Skip to Main Content ⏎.
Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.
Housing development in Bath

The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) will set out broad locations for growth to meet the need for homes and jobs across our area over the next 20 years, based on capacity and what is deliverable. It will contribute towards our ambition to meet carbon neutrality by 2030. We will consult with local people on the draft plan and take feedback into account.


The Spatial Development Strategy’s role

The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) will be a blueprint for our region’s future. This includes where new homes are needed with transport links, and access to green spaces. The goal is to carry out sustainable placemaking across the whole of the West of England Combined Authority area. This is why we are working with the councils of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, and South Gloucestershire to produce the SDS.

View Spatial Development's Strategy Engagement report >

Cyclist in an urban area

In November 2020, we surveyed people living in the West of England for their views about the region’s future. The survey asked nine questions about the priorities for the region’s emerging Spatial Development Strategy (SDS). This included a range of important social, environmental, and economic issues. Listening to local opinions is essential to our decision-making process.

Key themes to implement in our strategy include:

  • Providing quality homes (relative to local incomes)
  • Protecting accessible green spaces for people, wildlife, and nature
  • Activities to prioritise our response to the climate emergency.
  • A high-quality sustainable transport network

Further information on our surveys and assessments

More information from the survey and our other assessments can be found in the following links:

Spatial Development Strategy technical documents

Below are links to technical documents to share initial evidence base that will help to shape our Spatial Development Strategy (SDS).

The Statement of Common Ground Version 2 provides an update on ongoing joint working with strategic partners and neighbouring authorities. It should be read in conjunction with Version 1 of the Statement of Common Ground which was published in September 2020.

Summaries version of the Employment Land Spatial Needs Assessment and Local Housing Needs Assessment have also been published, due to the technical nature and length of the original documents. Summary pages are provided within the other documents to highlight their scope and purpose.

We are planning to publish the draft SDS in Spring 2022 and it will be subject to a 12-week consultation, when residents and businesses across the region will be invited to share their views.

The documents listed below are being published for information only and will be subject to consultation alongside the draft SDS, in line with planning regulations and our statutory requirements.

However, if you would like to give feedback on any of the documents we have published now, please email: Any feedback may help to inform the SDS but will not be considered as part of the formal consultation.

Timeline of the Spatial Development Strategy


Time period


Public engagement

Autumn 2020 - late 2021

  • Online survey and engagement in Autumn 2020
  • Ongoing stakeholder engagement on evidence base
  • Residents and stakeholders kept informed of progress

Spring 2022

  • Statutory consultation on draft plan
  • Opportunity to comment on the proposed plan and supporting evidence through formal consultation

Spring 2023

  • Plan examination by a panel of planning inspectors
  • Opportunities for the public to participate in the plan examination process, led by inspectors.
Examination report

Summer 2023

  • Publication (adoption) as soon as possible after receiving the report

This revised timetable allows Local Plans to progress towards key milestones later in 2023.

Working in partnership

Many of our Future of the Region survey respondents highlighted the need for our region to work in partnership with other relevant authorities and organisations.

One such partnership will be with North Somerset Council, which is currently developing its own Local Plan.

As part of the SDS, we are drafting a Statement of Common Ground (SoCG). This document sets out how we will work with key partners to resolve cross-boundary issues and create a sustainable development strategy for the future.

Terms and conditions
Your information will be held by the West of England Combined Authority, who will use this to update you on strategic planning in the West of England region, and inform you of relevant future consultations. Your information will be held for no more than five years, at which point you will be asked whether you wish to remain on the mailing list. If you have previously been on the mailing list to receive updates on the Joint Spatial Plan, you will not automatically continue to receive updates on joint planning – you will need to opt-in to do so. The Combined Authority may share your information with the Combined Authority unitary authorities (B&NES, Bristol, and South Gloucestershire). The Combined Authority may at times engage with external consultants as part of the plan making process, and therefore there may be times when details will be shared with those working on behalf of WECA and the West of England unitary authorities. They will not be shared with any other third party, or for any purpose unrelated to strategic planning. Your details will be stored securely in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and only accessed by authorised personnel who have received appropriate training in data management. You have the option to opt out of this mailing list at any time by clicking unsubscribe at the footer of any email communications.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.