Site Allocations Plan 2006 - 2026: Publication Version November 2016

Site Allocations Plan Publication Version November 2016

4. Policies

Background

4.1 National advice is that Local Plans must be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development.  To this end they should be consistent with the principles and policies set out in this framework, including the presumption in favour of sustainable development’ (paragraph 151). The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) also requires local planning authorities to identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide five years’ worth of housing against their housing requirement.  The allocations in this Plan need to demonstrate that there will exist a sufficient balance between immediately available sites and longer term opportunities.

4.2 The housing allocations set out in this in this Plan are identified to deliver the Core Strategy requirement of a minimum of 20,985 dwellings to be built over the period 2006 to 2026. The Core Strategy spatial policies have recently been examined as part of the examination into the consequential changes on the remitted policies of the adoption of the new housing requirement.  The Site Allocations Plan needs to identify residential allocations to deliver the housing requirement consistent with the strategic framework and national advice.

4.3 The North Somerset Core Strategy is based on a settlement hierarchy where Weston-super-Mare is the principal settlement and the focus for growth as part of an employment-led approach to improve relative self-containment and tackle regeneration issues. This includes the strategic allocation at Weston Villages.  Elsewhere the other main opportunities will be found at the towns of Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead although there will be constraints particularly in respect of flood zones and Green Belt.  Within the rural areas the service villages will be the focus for any new development albeit at an appropriate scale on smaller sites.  Elsewhere, there is some scope within the settlement boundaries of infill villages, but a generally restrictive approach in the countryside.

4.4 A key evidence source in the assessment of potential residential allocations is the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment.  This is the assessment of the potential opportunities put forward such as through the ‘call for sites’ where landowners submit potential sites for consideration. The various sites put forward are assessed through the HELAA as to whether they have potential for development by being broadly in accordance with national and local planning policies and considered to be suitable and also deliverable. Sites were initially discounted where they were in conflict with the three key constraints of Green Belt, Flood Zone 3b and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The remaining sites were subject to further detailed assessment in terms of their suitability, availability and achievability and in terms of their sustainability credentials, taking into account the three dimensions of the economic, social and environmental roles through the site assessment methodology set out in the Sustainability Assessment.

Identifying the housing allocations

4.5 The Site Allocations Plan is being prepared in an unusual situation given the delays to the Core Strategy and the passage of time since the start of the plan period.  The main elements of the housing supply at a base date of 1 April 2016 can be summarised as follows.  Only large sites of ten or more dwellings are specifically identified and shown on the Policies Map.

  • Completions: Existing housing completions 2006-2016.
  • Planning permissions: Large sites (10+) with planning permission at 1 April 2016. This includes sites granted permission in parallel with the emerging Sites Allocations Plan to boost the supply of deliverable sites.
  • Existing allocations: Review of adopted Replacement Local Plan and proposed consultation draft Sites and Policies Plan/Site Allocations Plan allocations.
  • New allocations: Additional sites to boost supply.
  • Windfall: Small sites (1-9).

4.6 The plan-making process has involved a thorough appraisal of potential residential allocations to ensure that the package of sites delivers the Core Strategy housing requirement consistent with the spatial strategy and wider plan objectives, whilst ensuring an overall mix and balance of sites which will boost housing supply and create sustainable patterns of development.

4.7 Table 1 below sets out the broad distribution of the residual requirement. Overall the total anticipated housing delivery at each of the main levels of the spatial hierarchy is summarised as follows;

Weston urban area                          12,753 dwellings

Towns                                             5,028 dwellings

Service Villages                               2,143 dwellings

Elsewhere                                         1,127 dwellings

North Somerset total                        21,051 dwellings

4.8 This distribution reflects the North Somerset Core Strategy spatial strategy with the majority of the growth steered to the Weston urban area and with decreasing proportions at towns and service villages. Only very limited development is proposed at the infill villages and within the countryside. The main consequence of the re-adoption of the housing requirement was the need to identify a supply of immediately available sites to address the 5 years supply requirement.  This resulted in the granting of permissions on sites adjacent to the settlement boundaries of Service Villages which significantly boosted supply from this category.  These sites are now allocated in this Plan.

