All interested parties can view the Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU) document and provide feedback through our online survey.
Understanding the Local Plan Partial Update
The Local Plan will set out our long-term perspective on local development, and will include the following:
- A strategy to guide development
- Site allocations for planned development (including major strategic development locations and smaller sites)
- District-wide development management policies (which will help to determine planning applications)
The partial update is not a new Local Plan, but is an update of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. The update will not change the plan period, spatial strategy or overall housing requirement of the current Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.
Following examination hearings that took place in June and July 2022, the Planning Inspector has now issued the main modifications which he considers are necessary to make the Local Plan sound and capable of adoption.
Whilst the main modifications are necessary, they do not affect the purpose and substance of the Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU). The changes achieve greater clarity for decision makers and ensure the LPPU reflects supporting evidence and national policy. It is only these changes that will be published for public consultation, not the unchanged parts of the LPPU or Policies Map.
Tackling the Climate Emergency
The scope of the Partial Update responds positively to the three immediate priorities for action and speed of ambition needed to achieve the 2030 target as identified in the Climate Emergency Progress Report to Council in October 2019. In summary, these are:
- Energy efficiency improvement of the majority of existing buildings and zero carbon new build
- A major shift to mass transport, walking and cycling to reduce transport emissions
- A rapid and large-scale increase in local renewable energy generation
Why we are consulting
Our Local Plan (the Core Strategy and the Placemaking Plan) needs to be updated in order to reflect our Declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergencies and the commitment to securing net zero by 2030.
We started work on a partial update to the Local Plan (LPPU) in 2020 and since then we have carried out a process of engagement on the scope of the changes.
The LPPU was submitted for examination in 2021, and following the examination hearings in June and July 2022, the Planning Inspector has now issued the main modifications to our Local Plan. These modifications of the LPPU will be published for 6 weeks.
Who we are consulting
The consultation is open to all interested parties. However, due to the nature of the process, we expect planning specialists or those who were involved in the examination itself will have a specific interest in this consultation.
Whilst the main modifications are necessary for the soundness of the Local Plan, they do not affect the purposes and substance of the LPPU. There are 42 main modifications. The modifications primarily relate to the following:
- Changes to Policy DW1 so that it outlines how the housing requirement will be met, including housing figures for designated Neighbourhood Plan areas, and references removing the Park & Ride sites from the Green Belt.
- Amending references to Supplementary Planning Documents so that decision-makers have regard to them and the LPPU does not confer upon the Development Plan status.
- Renewable energy – additional supporting text to fully explain the policy approach. Policy amendments to ensure impacts of wind energy schemes to be considered are clearer, ensure the policy reflects national policy in respect of AONBs and the role of community benefit in commercial schemes is not incorrectly articulated.
- Modifications to better explain how carbon off-setting (only where necessary should a development scheme be unable to be zero carbon onsite) will be calculated and delivered via the Sustainable Construction Checklist and Planning Obligations SPD.
- Deleting the requirement that development schemes of over 50 dwellings meet specified over heating targets from the zero carbon construction policy, as this is now dealt with via Building Regulations.
- Amendment to nature conservation policy (NE3) to ensure species are fully protected, as well as habitats.
- Biodiversity Net Gain – amended text to clearly outline national exemptions (householder applications and changes of use of existing buildings) and that we will be seeking a minimum of 10% net gain.
- HMO Energy performance rating – amendment to identify the exemptions to achieving EPC rating ‘C’ in LPPU Policy H2, rather than solely in the SPD.
- PBSA – policy approach to continue to prioritise PBSA provision on-campus and limit off-campus PBSA to that which is needed with controls. Amendments to how PBSA providers demonstrate the ‘need’ for off-campus accommodation.
- Bath Riverside – as proposed by us (the council) at the examination hearings reference to the need for a new primary school to be deleted from the policy as it is not needed and retaining reference to providing a new community hub.
- RUH – modifications to the supporting text and policy to better reflect collaboration between us and RUH Trust on the estates plan and ensuring a sustainable transport strategy is developed to help guide development of the site to improve safe and active travel links within/through the site and to the wider neighbourhood.
- Sion Hill site – changes to the policy to ensure delivery of north-south walking and cycling route complements the Liveable Neighbourhood scheme for the Lansdown area as it is progressed.
- St Martin’s Hospital – modifications to ensure that the heritage significance of the Chapel is maintained and that provision of bird and bat boxes does not harm historic buildings.
- University of Bath – minor changes to the policy to make it clear that the provision of a 3G pitch will satisfactorily mitigate the impacts of the loss of playing fields to enable development of PBSA and to more clearly articulate that development proposals must address GI, ecological and landscape impacts and the active management of travel demand.
- Park & Ride sites – acceptance that exceptional circumstances exist to remove the sites from the Green Belt for their use as transport interchanges. Amendments to the policy to list the transport interchange uses acceptable on the sites (previously in the supporting text) and clarify the compensatory Green Belt improvements to be made.
- East Keynsham safeguarded land sites – policy to be amended to specify that the sustainable transport measures listed in the policy will be investigated further through the Development Management process and provided where necessary.
- Somer Valley Enterprise Zone – as proposed by us at the hearings, amending reference to ‘some’ retail to ‘ancillary’ retail to give greater clarity on the scale and type of retail use envisaged.
- Amended identification of strategic policies so that they are not all defined as strategic, but in line with national policy they comprise those which set out the overall strategy/policy approach to meeting development needs, protecting/enhancing the environment and addressing climate change, as well as strategic site allocations.
Further Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment of the main modifications have been prepared for consultation.
There are two documents to consider: the main modification document and the minor amendments document. The minor amendments are minor in nature, primarily to the supporting text of the LPPU, and are not considered to be necessary for the plan to be found sound.
Understanding the documents
- Adopted Plan is in plain text
- Submitted Plan is added text shown as bold text, and deleted text as strike-through
- Main modifications are added text shown as bold and underlined, deleted text as strike-through and underlined
You can also view an updated Sustainability Appraisal and Habitat Regulation Assessment, as well as four separate documents showing the changes incorporated into the plan document, to read the proposals in context. These four cover districtwide policies, and different areas of our district. We are not proposing changes to rural areas.
Have your say
What happens next
Representations we have received will be passed to the Inspector for consideration.
If you have questions about this consultation or the Partial Update of the Local Plan, please email us at email@example.com