Councillors approved a revised version of South Gloucestershire’s Core Strategy at a lengthy meeting of Full Council yesterday evening (Wednesday 14th December).
The document sets out the overarching development vision for the district until 2026 and will help the council to plan for and deliver the new homes, jobs and services that will be needed in the future.
The strategy will also help discourage speculative unplanned development in inappropriate locations by providing a clear framework for longer-term sustainable development in the district.
Welcoming the decision, South Gloucestershire Council Executive Member for Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Brian Allinson said:
“The Core Strategy is a vital blueprint for the future of South Gloucestershire and we should not underestimate the significant benefits that having it in place will bring to the district.”
“As well as helping us to plan properly the future, the strategy will make sure that new development meets our community’s needs, and occurs in the right place and at the right time.”
“I am very grateful to everyone who has contributed to the development of the strategy by sharing their views and taking part in the debate as the document has been developed.”
The strategy was first submitted to the Secretary of State in March 2011 and the council has since been required to consider proposing a number of revisions in response to questions raised by the Government-appointed inspector.
These include new provisions responding to changes in the status of Filton Airfield, which BAE intends to close by the end of 2012. To the east of the airfield site, around 50ha will be safeguarded to create a new employment area focusing on an advanced engineering to further strengthen the aerospace centre of excellence.
Commenting on the changing status of Filton Airfield, Councillor Allinson added:
“The circumstances that surround the airfield are wholly not of South Gloucestershire Council’s making, nonetheless it is imperative that we have a clear planning framework in place to respond.”
“And as the aerospace companies themselves have made clear, these revisions to the Core Strategy safeguard the future of the aerospace industry and will help ensure that it has a future as great as its past.”
The revised strategy also includes changes to the number of new homes envisaged for the district in the period to 2026. Overall the strategy makes provision for 26,400 new homes, with new development focused within the existing Bristol North Fringe/East Fringe urban areas, in places where essential infrastructure is in place or planned.
Changes to the strategy will now be publicised over a seven-week period and representations received during this period will be passed to the Inspector appointed to consider the strategy, at the formal Examination in Public. It is anticipated that the Examination will commence in April 2012.
Further information, including the December 2011 Core Strategy and associated documents, can be found at: www.southglos.gov.uk/corestrategy.
It is anticipated that the December 2011 version of the Core Strategy, together with the supporting Sustainability Appraisal Report, Changes to Proposals Maps, Strategic Green Belt Assessment, and other supporting documents, will be formally published by Thursday 22nd December and the submission of representations invited for a period of seven weeks from Thursday 22 December 2011 until Friday 10th February 2012.
Source: South Gloucestershire Council