4.9 The Core Strategy examination of the remaining remitted policies has increased flexibility at Weston-super-Mare, the towns and service villages by allowing new residential growth of an appropriate scale, and subject to criteria, to come forward adjacent to settlement boundaries through the development management process.  This is likely to have a significant impact on supply over the remaining plan period, but this is not included in the figures set out at Table 1.

Table 1: Housing requirement

 

Completions 2006-2015

Proposed allocations and large sites with planning permission

Other large sites with consent (not proposed to be allocated)

Small sites with consent

Windfall allowance (based on past rates)

Total

Weston urban area

2,895

2,707

89

140

422

6,253

Weston Villages

567

5,933

0

0

0

6,500

Clevedon

320

221

0

64

90

695

Nailsea

143

815

15

28

45

1,046

Portishead

2,788

373

16

47

63

3,287

Service villages

706

1,255

10

53

119

2,143

Remainder of North Somerset

576

221

31

141

158

1,127

Total

7,995

11,525

161

473

897

21,051

 Notes to Table 1:

  • Proposed allocations column includes ALL sites now proposed for allocation for residential – previously allocated sites rolled forward, sites proposed for allocation in the earlier consultation draft, sites with consent considered suitable for allocation and new sites not previously identified
  • Other large sites with consent not proposed to be allocated includes those sites that are expected to be built out before public consultation of the document and those with a permitted development change of use consent that would otherwise be contrary to policy
  • Windfall allowance based on past rates is a trend based forecast of small site windfall completions between 2006-2016 rolled forward to the end of the plan period. This is apportioned by area based on previous delivery, with current small site consents deducted to avoid double counting
  • The housing figures are based on the April 2016 residential land survey. Since that date a number of sites such as land north of A368 Sandford ( 118 dwellings ) and Tickenham Garden Centre ( 32 dwellings ) have been granted planning consent and will need to be  taken into account in any future assessment of housing supply.
  • The revised Core Strategy remitted policies also provide more flexibility in terms of the potential for development abutting settlement boundaries of Weston-super-Mare, the towns and service villages being delivered through the development management process 

4.10 The Site Allocations Plan identifies the proposed allocations needed to deliver the Core Strategy housing requirement.  This will require sufficient deliverable sites to deliver the quantum of housing required over the plan period, including sites to support the five year supply position.

Policy SA 1

Residential sites of 10 or more units are shown on the Policies Map and set out at Schedule 1 together with any specific site-related requirements or key considerations to take into account. 

Background 

4.10 Settlement boundaries are a well-established planning tool for directing development to the towns and other settlements. The settlement boundaries in North Somerset have been well established through a succession of planning documents and are reviewed when new plans are prepared.  The Core Strategy deleted some of the settlement boundaries of the smaller villages. 

4.11 The primary function of the settlement boundary is to prevent sprawl and concentrate development appropriate to the scale and needs of that community. Settlement boundaries define the areas where housing policies apply; either to the form of development which is appropriate within settlement boundaries, or the form of development which could take place abutting settlement boundaries in accordance with the remitted Core Strategy policies. Where possible, settlement boundaries have been drawn to follow features on the ground, although in certain instances, e.g. large residential curtilages, this is not always practical.

4.12 The settlement boundaries have been reviewed as part of the Site Allocations plan and remain largely fit for purpose.  While no justification for a comprehensive review has been identified, amendments have been made at those locations where settlement boundaries have been extended to encompass recent development. Settlement boundaries have not been amended to take into account proposed new housing allocations; the proposed Core Strategy approach to development adjacent to settlement boundaries will relate to the boundaries as defined in this document and not taking account of proposed allocations.

