North Somerset Core Strategy Consultation on consequential changes to remitted policies CS6, CS14, CS19, CS28, CS30, CS31, CS32, CS33

Introduction

  1. The North Somerset Core Strategy was adopted on 10 April 2012.  Following a legal challenge Policy CS13 (scale of new housing) was found to be unlawful by reason of the Inspector’s failure to give ‘adequate or intelligible reasons for his conclusion that the figure made sufficient allowance for latent demand i.e. demand unrelated to the creation of new jobs’ (paragraph 133, Approved Judgment 14 February 2013).
  2. The Addendum Judgment of 7 March 2013 set out the actions required to resolve the situation.  Policy CS13 was to be remitted back to the Planning Inspectorate for re-examination.  At paragraph 13 the Judge concluded that there were also a number of other policies which ‘should be remitted on the grounds that any increase in the total housing provision may result in the need for alterations to other policies’.  The Judge emphasised that ‘even if further housing provision will need to be made it is most unlikely to affect all the policies remitted’.  These other policies were ‘perfectly lawful’ and are remitted ‘simply because of the possibility they may need a consequential amendment that can be accommodated through the examination process’.  At paragraph 20 the Judge again states that ‘there is nothing unlawful per se’ about these other policies and that they ‘can still be accorded appropriate weight in any decision making’. The other policies remitted back for re-examination were: Policies CS6 (Green Belt), CS14 (Distribution of new housing), CS19 (Strategic gaps), CS28 (Weston-super-Mare), CS30 (Weston Villages), CS31 (Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead), CS32 (Service villages) and CS33 (Smaller settlements and countryside).
  3. The Inspector appointed to undertake the examination of remitted policies commenced with the re-examination of Policy CS13.  It would only be following the conclusion to the consideration of Policy CS13 that the Council would need to consider what consequential changes are required to the other remitted policies to ensure delivery of the provisions of CS13.  Any necessary changes, other than minor modifications, would need to be subject to consultation and examination (paragraph 8, Inspector’s Report 11 March 2015).
  4. The Inspector’s report of 11 March 2015 concluded that Policy CS13 should be revised as follows:

CS13: Scale of new housing

A supply of deliverable and developable land will be identified to secure the delivery of a minimum of 20,985 dwellings within North Somerset 2006–2026. The appropriate level of new homes will be reviewed by 2018.

5. The Inspector’s Report was subject to a direction issued by the Secretary of State on 27 March 2015 to review and consider the Inspector’s conclusions on Policy CS13. On 18 September 2015 the Secretary of State issued his formal response concluding that he agreed with the Inspector’s recommendations and that a housing target of 20,985 dwellings over the plan period was appropriate.  The Secretary of State’s intervention has the effect of making Policy CS13 part of the development plan.

6. The purpose of this consultation is to invite comments on the Council’s conclusions in respect of the consequential changes required to the other remitted policies to enable the delivery of 20,985 dwellings 2006-2026. All representations received will be forwarded to the new Planning Inspector who will undertake the examination, arrange hearings as appropriate and make recommendations. The Council will then be able to re-adopt the other remitted policies.

Summary of the Council’s approach

7.The Council’s approach is summarised as follows.

  • The Core Strategy sets out the broad strategic framework, not detailed site allocations.
  • A new housing requirement of 20,985 dwellings has been confirmed and is now part of the development plan.
  • Amendments to the other remitted policies are only required as a consequence of the increase in the housing requirement.
  • The housing requirement will be reviewed within 3 years - by the end of 2018.
  • The Joint Spatial Strategy 2016-2036 will identify a new North Somerset housing requirement.
  • Current capacity in terms of completions, commitments and windfall is 19,270 dwellings, leaving a shortfall of 1,715 dwellings to be identified through the Sites and Policies Plan.
  • Core Strategy Policy CS14 (housing distribution) demonstrates that the housing requirement of 20,985 dwellings can be delivered over the plan period without change to the existing policy framework.
  • Other than updates to the dwelling numbers and distribution, no material change is required to the remaining remitted policies.

The detailed justification is set out in the remainder of this statement.

Early review of the Core Strategy housing requirement

8. The Inspector found the housing requirement of 20,985 dwellings sound subject to early review by the end of 2018 to take account of new evidence on housing needs for the wider Bristol housing market area, and its consideration through the joint West of England plan making process.

9. Core Strategy Policy CS13 is in effect time limited to about three years. Given the short term context, examination of the other remitted policies must be a proportionate process with the key objective to provide certainty over this transitory period.  In practice the Core Strategy needs to ensure that strategic policies are in place to enable sites to come forward to deliver a minimum of 3 years housing supply.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment and Joint Spatial Plan 

10. The West of England authorities commissioned and published in June 2015 a new Strategic Housing Market Assessment for the wider Bristol area.  This provides evidence on housing needs across the housing market area 2016-2036.

