assumptions for retail provision within the Weston Villages will be based upon the conclusions of the North Somerset Retail Study 2011. It is assumed that the majority of this need will be met in the local centres proposed in the Weston Villages.

Community facilities

There is a requirement for a number of community facilities within the Weston Villages to cater for a range of community use, including community halls, library provision and health centres. Some of these community facilities, particularly community halls, could be co-located on the primary school sites and a land allowance should be made for this dual use within the allocation for the primary schools. Alternative mechanisms for delivery and ongoing maintenance will be explored.

Sports and recreation

The key sports and recreation requirements for the Weston Villages are currently expected to include a leisure facility at Parklands. There is also a requirement for a range of sports pitch provision including adult grass pitches, rugby pitches, cricket pitches and junior/mini football pitches. It is assumed that these will all be provided at the proposed leisure facility, primary schools, secondary schools and parks and therefore additional land would not be required. Alternative mechanisms for delivery and ongoing maintenance will be explored.

Helicopter flights

The policy approach makes provision for safe take-off and landing corridors to and from the Helicopter Museum. In respect of noise, land uses that are least sensitive to helicopter disturbance will be located nearest to the museum. The helicopter flights and the impact of new development on helicopter flights will be kept under review in relation to noise and safety considerations.

How and where the policy will be delivered

4.73 The Weston Villages Key Diagram Inset 2 sets out the approach to development. This was refined as part of the Masterplan Framework through the Weston Villages Supplementary Planning Document. This will guide development, set out the exact requirements for social infrastructure and put forward mechanisms for the contributions to strategic infrastructure. It is then envisaged that more detailed sub-area masterplans will be created for each village by promoting land interests in collaboration with North Somerset Council, local communities and other relevant interests. It is envisaged that these will then become binding through Section 106 agreements and guide the ongoing development of the Weston Villages.

4.74 The Weston Villages is a strategic requirement and North Somerset Council is actively working with key partners and landowners to ensure its delivery. This includes key landowners and other partners such as the Environment Agency, Highways Agency, Primary Care Trust, Weston College, Homes and Communities Agency, as well as other local stakeholders.

4.75 Land adjacent to the Weston Villages may also be required for strategic infrastructure. In particular land south of Weston Airfield and land east of the M5 may be required for flood mitigation measures as part of a recommended strategic flood solution. Additionally land east of the M5 may be required for the junction 21 bypass and part of the Avoncrest site north-west of the Weston Airfield will be needed for the Airfield Bridge Link Road which will connect the new development area to the town centre.

Monitoring and review

4.76 The principal objective of the monitoring strategy is to ensure that the employment-led strategy is effective, and that a range of job opportunities are delivered and that self-containment is enhanced. If not, then the strategy may need to be adjusted in the future. The Core Strategy will be reviewed by the end of 2018 and if job creation is faster or slower than anticipated across the town as a whole then this may lead to possible adjustments to the employment-led policy approach at Weston Villages. Monitoring will also need to ensure that the identified infrastructure, particularly for transport and flood mitigation, is sufficiently funded and delivered in step with development.

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Policy CS31

Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead

Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead will maintain and enhance their roles in providing facilities, employment opportunities and services for their populations and local catchments.  At these towns, new housing development within and adjoining settlement boundaries which is of an appropriate scale and of a high quality design that respects each town’s distinctive character and local environment, delivers necessary infrastructure improvements and enhances overall sustainability will be supported. Residential proposals must have regard to local housing needs.

 

Proposals must be capable of being integrated into the existing fabric of the settlement and not create significant adverse impacts in relation to services, facilities and infrastructure including any cumulatively significant adverse impacts.  New development must have safe and convenient walking routes to schools and other services and facilities within the town within a reasonable walking distance.

 

At Nailsea proposals should provide a broad range of housing types to cater for all housing requirements.

 

Residential proposals outside the settlement boundaries in excess of about 50 dwellings must be brought forward as allocations through Local Plans or Neighbourhood Development Plans.

 

Within the three towns a minimum number of dwellings will be delivered as follows.

 

Houses (2006–2026) 

Clevedon     700              

Nailsea        1,100           

Portishead   3,300           

 

In all three towns employment proposals will be supported that ensure the regeneration of previously developed land, or conversion and/or refurbishment of existing premises.

 

Employment uses should be appropriate in scale to the role and function of the town in accordance with Core Strategy policy CS20. Alternative uses, including mixed use schemes on existing employment sites will only be considered where they are shown to address other identified community benefits and do not have an adverse impact on the quality and range of sites and premises available for business use.

 

Shopping and town centre uses will be supported within the town centres which improve the town centre environment and the retail, leisure, and employment offer. The removal of town centre uses will only be permitted in accordance with policy CS21. Proposals for the regeneration of existing centres such as at Nailsea and Clevedon, or the enhancement of specialist areas such as Hill Road, Clevedon will be encouraged.

 

Other services and community facilities will be encouraged within the urban areas, in locations accessible to the community which they are intended to serve.

