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The Local Plan

Use this page to learn about the function and content of our Local Plan, and updates on how we are progressing with its development. 

Planning decisions in Bath and North East Somerset are guided by national and local planning policy. Our local planning policy is made up of a series of documents, which include the following:

  • Local Plan (Core Strategy, Placemaking Plan and Local Plan Partial Update)

  • Neighbourhood Plans

We are also required to regularly review our Local Plan to ensure that it is underpinned by relevant and up-to-date evidence. This page outlines the details of the review and new Local Plan for the district.

Aims and content of the new Local Plan

We will review the Core Strategy, Placemaking Plan and Local Plan Partial Update through the preparation of a new Local Plan. This will establish the planning framework for Bath and North East Somerset up to 2042. It will contain a vision, strategy and policies to guide and manage how the district grows and changes over the next 20 years, and how planning applications for new development are decided.

We have started work on the new Local Plan, and marked this with the publication of a launch document , which we consulted on in October 2022.

Keep up to date

You can view the timeline for our projects in our Local Development Scheme. If you would like to receive updates on the Local Plan and other planning policy news as it happens, please sign up to our planning policy mailing list

Strategic regional planning framework: Spatial Development Strategy 

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) was preparing high level plans for our region, known as the Spatial Development Strategy (SDS). The SDS was intended to provide the strategic planning framework for our New Local Plan. However, the WECA Mayor decided in May 2022 to stop all work on the West of England Combined Authority Spatial Development Strategy. Therefore, the Local Plans for Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire will now provide the strategic planning framework for the West of England Combined Authority area.  

The issue of housing need will now be addressed through individual Local Plans for each of the local councils. We will continue our longstanding history of joint working and co-operate with each other and with other key bodies on strategic, cross-boundary matters as we each prepare our Local Plans. 

The evidence base prepared so far to inform the Spatial Development Strategy will be published on the West of England Combined Authority website, and will be reviewed and used as appropriate to inform every council's Local Plans. 

View the latest Local Plan documents