11. As was made clear in the Housing and Planning Minister’s letter to the Planning Inspectorate dated 19 December 2014, a SHMA is just the first stage in developing a local plan and councils can take account of constraints which indicate that development should be restricted.  The SHMA outcome ‘is untested and should not be seen as a proxy for a final housing requirement in local plans.  Councils will need to consider SHMA evidence and whether there are environmental and policy constraints, such as Green Belt, which will impact on the overall final housing requirement’.

12 The SHMA evidence will be used to inform the Joint Spatial Plan currently being prepared by the West of England authorities. This will identify the overall housing requirement to be accommodated in the West of England 2016-2036, its broad strategic distribution including district apportionment, employment and infrastructure requirements. Detailed polices and proposals will be brought forward through local plans prepared by the Unitary Authorities.

13. The programme for JSP production is as follows:

Pre-Commencement Document

December 2014

Issues and Options - consultation

November 2015 – January 2016

Draft Plan - consultation

July/August 2016

Submission document – consultation

March/April 2017

Submission to Secretary of State

July 2017

Examination

October 2017

Adoption

January/February 2018

      14.The Core Strategy CS13 housing requirement until remain in place and carry full development plan weight until the JSP is adopted.  The Council is committed to progress the Core Strategy review/new Local Plan in parallel with the emerging JSP to ensure that there is minimal delay as a new detailed planning framework is finalised.

 

Housing land supply

15. Following the Secretary of State’s letter of 18 September there is now clarity in respect of the North     Somerset housing requirement.  In order to consider the consequences for the other remitted policies there is a need to understand the current housing land supply position.

16. As at 1 April 2015 the residential land availability situation in North Somerset was as follows:

Completions 2006-2015

7,426

Permissions

6,558

Allocations

1,472

Proposed allocations

2,025

Other identified sites

589

Small site windfall allowance

1,200

Total capacity identified 2015-2026

11,844

Total (completions + capacity)

19,270

Shortfall in relation to plan target of 20,985

1,715

In relation to the housing target of 20,985 dwellings sites/sources of supply are identified for 19,270 dwellings leaving 1,715 dwellings to find over the plan period. Each of the sources of supply are considered in turn.

Completions

17. Between April 2006 (the start of the plan period) and 31 March 2015 there have been 7,426 residential completions.  This leaves a residual requirement of 13,559 units to deliver over the remaining 11 years of the plan period.

Permissions

18 There are currently 6,558 units with planning consent – either full or outline – or with a resolution to grant permission subject to a legal agreement. 

Allocations

19. 372 units of capacity remain available on sites that are allocated for residential use in the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.  A further 1,100 units capacity remains allocated as part of the Core Strategy Weston Villages strategic allocation.  2,025 units were proposed for allocation in the Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft (February 2013), these are proposed to be carried forward.

Other identified sites

20. 589 units have been identified on previously developed sites that are consistent with the spatial strategy, have no significant constraints and a reasonable prospect of delivery.

Windfall

21.  A windfall allowance has been calculated in line with national guidance, by taking the plan period so far annual average and reducing to allow for previous developments on garden land.  The quantum expected is then scaled up for the remaining 11 years of the plan period.  Finally, a reduction is made for the amount of small sites with a current permission, to ensure no double counting occurs.

Can the revised housing target of 20,985 dwellings be delivered without changes to the other remitted policies?

22. The role of the Core Strategy is to set out the broad strategic framework capable of delivering a minimum housing target.  Other than the strategic allocation at Weston Villages, it is not the role of the Core Strategy to define exactly where new development will take place.  The plan as a whole will therefore have some flexibility in terms of the quantum of growth which might be accommodated.  The originally adopted Core Strategy in fact contained a considerable amount of flexibility in terms of delivering the then CS13 requirement of a minimum of 14,000 dwellings. This is demonstrated by the fact that the 2013 Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft made provision for just over 18,000 dwellings over the plan period.  Currently identified sites or sources of supply can provide for 19,270 dwellings, leaving 1,715 still to be identified.

23. The detailed local plan through which detailed site allocations will be made is the Sites and Policies Plan.  This is being progressed as two separate documents given delays to the Core Strategy.  Part 1 (Development Management Policies) has been submitted to the Secretary of State for examination. Part 2 (Site Allocations) will bring forward new allocations needed to meet the Core Strategy housing requirement.  The Core Strategy allows for sites to come forward through the plan making process such as Policy CS32 which states that “where small scale residential or mixed use schemes which demonstrate clear local benefits are supported by the local community cannot be accommodated within existing settlement boundaries then these must be brought forward as an allocation in the Sites and Policies DPD or a Neighbourhood Development Plan, including an amendment to the settlement boundary where appropriate”.

