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What is a Local Plan, and why do we prepare it?


1.1    The Local Plan will set out a strategy and framework for how places in Bath and North East Somerset will change and grow over the next 15 to 20 years. It sets out planning policies that will shape any development that requires planning permission and a basis for investment in infrastructure. The plan identifies the need for new homes and jobs, and the services and infrastructure to support them, and guides where this development should happen and what form it will take. It is about ensuring that we maintain and create sustainable, vibrant and healthy places and communities.

1.2    Change and development will happen whether we prepare a Local Plan or not. We prepare it in order that we can influence and shape the location and form of future development and to help ensure that is better supported by the timely provision of necessary infrastructure. Without a Local Plan, speculative development will take place, in less sustainable areas, and in an unplanned way. We also prepare a Local Plan in order to protect what is special about Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), including its unique, high quality and renowned built and natural environment. 

1.3    This Local Plan will establish the planning framework for the district up to 2042. It will contain a vision, strategy and policies to guide and manage growth and change; and will be the basis for how planning applications for new development are decided. It will also play a crucial role in delivering the council’s corporate priorities, including improving people’s lives, tackling the climate and ecological emergencies, and preparing for the future in terms of the economy, responding to housing need and addressing inequalities. The Local Plan covers the whole administrative area of Bath & North East Somerset Council. The Plan period is 2022 to 2042. Once adopted, the Local Plan will be reviewed around every 5 years and updated where necessary.