The July 2020 quarterly meeting was cancelled due to Covid 19 and the BCC planning officers were asked to give updates on a number of topics. The responses are below:

  • West of England Combined Authority Spatial Development Strategy – update
  • Plan Review – update
  • in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document (HMO SPD) – progress update
  • City-wide Character Appraisal
  • Bristol Legible City project / open mapping
  • Goram Homes – BCC housing developments / Caravan Park
  • Electric Car Charging – update
  • Post-COVID temporary street changes 
  • Master Planning updates: Western Harbour, City Centre, Frome Gateway, Broad Plain, Temple Quarter/St Philips, Bedminster

Planning updates for Bristol Neighbourhood Planning Network as at 29th July 2020

West of England Combined Authority Spatial Development Strategy


The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is preparing a Spatial Development Strategy for the area covering Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, in collaboration with the local councils.  This will be a high-level strategic plan. Bristol’s local plan will be in line with that strategy.

The SDS will provide

  • Agreed quantum of housing and jobs
  • Agreed distribution of housing numbers
  • High level strategic policies
  • Spatial Strategy for future growth for 2021 to 2041

The WoE Joint Committee formally agreed to commence the SDS on 19th June 2020. Papers for that meeting are available here.

The initial broad time table is:

  • Scoping evidence requirements: January 2020-May 2020
  • Commissioning initial evidence; initiating SDS: June 2020 and throughout 2020
  • Review evidence and implications for strategic policy: Autumn 2020-Summer 2021
  • Agree SDS for public consultation, 12 weeks consultation, collate and review: Summer 2021 – Winter 2021/2
  • Agee SDS for submission in Spring 2022 ;Hearings in Autumn 2022
  • Inspectors report early 2023 ; Publication final SDS Summer 2023

A Statement of Common Ground will be produced. This will be a live document, published at key stages to set out the cross boundary issues and evidence requirements and the areas of agreement reached between the WECA authorities, adjoining authorities and other relevant bodies such as Highways England, Historic England, Natural England and Utilities providers.

For the latest information on West of England joint planning visit the combined authority web page.

Local Plan Review – update


The review of the local plan is continuing. It will set out how Bristol will develop over the next 20 years.

The new plan will help deliver the new homes and jobs we need and safeguard the environmental assets we value.

It’s being prepared in cooperation with neighbouring councils so that planning issues are addressed across the wider region. We are working to this timetable:

•2020: New studies and evidence. ‘Call for sites’ continues.

•2021: Consultation on issues and options for development (Regulation 18).

•2022: Publication version to be approved and made available for comment (Regulation 19).

•2023: Examination by planning inspector. New local plan to be adopted (Autumn 2023).

A more detailed programme for the local plan review will be published in October 2020. The time table is related to key stages of preparation of the WECA SDS as set out above.

Houses in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document (HMO SPD)


The Council has received a range of technical responses to the initial consultation on the draft HMO SPD earlier this year. We are working through these to ensure a sound response to all issues. An amended draft SPD and consultation statement for the next round of consultation has been produced and a further round of consultation beginning on 3rd August for 6 weeks, prior to consideration at Cabinet which we anticipate will be November. See the web page above and BCC Consultation finder page for further updates.

HMO Licensing – progress update

3,000 premises draft licenses in the Central Area Licensing Scheme have been issued. Final licenses will be issued by November. Property inspections are currently underway.

City-wide Character Appraisal

This is currently being scoped to understand if and how it could support Local Plan policy. The Urban Living SPD contains a high level characterisation (p.23) – this exercise could add more detail to that appraisal.

Whilst the formal progress to the Local Plan has been delayed, there may be opportunities through area-specific work (for example around the identified Growth and Regeneration areas) to set out more detailed guidance on tall buildings detailed work is brought forward.

Bristol Legible City project / open mapping

Bristol Legible City is still a live project incorporating a number of strands including provision of royalty-free mapping.

Goram Homes – BCC housing developments


Goram Homes – update on Caravan Park proposals

A pre-application submission has been made for Goram homes for this site but no planning application has yet been received. The pre-application submission which indicates 165 homes will be considered at the Design West Panel in July.

Electric Car Charging – update

Installing electric charging outlets fall within Permitted Development, so in themselves do not generally require planning permission (subject to some exclusions such as being within the curtilage of a listed building). The main requirement, however, is that the outlet is installed in an area that is lawfully used for off-street parking. More information about electric charging points and permitted development can be found here.

In most cases new driveways also fall within permitted development, however, there are some restrictions such as providing access from a classified road, therefore planning permission is required for the dropped kerb. In such cases the proposed driveway has to be accessed without compromising highways safety. We are very supportive of electric charging outlets as we recognise the importance them in tackling climate change. We endeavour to work with applicants to find solutions to issues that arise in their planning application; however, in some cases it is not possible to find a solution which would overcome the highways safety issue.

It is also important to note that a licence is also required for a dropped kerb which is separate to planning permission. More information can be found here;

Post-COVID temporary street changes 



Bristol City Council’s Transport Team are continuing to work closely with colleagues in economic development and planning to improve conditions for walking, cycling and public transport in city. Government have issued a mandate to local authorities to progress ambitious walking and cycling schemes through the reallocation of roadspace and point closures. Broadly speaking the funding they have provided local authorities to deliver these changes is split into 3 tranches. The first tranche is for temporary measures, the second tranche is to make some of these measures permanent and the third tranche is a much more substantial funding package that we expect to be announced by government next year which will allow the city to further improve the walking and cycling network.

Currently we have delivered (or are on course to imminently deliver) tranche 1 measures including the widely publicised Bristol Bridge/Baldwin Street closure, pavement widening schemes and pedestrianisation in local high streets and segregated cycle infrastructure in the city centre. The Tranche 2 funding is modest, but it will allow the council to improve a number of these temporary schemes, as well as progress point closures in local neighbourhoods in consultation with residents and businesses.

We are currently working up proposals for Tranche 2 and these will be submitted to government on Friday 7th August via the West of England Combined Authority alongside the proposals of our neighbouring local authority partners.

We are continuing to take feedback on schemes via our interactive map (see below)

Master Planning updates

Western Harbour


The link provides the most up to date information on the Western Harbour project. It includes information on where we are with the project, links to feasibility reports, consultation findings, Western Harbour Advisory Group members and minutes. There is also an opportunity to feedback your views on the project.

City Centre Framework


The City Centre Framework is available from the weblink above. This was approved at Cabinet earlier this month. 14 july

Frome Gateway

We are currently developing our future community engagement approach in the light of COVID-19.  With a new project manager we are at the early stages of producing a new programme.

Broad Plain Public Realm Strategy

This is currently being prepared for public consultation anticipated later in the summer.

Temple Quarter and St Philips


The link provided gives a high level overview of masterplan objectives and the rest of website gives wider information on Temple Quarter.


Plot 1 (A2Dominion) – 2 appeals lodged, awaiting details from Planning Inspectorate.

Plot 2 (St Catherine’s Place – no appeal, pre-app discussions being held regarding an alternative scheme.

Plot 3 (Deeley Freed) – pre-app process nearing its conclusion, application expected later this year.

Plot 4 (Little Paradise) – revised scheme still receiving assessment, could go to Cttee Sep or Oct. New application for car park also being considered.

Plot 5 (Dandara) – pre-app process underway.