Bristol Council has been consulting on proposed changes to the Local Plan policies. This is a scheduled review to reflect changes over the last 5 years. A particular theme is “Urban Living”, which is a policy that prioritises housing growth in certain city areas, with denser development, primarily on brownfield sites. Also out for consultation was an Urban Living Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
BWA agrees that denser development has the potential to provide much-needed housing in the most sustainable way, but has suggested some improvements in the draft policies:
Local Plan review
- BWA believes that there are serious risks of erosion of the quality of the environment and of social life if ‘densification’ is not implemented well.
- the planning process should promote and enable changes in travel behaviour, not just ‘respond’. The policy on locations for urban living should refer to ‘locations with good accessibility’ in terms of active travel as well as public transport.
- new developments should enable active and sustainable travel, and have access to safe, accessible to open spaces
- the pedestrian routes defined in planning policy should be extended to include the proposed areas of urban living.
Urban Living SPD
- we regret that the draft planning policy is not strong enough to ensure that quality infrastructure is provided as an integral part of development in areas of urban living
- we would like to see the Council taking the lead on spatial frameworks for areas of urban living in order to set out clear expectations of developers.
Use the following link for the full BWA response