24. The spatial strategy policies (e.g. CS31-33) of the Core Strategy must therefore be considered alongside potential allocations being brought forward in local plans.

25. Given the relatively small size of the shortfall to be accommodated in relation to the overall housing requirement (1,715 dwellings or 8%), this could be delivered in whole or in part through site allocations, and therefore no change to the remitted policies is required.

Policy CS6: North Somerset’s Green Belt

  1. This policy states that Green Belt boundaries will remain unchanged during the plan period.  This is in accordance with government advice as set out in NPPF.  The 2014 SHLAA demonstrates that sufficient sites in sustainable locations can be identified to meet the new housing requirement without using Green Belt.  Exceptional circumstances have not been met to justify any change from national Green Belt policy. 

    The policy will remain unchanged.

    Policy wording 
    "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."

Policy CS14: Distribution of new housing

Policy CS14 provided a strategic overview of the broad distribution of housing across the settlement categories.  The table in the original Core Strategy at 3.198 included indicative figures which summed to the target of 14,000 dwellings but with hindsight were an underestimate of likely capacity. 

A revised table based on the new target of 20,985 dwellings shows the anticipated trajectory. The policy wording otherwise remains unchanged.

Policy wording 

"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 in the towns of Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead on existing site allocations or through new development within their settlement boundaries, or in Nailsea through site allocations outside the Green Belt.

In the rural areas new residential development will be strictly controlled although at service villages there will be opportunities for small-scale development either within settlement boundaries or through site allocations. In infill villages limited infilling will be acceptable within settlement boundaries.

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.

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 Sites and Policies Development Plan Document or a Neighbourhood Development Plan. All other settlement boundaries will be deleted.


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

Area                                           Net additional dwellings

                                                       2006–2026

Weston urban area

(excluding Weston Villages)            3,458           6,459                            

Weston Villages                               5,500           6,500

Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead       3,71          4,976

Service villages                                   805           1,861

Other settlements and countryside     522           1,189

Total                                           14,000          20,985"

Policy CS19: Strategic gaps

This policy establishes the concept of strategic gaps, with the detailed locations (the supporting text indicates possible locations, but this is not exhaustive) and boundaries to be brought forward the Sites and Policies Plan (Part 2).  The SHLAA demonstrates that sufficient sustainable sites are available without the need to amend the policy.

This policy will remain unchanged.

Policy wording 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."

Policy CS28: Weston-super-Mare

Weston-super-Mare is the principal settlement within North Somerset and the focus for new development.  This is a supportive policy encouraging development opportunities.  The town centre and gateway is highlighted as a particular regeneration opportunity, and an accelerated programme of residential delivery is currently being put into place through the Prospectus for Change.  This is expected to deliver a step change in the role and functioning of the town centre using Housing Zones and other initiatives.

It is currently envisaged that 6,459 dwellings will be delivered within the Weston-super-Mare urban area over the plan period.  This is broken down as follows:

Completions                      2,758
Permissions                          634
RLP allocations                      304
Proposed allocations          1,300
Other identified sites            186
Windfall allowance                627
Residual requirement           650

In addition, 6,500 dwellings are proposed at Weston villages. Of this 12, 959 dwelling total 2,045 were completed between 2006 and 2011, leaving 10,914 for the period 2011-2026. This is the revised figure which is incorporated into policy CS30.

 Policy wording

"Weston-super-Mare will be the primary focus for development within North Somerset. The town will accommodate around 6,913 10,914 additional new dwellings balanced with approximately 10,500 employment opportunities from 2011–2026 as part of an employment-led strategy to deliver improved self-containment and reduced out-commuting during the plan period.

New development in 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 PolicyCS30).

Residential development in the town 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 extended to incorporate the new Weston Villages.

Within Weston-super-Mare, new development proposals will be encouraged where they:

  • contribute to increasing self-containment and do not further exacerbate the existing unsustainable jobs/homes imbalance in the town. Large sites proposed for residential development must either provide on-site employment opportunities or, where this is not appropriate, provide off-site contributions;
  • reinforce the focus of the town centre as the location for higher order facilities and services, including retail, tourism and leisure opportunities;
  • prioritise the development of previously developed land, particularly within the new development areas identified above unless required for the delivery of strategic infrastructure;
  • support existing community hubs of local retailing and other services located within the town;
  • reflect and enhance the characteristic built historic elements of Weston-super-Mare such as its stone buildings, formal parks and conservation areas;
  • enhance its green infrastructure and biodiversity, particularly the ridges to the north and south, the woodland areas, the rhynes network, and the seafront;
  • address issues of deprivation and inequality particularly in South Ward and Central Ward;
  • 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;
  • retain and enhance the boulevard effect of the main approaches into the town."