 

Transport proposals which provide opportunities for cycling, walking or increase public transport within the towns will be supported. Proposals to improve connectivity by public transport with other towns, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare will also be supported. For Portishead the re-opening of a rail/rapid transit link to Bristol is a priority.

 

Tourism proposals throughout Clevedon and Portishead will be supported with particular emphasis on enhancing the appeal of the seafront/waterfront area to visitors and residents alike, whilst retaining the historic and natural settings.

 

This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objectives 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Background

4.77 The policies provide a link between the visions and the specific subject policies relating to housing, employment, community facilities etc. in the various sections of the Core Strategy.

The Core Strategy approach to the other main towns

4.78 Clevedon, Portishead and Nailsea are identified as places which should only consider locally significant development ensuring the availability of jobs and services for themselves and surrounding communities. Due to their close proximity to each other, these three towns have overlapping catchment areas which are perhaps somewhat smaller than would be expected in a rural area and due to their proximity to Bristol and Weston, they are not expected to provide highest order goods and services for their population, but they nevertheless act as local service centres for their populations and adjacent parishes.

4.79 All of these towns have high out-commuting levels and the emphasis will be on discouraging development which would re-enforce this and on encouraging local employment and service provision which would stem the flow of commuters. Nailsea in particular has suffered from being planned as a dormitory town in the 1960’s and there is evidence that the mix and type of housing and lack of job opportunities is having an adverse impact on the community.  Proposals at Nailsea should aim to address this and encourage a more balanced age structure.

4.80 New residential development opportunities for up to about 50 dwellings will be supported within or adjoining the settlement boundaries provided they do not harm the objectives of the plan.  Within these towns, developments of more than 50 dwellings have wider infrastructure and environmental impacts which need to be properly considered through a development plan.  New development will only be permitted where it is demonstrated that the local infrastructure is sufficient to accommodate the demands of the development (for example, school places, community buildings and foul and storm water drainage systems).  Larger sites must come forward as allocations, so that they can be consulted upon as part of the plan process, their impacts can be assessed in advance and any necessary mitigation measures identified at the outset.

How and where the policy will be delivered

4.82 In assessing the suitability of development proposals the Council will assess the economic, social and environmental dimensions. Within Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead new jobs, dwellings and retail floorspace (2006–2026) will be broadly provided as follows:

Land use    Nailsea   Portishead  Clevedon

Residential   1,100        3,300       700

(dwellings)

Retail (m2)         0         4,096           0

The retail floorspace for Portishead includes developments built since 2006, existing commitments and an estimate of additional convenience (1616 m2) and comparison (1826 m2) floorspace requirements contained with the 2011 Study.

4.83 The future of these towns relies on co-ordination across sectors from transport providers to affordable housing and healthcare providers.

Monitoring and review

This will be measured against individual policy targets for each of the towns.

4.81

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Policy CS32

Service Villages

New development within or adjoining the settlement boundaries of the Service Villages of Backwell, Banwell, Churchill, Congresbury, Easton-in-Gordano/Pill, Long Ashton, Winscombe, Wrington and Yatton which enhances the overall sustainability of the settlement will be supported where:

 

·       It results in a form, design and scale of development which is high quality, respects and enhances the local character, contributes to place making and the reinforcement of local distinctiveness, and can be readily assimilated into the village;

·       It has regard to the size, type, tenure and range of housing that is required;

·       It will not cause significant adverse impacts on services and infrastructure and the local infrastructure is sufficient to accommodate the demands of the development

·       It results in high quality sustainable schemes which is appropriate to its context and makes a positive contribution to the local environment and landscape setting;

·       It does not result in significant adverse cumulative impacts (such as highway impacts) likely to arise from existing and proposed development within the wider area;

·       The location of development maximises opportunities to reduce the need to travel and encourages active travel modes and public transport; and

·       It demonstrates safe and attractive pedestrian routes to facilities within the settlement within reasonable walking distance.

 

Sites outside the settlement boundaries in excess of about 25 dwellings must be brought forward as allocations through Local Plans or Neighbourhood Plans.

This policy contributes towards achieving priority objectives 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

 

Background

4.85 National policy supports a sustainable approach to development in the rural areas with the emphasis being on supporting services, employment and facilities in smaller towns and larger villages, rather than dispersing development throughout smaller villages.

The Core Strategy approach to the Service Villages

4.86 Within North Somerset there are a number of villages which carry out the role of Service Villages. They provide a service role function beyond their immediate locality and normally serve the population of one to three parishes. They range in size from 2000 to 5000 population per settlement. However, the final classification has taken account of local circumstances, including their relationship to their hinterlands and local opinion which may mean that in some cases there may be a variation from this list of facilities.

4.87 New residential development will generally be acceptable in principle within settlement boundaries and appropriate development up to about 25 dwellings adjoining settlement boundaries, provided it respects the scale and character of the village and the site’s location, and is not in the Green Belt. The additional flexibility is intended to enable small scale proposals to come forward which will enhance sustainability in its wider sense.  The Council will not support proposals which either on their own or in aggregate cause significant adverse impacts on the character or functioning of the village.  Developers are encouraged to engage with the local community before drawing up any scheme.

