Building on the green belt: Why North Somerset Council is thinking the unthinkable
The government have told North Somerset council that over the next 15 years, we need to build 20,475 new homes in North Somerset. That’s like building two new Clevedons.
This work is key to the future of North Somerset - creating much-needed new homes in communities across North Somerset, bringing new people, skills and businesses to the area as a result.
But with this ambitious target comes a very real challenge - finding places to put all these new houses.
The map below, taken from North Somerset Council’s Choices for the Future consultation document, shows that outside of Green Belt, Flood Zones, and Areas of Outstanding Beauty there are very few options for places we could build them.
We have to hit the government target - so we have to find a solution to this challenge that works for our communities.
We have a range of options, before building on the greenbelt, which we will look to use, including:
- Making use of all suitable brownfield and previously developed land.
- Optimising the density of all new and existing developments i.e. seeking to fit more homes on existing sites.
- Talking to our neighbouring local authorities to see if they could accommodate some of the growth (in addition to their own requirement).
But even with these options, it looks unlikely that we can meet our target without building in at least some green belt areas. Which is why it is important to us that we keep in contact with the neighbouring communities, and find the best solutions we can for everyone involved.
In early February, Lib Dem councillor for Long Ashton, Leigh Woods, Failand and Wraxall, Ash Cartman (link to his NSLD contact page), gave an update to Failand and Wraxall Parish Council on the current situation with the Local Plan, a key planning strategy document, and what it means for the green belt.
You can watch his presentation to the group by clicking here