Policy CS30: Weston Villages

The policy provided the strategic framework for the delivery of Weston Villages, with detailed guidance subsequently provided through the Weston Villages SPD (2012).  CS30 indicated that the capacity was expected to be about 5,500 dwellings but following more detailed masterplanning, the anticipated total is now 6,500 dwellings.  No change is proposed to the policy although the overall dwelling total could change as detailed proposals come forward.  It is recognised that the increased housing requirement will have an impact on the balance between houses and jobs.

With the exception of the revised housing figure from 5,000 to a new total of 6,500 the policy remains unchanged.

Policy wording 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 will provide the detailed guidance to support implementation. The Key Diagram Inset 2: Weston Villages sets out the indicative strategic development framework and provides the context for further, more detailed work.

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

  • Development will be employment-led with the provision of 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 5,500 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 discernable 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 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.

Policy CS31: Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead

The overall context for the three towns remains broadly the same – existing Green Belt and flood constraints mean that potential opportunities adjacent to the settlement boundaries are limited. The policy already recognises this and an allocation was made at North West Nailsea in the Sites and Policies Plan.

The updated capacity figures (including completions to date) for the three towns are as follows:

Clevedon                  812

Nailsea                     917

Portishead              3,247

The policy otherwise remains unchanged

 

Policy wording CS31 Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead

"Proposals for development within settlement boundaries in Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead will be supported which:

  • increase self containment;
  • ensure the availability of jobs and services for the town and surrounding catchments;
  • improve the town role as a service centre.

Within the three towns provision will be made through the plan period as follows.

             Houses (2006–26)      Indicative Jobs (2006-26)

Clevedon            454  812                812

Nailsea              210  917                 196

Portishead        3,051 3,247           2,277

Residential development within the settlement boundaries of the three towns will be acceptable in principle provided it reflects the character of the local environment and doesn’t cause any adverse impacts. Within Nailsea proposals which improve the mix and balance of housing types and tenure to encourage a more balanced age structure will be supported.

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.

Proposals at Nailsea for new mixed use schemes adjacent to the settlement boundary to meet identified local needs will be supported provided that the site is not in the Green Belt, it is supported by the local community and any necessary site allocations and changes to the settlement boundary have been addressed in the Sites and Policies Development Plan Document."

Policy CS32: Service villages

The existing policy makes provision for small scale residential or mixed use schemes which demonstrate clear local benefits and are supported by the local community.  The site allocations plan will consider opportunities for new allocations and/or adjustments to settlement boundaries.

The policy will remain unchanged.

Policy wording CS32 Service villages

"The Service villages are:

  • Backwell;
  • Banwell;
  • Churchill;
  • Congresbury;
  • Easton in Gordano/Pill;
  • Long Ashton;
  • Winscombe;
  • Wrington;
  • Yatton.

Proposals for small scale development appropriate to the size and character of the village which respects the character of the village and supports or enhances the village’s role as a local hub for community facilities and services, employment and affordable housing, including public transport will be supported.

Residential development will be permitted within the settlement boundaries particularly where the proposal meets an identified local housing need in respect of affordability or dwelling mix, does not generate a demand for local services on a scale that cannot be met, or supports the retention of existing services.

Where small scale residential or mixed use schemes which demonstrate clear local benefits are supported by the local community cannot be accommodated within existing settlement boundaries then these must be brought forward as an allocation in the Sites and Policies DPD or a Neighbourhood Development Plan, including an amendment to the settlement boundary where appropriate.

New employment development must be located within settlement boundaries and be of an appropriate scale and character in relation to the village, and contribute towards improved self-containment.

Transport proposals will be supported which increase accessibility by public transport, community transport, cycling and walking.

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

Policy CS33: Smaller settlements and countryside

This is the least sustainable tier of the settlement hierarchy where new development is tightly controlled.  There are nevertheless opportunities which could come forward in these areas.

This policy will remain unchanged.

 

Policy wording CS33: 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.

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.

Within the settlement boundaries of the following villages, infill development (one or two dwellings), or small scale residential redevelopment where the proposal is community led with clear community and environmental benefits will be permitted. 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.

The Infill Villages are Bleadon, Claverham, Cleeve, Dundry, Felton, Flax Bourton, Hutton, Kenn, Kewstoke, Locking, Sandford, Uphill and Winford.

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.

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.

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