4.88 With regard to non-housing or mixed uses, the Core Strategy approach provides the opportunity for appropriate new service and employment uses within the settlement boundaries of Service Villages (but not in the Green Belt) in order to support their role as local hubs for community facilities, employment and services, including public transport.

4.89 The settlement boundaries as defined in the Replacement Local Plan for the Service Villages will remain, although there is scope for these to be reviewed and adjusted via Local Plans or Neighbourhood Development Plans.

How and where the policy will be delivered

4.91 In assessing the suitability of development proposals the Council will assess the economic, social and environmental dimensions. The policy will apply within the defined Service Villages. Identifying opportunities to enhance the role and function of these places will benefit from close working between developers and landowners, the council, local communities and other partners.  Developers are encouraged to engage with the local community before drawing up their schemes.

The policy allows for residential schemes to be brought forward adjoining the service village settlement boundaries of up to about 25 dwellings.  Larger sites must be brought forward as site allocations to ensure they are brought forward through the plan-led system, subject to appropriate consultation, and infrastructure planning.  The purpose of the policy is to allow small scale residential development to come forward within and adjoining the villages where they are in sustainable locations, would not adversely impact on the character, setting or appearance of the village and the local infrastructure is able to support the additional development (for example in respect of school places, community buildings and foul and surface water drainage systems).  In this respect the cumulative impact of development will be a significant consideration and a succession of piecemeal developments which individually or taken together have an adverse effect on any individual village are unlikely to be supported.

Monitoring and review

4.92 The policy will be measured against individual policy targets.

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Infill villages, smaller settlements and countryside

Proposals for development within the rural areas outside the Service Villages will be strictly controlled in order to protect their character and prevent unsustainable development.

 Residential development at Infill villages

Within the settlement boundaries of the infill villages of Bleadon, Claverham, Cleeve, Dundry, Felton, Flax Bourton, Hutton, Kenn, Kewstoke, Locking, Sandford, Uphill and Winford, residential redevelopment of an appropriate scale which supports sustainable development will be supported providing that:

 ·       The form of development respects the scale and character of the settlement;

·       The size, type, tenure and range of housing reflects has regard to local needs; and

·       There is no significant adverse impact on service delivery and infrastructure provision and the local infrastructure is sufficient to accommodate the demands of the development.

 In the case of redevelopment proposals within settlement boundaries it must be demonstrated that if the site or premises was last used for an economic use, that continuation in economic use is unsuitable.

 Residential development elsewhere

New residential development will be restricted to replacement dwellings, residential subdivision, residential conversion of buildings where alternative economic use is inappropriate, or dwellings for essential rural workers.

 Affordable Housing

Affordable housing will be permitted within settlement boundaries or in the form of rural exceptions sites, adjacent to settlements. Affordable housing will not be permitted in the Green Belt.

 Employment Development

New small-scale employment development will only be permitted within settlement boundaries provided it is appropriate in scale and character, or involves the sympathetic conversion of a redundant rural building or is necessary for agricultural purposes.

 New employment development will not be permitted in the Green Belt except where it involves the reuse of buildings in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework.

 Community facilities

Where the need for community facilities cannot be met within or adjacent to settlement boundaries consideration will be given to sites outside where they are well related to the community which they are intended to serve.

 This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objective 7.

Background

4.93 National guidance emphasises the importance of ensuring that inappropriate development is not dispersed into rural areas as this will encourage unsustainable patterns of development.

The Core Strategy approach to the Infill Villages, smaller settlements and countryside

4.94 Demand for housing in the countryside has historically been high, with the result that North Somerset villages and hamlets have become dormitory settlements. To avoid perpetuating unsustainable patterns of development and retain the character of our villages and openness of our countryside, development will be strictly controlled. Outside the Service Villages the number of villages with settlement boundaries is therefore limited to Infill Villages. Within these villages only sustainable redevelopment in the form of infilling within settlement boundaries will be permitted.

4.95 The settlement boundaries as defined in the Replacement Local Plan for the infill villages will remain, although there is scope for these to be reviewed and adjusted via the plan making process.

4.96 Within those smaller settlements and the countryside where there are no residential development boundaries, new housing will be strictly controlled. Where affordable housing exception schemes are proposed in accordance with Policy CS17, these will only be acceptable adjacent to the settlement boundaries of the infill villages, or adjacent to the main body of the settlement. Such schemes will not be appropriate in the Green Belt.

4.97 Other non-residential uses will also be very carefully controlled within the smaller settlements and countryside. Small scale employment uses, retail or community uses may be permissible within settlement boundaries, subject to considerations relating to scale and impact and Green Belt.

How and where the policy will be delivered

4.98 In assessing the suitability of development proposals the Council will assess the economic, social and environmental dimensions. The policy applies to the smaller settlements and countryside. Development will be provided by a number of individuals and bodies, and will require close liaison with local communities.

 Monitoring and review

4.99 Measured against individual policy targets.