4.13 For the purposes of this Plan, ‘countryside’ is defined as all otherwise unallocated land outside defined settlement boundaries. The “countryside” can be adversely affected by inappropriate extensions of residential curtilages and Policy SA 2 makes it clear that planning  consent will be required and will only be granted when it does not harm the character of the area or the amenities of adjoining occupants

Policy SA 2

Settlement boundaries for the towns, service and infill villages are shown on the Policies Map. Residential development within the settlement boundaries will be acceptable in principle subject to the detailed policies of the Core Strategy, Sites and Policies Plan Part 1: Development Management Policies, and any relevant neighbourhood plans.

The extension of a residential curtilage, including the extension into the countryside of the curtilage of a dwelling located within a settlement boundary, will be permitted provided that it would not harm the character of the surrounding area or the amenities of adjoining occupiers.

Background

4.14 There are certain sites which because of their location and size are suitable for a mix of uses e.g. residential and employment. Such sites help to create balanced communities where residential development is accompanied by employment and community uses. On large sites it will be the intention that different uses are developed in tandem to ensure that the necessary community, social and economic infrastructure are in place to meet the needs of new residents.

Policy SA3

Sites allocated for a mix of uses are identified in Schedule 1. Proposals must take into account the specific site-related requirements or key considerations as set out in the schedule, and any other relevant policy considerations. 

Background

4.15 Economic development is a priority for North Somerset as it has suffered from low levels of economic activity in recent years relative to high levels of residential development. This has contributed to high levels of out-commuting, and unsustainable development patterns and a key objective of the Core Strategy is to address this imbalance.

4.16 The Junction 21 Enterprise Area is stimulating economic growth in Weston-super-Mare, increasing investment in the area and the creation of new employment and enterprise. This is one of a number of Enterprise Areas established across the West of England and recognised by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as priority areas for investment and business growth. The Weston EA covers an area subject to significant change encompassing the Weston Villages development, and sites around Junction 21 of the M5 motorway.

4.17 Planning has a key role in facilitating economic growth both in terms of the development strategy for this area as identified through the various planning documents and in terms of any additional measures that can be utilised including the use of Local Development Orders.

4.18 There are existing sites allocated within this area for business use and additional sites have been granted planning permission primarily at the Weston Villages for economic development.  A revised set of land use allocations is proposed through this plan updating the employment allocations.  These sites form the main planned business areas within the Enterprise Area where business growth will be located.

4.19 The delivery of the ambitions at the J21 area is related to the wider development strategy in the town to secure employment-led growth where new housing will be provided in tandem with employment development.  Significant investment has been made and is planned to enable employment site delivery.

Requirements for allocated land

4.20 An Economic Development Needs Assessment (EDNA) has been prepared in 2015 to identify the need for economic land across the wider Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) covering the West of England.  A breakdown of need was also provided for each of the constituent authorities including North Somerset.  This identified land requirements for the period 2016 to 2036 thereby including the 10 remaining years of the Site Allocations Plan.

4.21 This updates earlier work the Council commissioned to ascertain economic growth to inform the preparation of the Core Strategy and indicates a marginally increased growth rate and resulting demand for land.

4.22 The land supply provided in the Site Allocations Plan is sufficient to meet the requirements of the Core Strategy to achieve at least 10,100 jobs to 2026 taking into account that a significant proportion of these will already have been achieved between 2006 and 2015.  .

Allocated sites

4.23 The allocations are mostly carried forward from the previous Replacement Local Plan (2007) amended to take into account any completed parts or further information.  This has been informed by a review of the allocations that has considered the suitability of the sites for ongoing allocation in the Development Plan. A background evidence paper (Review of employment allocations Oct 2015) provides a qualitative assessment of the extant NSRLP employment allocations in order to help determine a realistic supply of potential employment land from this source and to inform decisions regarding their future allocation in the Sites Allocations Plan.

4.24 Each site has been assessed taking into account a range of factors to gain a broad understanding of the site characteristics and scope for future delivery.  A broad guide to this assessment is whether, in line with the National Planning Policy Framework, the site has a ‘reasonable prospect’ of being delivered for its intended use.   Each site is scored and ranked to provide a comparison across the range of sites.

