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A positive response to Core Strategy welcomed

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 18/09/2012

In his preliminary findings, published today on the council’s website, the Inspector rejects calls for a suspension of the strategy and instead invites the council to make a limited number of additional modifications in order to make it ‘sound’ and ready for adoption.

The Inspector is expected to deliver his final report on the strategy before Christmas, meaning that it could be adopted by Council early in the New Year.

The Inspector’s preliminary findings signal his support for many of the policies within the strategy, including the council’s overall housing requirements for the district and proposals to allocate Filton Airfield for development as part of the Cribbs/Patchway New Neighbourhood.

He also signals his agreement with the council’s case for more retail growth in the district and indicates that an element of this could be at the Mall at Cribbs Causeway, in line with the council’s vision of a new neighbourhood based around the retail centre. The council will now work with its partner local authorities to take this forward.

Elsewhere in his response, the Inspector endorses the council’s approach to protecting the district’s green belt, despite strong challenges from developers, and supports the council’s proposals to work with rural communities to support their local needs. The council’s approach to development in Thornbury is also supported.

Welcoming the preliminary findings, Liberal Democrat Lead Member for the council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee Pat Hockey said: “This is a very positive first response to the strategy following this summer’s Examination in Public.

“The Inspector’s response shows that given national housing and economic needs the strategy is hitting the right balance in supporting sustainable growth in the district, with the necessary infrastructure, while also respecting and protecting the quality of life we enjoy in South Gloucestershire.

“The fact that the Inspector has chosen not to call for a second suspension or withdrawal of the strategy is very encouraging and a testament to officers’ hard work on this vital document.”

As the district’s main planning blueprint, the Core Strategy sets out South Gloucestershire’s overarching development vision until 2027, helping the council to plan for the new jobs, homes and infrastructure that the district will need in the future.

Without the Core Strategy being in place decisions on planning proposals would only be able to take account of the policies’ national planning framework, and the council would not be able to give any weight to the priorities and polices which are considered to be important locally.

The strategy’s proposals show how the council is planning positively for jobs, including the creation of a centre of aerospace excellence focused on the Filton Airfield site and unlocking the potential of the Avonmouth/Severnside area.

The strategy also responds to local evidence of demand for new homes, including affordable housing, throughout the district, helping to make sure that mixed and balanced new communities are delivered in a managed and sustainable manner while also preserving and protecting South Gloucestershire’s green spaces for future generations.

The plan will see significant new infrastructure being delivered including the roads, public transportation links, schools, open space and other public facilities necessary to enable the new and existing communities of South Gloucestershire to prosper.

Council officers will now begin preparations for a six-week consultation on the proposed modifications, the results of which will be considered and reflected in the Inspector’s final report later this year.

Further information on the Core Strategy, including details of the Inspector’s preliminary findings, are available at

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