Bath and North East Somerset Cou by fjhuangjun

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									Bath and North East Somerset Council
Freedom of Information request
Please provide the following information:

PROCESS
1. How did B&NES decide the area of search?
• This decision was made through the Regional Spatial Strategy
(RSS) process and not by B&NES

2. Why was the SW of Bath Green Belt been targeted above other areas to
n/w or e of Bath?
• This was decided through the RSS process and was an environmental
constraints led process based on a high level appraisal of
environmental constraints

3. Will the consultation process allow for a third option to be considered
(given 1 and 2 both include urban extension to SW and therefore present
NO option for this side of Bath)?
• This is still an “informal” stage of consultation and it is possible for
additional options to be considered that might be introduced/re-
introduced following the consultation. Indeed the consultation
document encourages views on any issues that have not been
included.
• The B&NES Core Strategy must be in general conformity with the
RSS so there are limits to the options that can be presented e.g.
urban extension must be to the S/SW of Bath

4. Please explain how the Core Strategy plans can advance whilst the Govt
is reviewing the sustainability of the RSS – which proposed the same
plans?
• The Councils Core Strategy has already been delayed due to
uncertainties relating to the RSS. The Government Office for the
South West has been encouraging all authorities to progress Core
Strategies in the interests of the economy and provision of homes.
• The Government has announced that it is looking again at the
Sustainability Appraisal only of the Proposed Changes level of
growth. It is not undertaking a Sustainability Appraisal the whole of
the RSS. The spatial strategy and principle of urban extensions in
the draft are therefore not being reviewed. The Core Strategy

5. Why so many houses in one space – why not spread into smaller units?
• The arguments about one location vs. a number of smaller locations
is set out on p107 of the Core Strategy options doc.
• An urban extension would require a strategic change to the Green
Belt – this should be a strategic Green Belt change – it is difficult to
justify small incremental change and this could leave open in future.
• Initial assessments have shown that the impact on ecology,
landscape and the WHS would be greater if the development was
dispersed.

Bath and North East Somerset Council
Freedom of Information request
• Infrastructure providers have told us that splitting the development
would make it more difficult and costly to serve. For example, public
transport, renewable energy e.g. CHP, water/sewerage.
• Splitting development likely to have a greater impact on existing
communities – strain on existing services and facilities as
population levels which would support new facilities would not be
reached e.g. schools etc

6. How many people will come off the council ‘homeless/in need of housing
register as a result of the proposed development? Percentage allocated to
social housing if developed?
• There are nearly 8,000 households on the Homesearch Register
although this is not always an accurate estimate of housing need as it
includes those who want to move from their existing home.
• The requirement in the RSS is that 35% of all new housing should be
affordable. This would mean around 5,500 of new housing up to 2026
would be affordable. However this is complicated by the fact that
evidence shows that there is already a backlog of unmet need (17%)
of new housing. The Council house waiting list is not an accurate
measure of housing need.
• P49-50 Core Strategy options document – the Council is consulting
on affordable housing options e.g. Geographical options, proportion
options, site threshold options, tenure split options etc and the
opportunities to provide subsidised and low-cost market housing

7. How can the numbers (used to project housing needs e.g. growth) be
substantiated in light of the recession and changes to lending strategies on
mortgages?
• Housing growth needs is a result of demographic change. Despite the
recession, there is still a need for housing arising from natural
population increase, backlog of unmet need and social changes (eg
people living longer, high divorce rate
• The Core Strategy is based on the lower number in draft RSS (2006)
rather than proposed changes and the Council challenged the increase
in housing numbers.
• The Core Strategy must plan for the long term, well beyond the impact
of the current recession

  8.
At what point will B&NES take into account university build
programmes that will alleviate housing demand within Bath?
•
The universities student accommodation programmes will primarily
cater for new students and not existing

9. Why are MOD and admiralty sites in and around Bath not being developed
if they are decommissioned? Especially as they already contain significant
infrastructure
•
Option 1 of the Core Strategy proposes that these sites are
redeveloped for mixed use including residential although there timing
of the release of these sites is in the hands of the MoD and such
uncertainties are reflected in Option 2.

link to page 3 Bath and North East Somerset Council
Freedom of Information request

ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE
10. Can the Council justify lack of AONB status for SW Bath?
•
AONB designation and boundary amendment is the responsibility of
the Countryside agency and not within the remit of the Council

11. How will B&NES ensure Brownfield sites are built as a priority before
Green Belt - what assurances and agreements will be ratified at Council,
i.e. not just guidelines or policy?
• The Council’s primary tool to control is through planning policy and to
make good progress with the Core Strategy.