4.25 Factors that have been assessed to determine the suitability of each employment allocation are:

  • Proximity to urban areas (sequential approach)
  • Site visibility
  • Market attractiveness
  • Strategic access
  • Proximity to train station and or bus connections
  • Development and environmental constraints
  • Compatibility with adjoining uses

4.26 New allocations have been proposed including at Weston Villages to reflect the emerging development proposal there.  Tthere will be a presumption of protection over these sites by virtue of their allocation and only when the criteria are satisfactorily addressed will it be justified to develop the site for alternative uses.

Proposed Employment Sites

4.27 The Core Strategy set out the aspiration to create more sustainable places, both existing and new, by increasing the range of jobs and local prosperity in North Somerset.  At the same time the influence of Bristol must be recognised as a major economic centre, and the choice, and mobility of residents and the labour force within the West of England sub-region.  So whilst North Somerset operates in the context of a wider functional economic market characterised by clear and long established commuting patterns, there is a need to ensure development in North Somerset is sustainable and that residents have access to a range of local employment, and local businesses have opportunities to set-up, and expand whilst protecting the valued natural environment.

4.28 Employment development is directed to the main areas of population growth linking to the underlying strategy of aligning jobs with homes in key areas. This has the potential to reduce the levels of out-commuting and increase self-containment bringing additional spin-off benefits including reducing carbon emissions from dispersed development due to increased car use.

4.29 This is particularly relevant at Weston where the strategic policy approach has for many years sought to achieve a greater alignment between jobs and homes. The Core Strategy and other plans seek to reinforce this principle through ensuring that new housing is provided in step with job growth, that the existing backlog is addressed over the plan period and key under-represented sectors (particularly offices) are supported.

4.30 Policy SA 4 below provides a schedule of proposed employment sites which are allocated for B1, B2 and B8 use.

4.31 The Council will consider providing additional detail relating to the deliverability of the allocated employment land supply.  It is clear that not all supply is equal and readily deliverable and therefore the overall supply is not always a reasonable indicator when considering the scale of land supply available for business needs.  Sites may require significant investment to unlock and may have a long lead-in time particularly if linked to a wider regeneration strategy in an area.

POLICY SA 4

Land in Schedule 2 is allocated for new business development (B1, B2 and B8 use).  Proposals for non B use classes on these sites will be permitted if:

  • they are ancillary to the main B use
  • they are small scale, making up no more than 15% of the site area overall and provide a supporting service for the employment uses or employees e.g. crèche, gym café etc
  • their development would not lead to the site becoming unsuitable for the intended employment uses,

In cases where the above criteria are not met,

  • it can be demonstrated that the planned B Class use is not suitable and that there is no realistic prospect of the site coming forward for its planned use,
  • the range and quality of land available to meet future business needs is not adversely impacted.

Background

4.32 As well as allocating new employment sites it is equally important that existing employment sites that have good access are purpose built, modern and compatible with surrounding uses are retained in employment use. In the past existing sites have been lost to non- employment uses which does not help to redress the balance between residential growth and provision of jobs. For some sites that are poorly located, rundown or incompatible with surrounding uses then their loss to non employment use is acceptable and in some cases a benefit. However the loss of key existing strategic employment sites would be contrary to Core Strategy objectives.

POLICY SA 5

Existing employment sites listed in Schedule 3 are safeguarded for business development (primarily B1, B2 and B8 use).  Proposals for non B uses classes on these sites will only be permitted if:

  • they are ancillary to the main B use
  • they have a direct relationship with the existing businesses by providing a service to the business or employees; or they are very small scale and provide a supporting service for the employment uses or  employees e.g. crèche, gym café etc

Background

4.33 In general it is desirable to maintain the overall stock of land and premises available to meet business needs over the plan period and beyond, not only those specifically allocated or safeguarded.  It is recognised that due to pressures from competing, often higher value land uses, and weakened demand at periodic times throughout the economic cycle, that often such land is under pressure to be developed for other uses.  This can threaten the sustainable balance of land uses in certain areas, reducing local employment opportunities, increasing the need to out-commute, and impacting on the vitality and viability of areas.  It also tends to have a cumulative impact that can be problematic in certain locations affecting the ability to achieve policy aspirations.

