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Housing development in Bath

Work on the Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) has been halted and is not being progressed by the West of England Combined Authority. Metro Mayor Dan Norris has written to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to explain that he has asked officers to stop work as unanimous agreement on the plan by the councils has not been reached. The information below sets out the previously published work undertaken by the Combined Authority and its partners on the SDS process.

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 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 that are helping to shape our Spatial Development Strategy (SDS).

The Statement of Common Ground Version 3 provides an update on ongoing joint working with strategic partners and neighbouring authorities. It should be read in conjunction with Version 1 & 2 of the Statement of Common Ground which were published in September 2020 and October 2021.

Summaries 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.

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.