The West of England Combined Authority is asking people in the region for their views to help shape a strategy for homes, employment spaces and vital transport links over the next 20 years.
As the region’s population grows and as people live longer, the amount and type of housing that is needed across the West of England is changing.
Covid-19 has also altered the way many people are working, travelling and spending their leisure time.
The strategy will help make sure residents have the homes they need, where they want to live with the connections to get to job opportunities, education and leisure across the region.
It offers an opportunity to plan for a cleaner, greener recovery, ensuring new development is resilient, contributes towards reducing carbon emissions, and brings improvements for nature and sustainability.
Residents and businesses can give their views via a survey on the West of England Combined Authority website.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “This Spatial Development Strategy will make sure that over the next 20 years, we are building homes in the right places so that the West of England remains a great place to live and work.
“Importantly, it will also make sure we are building sustainable communities that are less reliant on cars, improving our environment and connecting our residents to jobs, education, businesses and leisure facilities right across the region.
“Whether you are a resident, business or other organisation based in the West of England, I want to make sure you have your chance to get your voice heard at this early stage of the process, so that as the work progresses it reflects the priorities of the people who live and work here.”
The West of England Combined Authority is working with Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils, stakeholders and residents to develop the plan.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Housing, Planning and Economic Development at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “We are committed to working collaboratively to plan for the West of England’s future housing, employment and transport needs and this is more important than ever as the whole region recovers from the effects of Covid-19.
“The Spatial Development Strategy will directly affect how people in Bath and North East Somerset live, work and enjoy leisure time so I’d encourage everyone in the district to submit their views.
“Over the next two decades we need development that meets people’s needs but is also sustainable to help meet our goal to become carbon neutral by 2030.”
The survey closes on 14th December 2020. Responses to the survey are the first step in developing a draft of the Spatial Development Strategy alongside technical evidence and studies.
Once the draft is completed and published in 2021, it will be subject to a full statutory consultation, providing the opportunity to formally comment on the proposed plan.
Once the Spatial Development Strategy is agreed and published, it will form part of the ‘development plan’ alongside council’s own Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans which will be considered when determining planning applications across the region.