4.34 However under certain circumstances the loss of a site to other uses may be the only viable or suitable option for the site, particularly with a view to maximising the efficient use of land.  Commercial property demands are changing both in terms of the types of premises and their location reflecting changing economic characteristics, not least the rapid increase in online shopping, the ability to work remotely including home-working, and the shifts in the economy e.g. from service based economy to manufacturing.

4.35 The planning system therefore has a role to play in recognising and facilitating these shifts and offering a land supply that can respond to these conditions.  Policy SA 6 therefore allows for existing economic sites to be developed for other uses provided certain conditions are met.  This is considered to be in line with the principles of the NPPF and reflects the earlier tried and tested policy approach established in the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

POLICY SA 6

Land in existing economic use will be permitted to change to an alternative use where it can be demonstrated that:

  • the loss of the site would not harm the range or quality of sites available for business use across North Somerset and,
  • by way of marketing or other means as agreed with the Council, the site does not offer a suitable location for the existing use, no alternative economic use can be secured appropriate to the site, and there is no realistic prospect of it being used in the plan period for the intended use, and,
  • the loss of the site would not adversely impact the ability to achieve wider economic aspirations including regeneration, business growth, and improved commuting patterns.

The Council will consider removing certain Permitted Development rights when granting planning permission for new economic development in order to avoid the future loss of these uses in certain areas and under certain circumstances.

Background

4.36 The Government, in its National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) of March 2012, Introduced a new designation called Local Green Space (LGS) enabling local communities, through local and neighbourhood plans, to identify for special protection green areas of particular importance to them. ‘By designating land as Local Green  Space, local communities will be able to rule out new development other than in very special circumstances’ (paragraph 76 of NPPF). 

4.37 Paragraph 77 of the NPPF states that the designation ‘will not be appropriate  for most green areas or open space’ and should only be used where specified criteria would be met. It states that the designation should only be used where the green space is in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves, is demonstrably special to a local community and holds a particular local significance for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value, tranquillity or richness of its wildlife, and is local in character and not an extensive tract of land. Paragraph 78 states that local policy for managing development within a Local Green Space should be consistent with the policy for Green Belts. The wording of the council’s Policy SA 7 on LGS reflects this, in referring to "very special circumstances”.

4.38 The council will carefully consider the nature of development proposals affecting LGS. It is possible that some development could be acceptable. For instance new/replacement facilities relating to the functions normally associated with LGS (such as recreation) or uses ancillary to such functions which might be expected to be found within LGS, might be considered acceptable, subject to factors such as scale, siting and design.

4.39 However development and uses unrelated to such functions, such as residential, would not normally be acceptable and would need to meet the exception test requiring ‘very special circumstances’.

4.40 The guidance in the NPPF is broad, and in preparing its Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft, North Somerset Council produced an initial Evidence Paper on LGS in February 2013, giving the council’s first attempt at local interpretation of the guidance. Having regard to that, the council proposed that various areas of green space be designated as LGS in the Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft.

4.41 In response to the public consultation on that plan in 2013,  a number of responses concerning LGS sites were received, some commenting on the proposed areas of LGS, but most (largely from town and parish councils) suggesting further sites for possible designation as LGS. The council considered all the comments, reassessed all the proposed sites and also assessed the further sites which were suggested. In so doing the council has had regard to a Revised Background Paper on Local Green Space which it has produced, which takes account of further national Planning Practice Guidance on LGS. 

4.42 As a result, a list of LGS sites are proposed, with a justification for each, set out in Schedule 4 and identified on the Proposals Map.

