Delivering the value of planning

November 6, 2016

The Royal Town Planning Institute has published a report on the value of planning and its contribution to sustainable economic growth.

You can read the report here.

Neighbourhood Planning tutorials

July 11, 2016

My Neighbourhood Neighbourhood Planning Tutorials from Locality are available here

Interactive development sites and designations map launched.

July 2, 2016

An interactive Local Plan Policies Map is now available on Bristol City Council’s Local Plan webpage.

This will be integrated with the wider BCC mapping tool Pinpoint in due course.

Locality Up Front newsletter

May 22, 2016

The May 2016 edition of the Up Front newsletter, the monthly e bulletin on Neighbourhood Planning is now available here

Reducing planning regulations to support housing, high streets and growth.

May 22, 2016

Over the last 3-4 years, DCLG has conducted a technical consultation on Planning which has now ended.

All parts of the response can be seen here

The last section to be completed includes review of some temporary changes to permitted development rights, and decisions on whether these should be extended / made permanent.

The result of the consultation has been published here

Commons Select Committee calls for comprehensive review of national planning policy

May 17, 2016

See the report here

The inquiry found that local authority planning departments ‘have been diminished by funding cuts, leading to a loss in capacity and skills’. It recommends a focus on improving funding for planning practice and for promoting skills and raising capacity at the local level so that the planning profession regains the ‘status and prestige it deserves’.

The committee urges the government to rethink recent changes to planning regulations, which in its view diminish the ability of LPAs to require development that takes account of long-term challenges.

Building Better Places

May 17, 2016


Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment

Report of Session 2015–16

Building better places

This report was published in February 2016.


It has been very briefly summarised as follows:

  • First, we need to do better, to collectively aim higher in our ambitions for the built environment
  • Second, quality of place should be at the heart of this concern, as well as a concern for the impact of place (and development) on local populations
  • Third, national government needs to step up to the mark, and to set the tone by being more ambitious in its aspirations for the built environment
  • Finally, national government needs to trust and empower local government to deliver alongside its public and private partners

See the full report: here

Developers cannot waive affordable housing obligations after April 30 2016

April 28, 2016

The Department for Communities and Local Government has confirmed that the temporary mechanism allowing developers to change or waive affordable housing planning obligations on the grounds of scheme viability will not be extended beyond the end of this month.

read more here

Redcliffe Way Neighbourhood Development Plan consultation

September 1, 2015

The Redcliffe Forum plan consultation period ran until October 2nd 2015.

Find the document on the St Mary Redcliffe website where you can click on the download icon to the bottom right hand side to see a legible pdf of the plan.

or read the pdf  here.


Joint Spatial Plan

August 18, 2015

From the Press release June 2015:

At a meeting of the West of England Planning, Housing and Communities Board on Friday 26 June members are being asked to confirm the scope and programme for a new joint spatial plan for the sub-region, rolling forwards the existing planning frameworks to 2036.

All the four authorities have made a commitment to work jointly for sustainable growth across the West of England and together effectively shape the future of the area.

In order to achieve this, the joint spatial plan will be based on the following guiding principles:

  • a commitment to a plan-led approach to strongly guide future development and secure funding for essential infrastructure
  • balancing the need for growth and development with the need to secure quality of life and a strong environmental future
  • adopting a sequential approach to future development which prioritises the use of previously developed land and makes best use of our existing urban areas; and
  • ensuring that our transport plans are coordinated with the spatial plan and identifies key infrastructure requirements.

The joint spatial plan will need to consider how around 38,000 future dwellings could be accommodated into the sub region.  The authorities have already planned for 47,000 dwellings up to 2026 through their local plans and core strategies.

The figures are in a report by consultants ORS (Opinion Research Services) that sets out the Wider Bristol Strategic Housing Market Assessment taking into account forecast population growth, predicted jobs growth and affordable housing needs.

The total number of homes that will be provided will be assessed through the Joint Spatial Plan which will have to carefully balance this figure with other significant considerations such as environmental capacity and quality of life.

The joint spatial plan will:

  • provide the formal statutory framework for the councils Local Plans, going forwards to 2036, in a cross-authority, co-ordinated manner
  • set out the quantum of both market and affordable housing to be delivered over the plan horizon (2016/2036) and enable a five-year planning supply and 10-15 years of availability of land
  • identify broad strategic locations and give land-use expression to the employment land/floorspace needs arising from the strategic economic plan (to enable us to deliver the strategic economic plan which is all about new jobs and new opportunities, new training, new connectivity)
  • identify the strategic infrastructure proposals, including transport, required to deliver the scale of development envisaged, alongside an understanding of the costs of respective infrastructure packages and any viability issues that may arise
  • deliver balanced and sustainable communities into the future with housing, employment integrated transport and infrastructure to support a competitive and growing economy.

The West of England Planning, Housing and Communities Board meet on Friday 26 June at 11am at BAWA, 589 Southmead Road, Filton BS34 7RG.

Members for the West of England Planning, Housing and Communities Board are:

  • Cllr Marie Longstaff, Bath & North East Somerset Council
  • Cllr Simon Cook, Bristol City Council
  • Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council
  • Cllr Ben Stokes and Cllr Brian Allinson, South Gloucestershire Council.

The agenda and papers are available to read by scrolling down the page at