CS19: Green Wedges/Strategic Gaps

CS19: Green Wedges/Strategic Gaps

The council will seek to protect green wedges/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

The maintenance of green wedges or strategic gaps between settlements or distinct parts of settlements, helping to prevent their coalescence, can help to retain their separate identities and maintain and enhance their landscape setting. It may be particularly appropriate where significant development could potentially cause coalescence. Green wedges/strategic gaps could be incorporated into the masterplanning process.

Reliance on countryside policies alone would be unlikely to provide sufficient protection against the reduction or loss of important gaps to development, particularly in the long term. Without the added protection of designated green wedges/strategic gaps it is likely that incremental development would eventually lead to coalescence, with loss of the individual character and/or setting of the settlements concerned.

The Core Strategy approach

Green wedges/strategic gaps will be identified, and defined in detail, in the Site Allocations Development Plan Document. It is not appropriate for the Core Strategy to identify their location, but the following are examples of locations where they may be appropriate, subject to further more detailed assessment:

Between:

  • Weston-super-Mare and Hutton
  • Weston-super- Mare and Locking
  • Weston-super-Mare and Uphill
  • Locking and Hutton
  • Congresbury and Yatton
  • Nailsea and Backwell.

How and where the policy will be delivered

The locations of green wedges/strategic gaps will be determined in preparing the Site Allocations DPD, and guidance for how to assess development proposals affecting these areas will be set out in the Development Management Development Plan Document.

Daffodils and field

Alternative options and contingency planning

An alternative approach would be to not designate green wedges/strategic gaps and to simply rely on countryside policies. However this would not provide such strong protection and would potentially mean greater risk of coalescence, and potential loss of the separate identities of settlements.

It is likely that any significant changes to the broad quantity of development may need to be reflected in the number/extent of any green wedges/strategic gaps identified. However that would only be determined in formulating the Site Allocations DPD.

Monitoring and review

As a general approach, the policy's effectiveness could be monitored by identifying to what extent identified green wedge/strategic gaps have been maintained, and not reduced, over a set period.