4.43 In view of the new LGS designation, it is proposed that the Amenity Area designation, currently in the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan, be deleted when the Site Allocations Plan is adopted. However, many of the Amenity Areas currently identified and protected in the adopted North Somerset Replacement Local Plan are proposed for re-designation and protection as LGS. It is possible that Amenity Areas which are not proposed for LGS may still be eligible for protection under Policy SA 8 on undesignated green space, but this can only be determined when considering detailed development proposals.

POLICY SA 7

Planning permission will not be granted except in very special circumstances

for development which adversely affects a designated Local Green Space as shown on the Policies Map and set out in Schedule 4 particularly regarding the characteristics underpinning its designation, such as beauty, historic importance, recreational value, tranquillity or richness of wildlife.

Background

4.44 Protection of green spaces which are of value with regard to their contribution to the townscape, character, setting and visual attractiveness of a settlement is consistent with NPPF paragraph 7

4.45 This policy will apply to areas of undesignated green space (those not identified as Local Green Space under policy SA 7) within settlements with defined settlement limits, which are considered nevertheless to be of value in making a worthwhile  contribution to the townscape, character, setting and visual attractiveness of the settlement.  Townscape is a term embracing a number of factors, such as the importance of green space in the street scene, in breaking up and adding variety within the urban fabric and in enhancing the setting of buildings and other features.

POLICY SA 8

Within settlements planning permission will not be granted for development that unacceptably affects the value of undesignated green space making a worthwhile contribution to amenity and/or the townscape, character, setting and visual attractiveness of the settlement.

Background

4.46 Core Strategy Policy CS19 establishes the need for strategic gaps. It states that “the council will protect strategic gaps to help retain the separate identity, character and/or landscape setting of settlements and distinct parts of settlements”. The Core Strategy indicates that 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 (now the Site Allocations Plan). Policy SA 9 provides this. 

4.47 Strategic gaps are needed because reliance on countryside policies alone would be unlikely to provide sufficient protection against development which would harm the separate identity, character and/or landscape setting of settlements or distinct parts of settlements.

4.48 While existing policies in the adopted North Somerset Replacement Local Plan (RLP) and Core Strategy (CS), and emerging policies in the Sites and Policies Plan Part 1 Development Management Policies provide some control of development in the countryside, they do allow for exceptions. There is also a risk of development between settlements being allowed on appeal.

4.49 Thus there is a significant risk that, without the added protection of strategic gaps, the open character of land between the settlements would be significantly adversely affected and their landscape setting, separate identity and character harmed. There would particularly be a risk of gradual incremental development, and where the gap is narrow there would be a potential risk of eventual coalescence of the settlements.

4.50 Strategic gaps have broadly similar functions to the Green Belt, but with important differences, notably that they operate on a much more localised, focussed scale.  The purposes of the Green Belt are set out in paragraph 80 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)). The functions of strategic gaps are reflected in Policy CS19 and further detail is provided by policy SA 9 and a detailed background paper. The broad similarity to some of the purposes of the Green Belt is that strategic gaps would help prevent the merging of settlements, assist in safeguarding the countryside from ‘encroachment’ so far as land between the settlements is concerned, and help to protect the setting and character of settlements (though this would involve villages as well as towns).

4.51 This broad similarity of functions means that it is inappropriate for strategic gaps to overlap with the Green Belt, so this has influenced definition of strategic gap boundaries in some cases. 

4.52 Strategic gaps, with detailed boundaries, are identified on the emerging Policies Map, between the following places:

  • Weston-super-Mare, Hutton, Locking and Parklands Village
  • Weston-super-Mare and Uphill
  • Weston-super-Mare and St Georges
  • Congresbury and Yatton
  • Nailsea and Backwell

POLICY SA 9

Development within strategic gaps as shown on the Policies map will only be permitted where:

  • the open or undeveloped character of the gap would not be significantly adversely affected ;
  • the separate identity and character of the settlements would not be harmed; and
  • the landscape setting of the settlements would not be harmed .

