Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document North Somerset Issues Q1. Do you agree with these or are there other challenges or issues which we have not included and how might the Local Plan address these? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 21482657//2
Respondent Nailsea Unit Trust (c/o Elland… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 10 Dec 2018
Comment

The emerging West of England Joint Spatial Plan does not include an up to date assessment of retail and leisure needs. This omission should be addressed at a local level with up to date assessment work if the JSP does not factor in overarching requirements / strategy (which at present it looks unlikely to do as the plan is soon to be considered at Examination).

We have made representations to the JSP which identify that retail and leisure requirements are to be regarded as key infrastructure that is required to support the housing and employment growth envisaged in the emerging Plan. Accordingly, it is our view that they should be planned for at a strategic level to ensure that the region’s retail and leisure needs are met and that these needs are directed to the most sustainable and accessible locations.

The identification of a network of centres (where retail and leisure is to be focused) within the North Somerset Local Plan is welcomed in order to promote sustainable travel patterns, which result in a reduced need to travel, especially by private car, to access retail and leisure facilities of an appropriate type and nature.

The updated policies of the North Somerset Local Plan should maintain a presumption against new out-of-centre or edge-of-centre retailing facilities. Any new facilities in such locations, including the identification of new local or district centres, should be tested in line with the retail tests established in NPPF which are also to be applied through the plan making process. This underlines the importance of having up to date retail and leisure needs information to inform the emerging local plan.

In light of the above, clarity is required in respect of how retail and leisure needs are to be assessed in the emerging plan to support the strategy that will be set as a requirement of bullet point 2 on Page 10 of the Issues and Options Document.

 

Summary
The updated policies of the North Somerset Local Plan should maintain a presumption against new out-of-centre or edge-of-centre retailing facilities.
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