12. How will climate change targets/considerations be met by destroying
farmland and Green Belt? What is the justification for building on farmland
at a time when the world faces potential global food shortages as a result
of climate change?
•
High Grade farmland has been avoided
•
The district still needs to meet its housing needs and there is
insufficient land within urban areas to achieve this

13.
How will the climate change commitments of BANES be influencing
 the decision making process on the sustainability of the proposed
plans – e.g. commuter traffic to Bristol etc, number of dwellings,
infrastructure demands etc.
•
Sustainable construction methods will be used and renewable energy
targets will be set and there is great potential to achieve this new
development.
•
The scheme will be mixed use to reduce the need to travel. The RSS
proposes the expansion of existing urban areas rather than
dispersing large amounts of development to unsustainable locations
in rural areas and small towns.
•
This options lies on a public transport route which will enable greater
opportunities for public transport

SCALE AND SITU
14. How does the proposed strategy represent an ‘EXTENSION ‘of Bath’
when in fact it will be separated from Bath by the valley, brook and the
river and will be more like a new town attached to the edge of Bath?
• The difficulties of then links to bath are acknowledged and described in
the Core Strategy options document p.109 but there are also integration
opportunities as referred to on p.109 eg shared Green Infrastructure

15. How does the plan affect the WHS status of Bath
• The implications for the WHS are set out in the Core Strategy options
document and the WHS setting study1 on the Councils website



1http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathNES/environmentandplanning/worldheritagesite/worldheritagesite
sett
ingstudy.htm

Bath and North East Somerset Council
Freedom of Information request
16. The plans resemble a ribbon development linking Bath to Bristol – are
there not restrictions for ribbon development in current planning?
•
The urban extension does not constitute ribbon development as
conventionally defined. See answer to question below

17. How will the Council ensure that, should such a development start, it will
not then continue to sprawl until Bristol and Bath are joined?
•
The Council will only release land from the Green Belt sufficient for
this proposal. The Green Belt safeguards will remain between Bristol
and Bath

18. How will B&NES meet the costs of new infrastructure that will be
required?
•
The Infrastructure Delivery Plan, now underway, will identify
infrastructure needed, costs and gaps
•
Some costs will be met by the Developer e.g. through Planning
Obligations or in-kind contributions e.g. community facilities, green
space and play space
•
Other costs will require mainstream funding e.g. the Council will need
to bid for funding as with the Bath Package. The Region does have
funding available for infrastructure. The Core Strategy can be used
to support bids for such funding.
•
Other costs will be met by infrastructure providers and will be
planned into investment plans e.g. water supply, health

19. How can such a scale of housing, which is not joined to anything, create
an integrated community within Bath?
• The difficulties of then links to bath are acknowledged and described in
the Core Strategy options document p.109 but there are also integration
opportunities as referred to on p.109 eg shared Green Infrastructure

20. How does the council justify the impact of a 3000% increase to the size
of the community in the NSL area? (we are 63 residencies). How does
the plan affect the world heritage status of Bath?
• There will no doubt be an impact on NSL but the Council will seek to
limit this as far as possible through the masterplanning work. The
implications for the WHS are set out in the Core Strategy options
document and the WHS setting study on the Councils website

JOBS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
21. How will Bath and the extension provide sufficient new jobs for 3000
people?
• The proposal will need to include space for employment uses. The
Council will need to take a comprehensive approach and its economic
strategy will need to support the objective of provided local employment.
Many jobs will be created locally to serve the new residents.

22. How will the council avoid the new development around NSL becoming a
commute town to Bristol? (see also climate impacts. How will Banes
meet the costs of new infrastructure that will be required?

Bath and North East Somerset Council
Freedom of Information request
• The vision for the urban extension set out in the Options document is
that the new community development should be mixed use included
opportunities for local employment. See answer to question 22

23. How will Banes cope with the increase in traffic to the SW of Bath and
how that affects residents, commuters and businesses in the area?
• Investigations and transport modelling is underway to assess the impact
of the development and necessary interventions

OTHER
24.
What are the timescales for this development?
•
The Core Strategy plan period is to 2026
•
The urban extensions are scheduled to be developed as late as
possible in the plan period in order to priorities greenfield land whilst
at the same time ensuring an adequate supply of housing.

CONSULTATION
25.
Why is the consultation period so short? Can it be extended given the
scope and scale of the proposals?
• The Consultation period has been extended to 15/1/2010

26.
How will our views be taken into consideration?
• Comments will be summarised and a consultation report will be
prepared, this will include comments recorded at events
• All comments will be published online
• Key themes and issues will be picked up and responses to these
will be published by the Council
• The Council will then consider these comments in preparing its
draft Core Strategy next year.

27.
How can we best engage in the consultation process and make your
views known? What can people do to make their views known?
•
You can reply to the consultation by returning a comment form or
responding online (deadline 11th December)
•
You can attend a consultation event and discuss your views
There will also be opportunities to engage throughout the process e.g. future
Core Strategy consultations, future Masterplanning and planning application
process in future

								
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