The likely impact of the proposal in conjunction with any other developments with extant planning consent will be taken into account.

Background

4.53 Provision for culture and community leisure is increasingly recognised as a significant factor in enhancing quality of life. An important function of the Site Allocations Plan is to make adequate provision for both organised sport and more informal recreation whether provided by the local authority, voluntary agencies or the private sector. Similarly, cultural and community leisure facilities contribute to the economic and social vitality of towns and villages. They help to promote better opportunities in education, health and employment and generate an improved sense of place and community.

4.54The aim of the Council is to meet the needs of North Somerset existing and future residents and visitors over the plan period, in terms of cultural and community leisure facilities, in a manner consistent with the concept of sustainable development.

4.55 It is important that the necessary land is reserved where service providers have identified a future need and suitable sites exist. The Site Allocations Plan is concerned with identifying and reserving sites. The timing of actual provision depends on the availability of resources. Particularly where restricted public resources are required, there may be a delay in provision, unless developer contributions can be negotiated to bring forward investment.

4.56 The Site Allocations Plan seeks to ensure that there is adequate access to open space and recreational facilities and that other community needs are met. The provision of these facilities in areas of new development contributes significantly to the quality of life of residents and users. The objective is to ensure that  adequate community facilities are delivered in a timely manner as development proceeds.

4.57 It is considered reasonable for developers to contribute towards appropriate improvements to infrastructure, e.g. schools, leisure centres, community halls and outdoor playing space, in order to cater for the additional demand created by new development and its occupants

4.58 Where facilities or infrastructure works are directly related to an allocated housing site they may be included in Schedule 1, which lists the detailed requirements of a particular site, e.g. open space or school sites.

4.59 Sites that the Council has identified for community development, or that are included within other agencies’ plans, are to be protected and not developed for other purposes (see Policy DM68 Sites and Policies Part 1:  Development Management Policies).  Otherwise, less suitable, alternative sites may have to be identified to the disadvantage of some sections of the local population, or facilities not provided at all.

POLICY SA 10

Land is allocated or safeguarded for the relevant community use listed in Schedule 5.

Alternative use of these sites will only be permitted if in accordance with Policy DM68 of the Sites and Policies Part 1: Development Management Policies

Background

4.60 Weston Town Centre will make a valuable contribution to the housing and employment land supply over the coming years. A detailed supplementary planning document will guide the detailed design and layout of the town centre and a number of redevelopment sites. This SPD will set out a Masterplan to guide future planning of the town centre, identifies key development sites and infrastructure projects and helps remove barriers and positively encourage development. A consultation draft will be published in October 2016.

4.61 The Site Allocations Plan shows the extent of the town centre regeneration area and identifies a number of key development sites which when developed will help transform the town centre

POLICY SA 11

The extent of the town centre regeneration area is shown on the Policies Map.

A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) will provide detailed guidance for the design and layout of development within the Town Centre  

Background

4.62 It is important that improvements to Weston Town Centre are matched by an enhancement of the main approach to the town from the east along the A370 corridor. This corridor is made up of a number of land uses e.g. retail parks, open spaces and housing and is the major approach for visitors to the town. There are opportunities to undertake planting and improvements to the open spaces and landscaping areas. In addition it is critical that any development is of a high standard and makes a positive improvement to the corridor.

POLICY SA 12 

Development proposals affecting, and visible from the A370 corridor from the M5 to the town centre as defined on the Proposals Map must contribute to the creation of a continuous, co-ordinated, high quality visual approach into Weston-super-Mare.

Priority will be given to a landscaped boulevard approach with street trees supported by high quality design, siting and materials of buildings to create a corridor of high quality townscape and architectural interest.  The emphasis is on the view from the A370 corridor and how new development can make a positive contribution to a high quality, prosperous, contemporary and green image of the town. 

Proposals for extensions, alterations and improvements to existing buildings should similarly make a positive contribution to the A370 corridor.  Developers will be encouraged to remove unsightly buildings, structures and signage as part of their proposals.