Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

2. North Somerset Local Plan 2036 Sustainability Appraisal: Scoping Report

Task A1

2. Task A1 - The requirements of other plans, programmes and policies

2.1 It is an SEA requirement that the planning authority take account of the relationship between the Local Plan and other relevant key policies, plans, programmes and sustainability objectives. It is noted that there is a numerous international and national policy that will have an indirect influence on the Local Plan, however, for the purposes of this scoping report it is considered that many are translated into more immediately relevant strategic national and local documents. For this reason, very high-level plans, policies and programmes are not presented in this report. A review is carried out with the purpose of highlighting the key influences on the plan and the SA. This is based on the reviews that were undertaken for the SA's produced for the North Somerset Sites and Policies Plan and the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and has been updated to consider any new policies, plans and programmes, of relevance to North Somerset. These are set out in Appendix A .

2.2 The purpose of reviewing other plans, programmes and policies is to identify relevant sustainability objectives and to ensure that the aims and objectives of the North Somerset Local Plan are consistent with their strategies, objectives and policies. It is important to identify where there may be potential conflicts, and where the North Somerset Local Plan can contribute to the aims of these other plans/programmes.

2.3 Through the process of this review, relevant issues have been identified which will need to be addressed in the North Somerset Local Plan and its Sustainability Appraisal. These issues are outlined below, broadly falling into a given sustainability category (social, economic or environmental) but there is overlap with each of these issues with impacts on other sustainability categories.

Social:

  • Meeting communities' needs for housing, including affordable housing;
  • Improve health and wellbeing; particularly given an ageing population and health inequalities;
  • Ensure diverse, socially cohesive communities are maintained or created;
  • Provision and protection of green open spaces, and green infrastructure;

Economic:

  • Safeguarding and increasing jobs and productivity;
  • Better and more sustainable access to services, facilities and amenities for all;
  • Protection of town centres, in their role of providing jobs and economic prosperity;

Environmental:

  • Reduce the need to travel by car;
  • Improve air quality and reduce all kinds of pollution;
  • Ensure potential land contamination and stability is effectively assessed;
  • Pressure on the countryside/ greenfield and Green Belt sites from planned development;
  • Protect, conserve and enhance internationally, nationally and locally recognised biodiversity, landscape character (including the Mendip hills AONB);
  • Protection of historical / cultural assets that could be threatened by development and land allocations and by neglect through being unoccupied /underused;
  • Address flooding and flood risk including issues with coastal change;
  • High levels of carbon saving to help mitigate climate change.

2.4 These issues, along with those identified in analysis of the baseline information in section 3, have been used to develop the objectives of the Sustainability Appraisal and will therefore go on to help shape the North Somerset Local Plan.

 Question 1. Have all relevant plans and programmes been referenced?