South Gloucestershire Local Plan: Policies, Sites and Places Plan - Regulation 18 Consultation (2015)

Executive Summary

  • The role of the planning system in respect of housing provision, is to significantly boost supply through sustainable developments.
  • To be adopted a Local Plan should address the housing needs of an area and identify sufficient deliverable sites to provide five years' worth of housing, plus a 20% buffer. To provide a realistic prospect of achieving the planned supply and ensure choice and competition in the market for land.
  • In South Gloucestershire housing supply levels, for the next 5 years, have fallen below those set in the council's adopted Core Strategy.
  • Housing delivery rates are largely beyond the direct control of the council. The resulting slippage against targeted delivery has also been outside of the control and influence of the council.
  • There is a need to restructure the housing trajectory1, by bringing forward identified development sites, in order to boost immediate housing supply. There is also a need to identify additional non-strategic, small and medium sized, residential allocations.
  • At the commencement of the PSP Plan process there was no requirement to identify additional sites for housing to meet the housing requirement of the area. The PSP Plan's initial approach was therefore to support communities to bring forward new housing sites in the rural areas, rather than propose sites at the outset. However, this only led to one community identifying a site for 20 new homes. Due to the housing land supply shortfall over the next 5 years the approach in the PSP Plan must be reviewed to address this.
  • The PSP Plan cannot be progressed as intended while the shortfall remains. Therefore this paper sets out the process by which the council will aim to make the shortfall good.
  • The housing shortfall exists in the next 5 year period, therefore additional allocations will only be made for those sites that the council considers can make a meaningful contribution to housing supply in the next 5 years.
  • This paper sets out the methodology proposed to consider locations and sites which are suitable and available for housing allocation.
  • The objective is to make additional housing allocations that will support sustainable development, therefore this process will not result in growth at any cost. The impact of any allocations will be appropriately assessed, however it is important that the PSP Plan achieves a significant boost in the supply of housing provision in the short term.
  • The council will review the potential allocations and may need to consider if exceptional circumstances exist that would fully justify sites to be released from the Green Belt.
  • This paper also sets out the additional benefits in pausing the submission of the PSP Plan which now enable further work to be undertaken on the development management policies.


[1] Under national policy (NPPF para 47), the council is required to illustrate the expected rate of housing delivery through a “housing trajectory” for the plan period. This is to demonstrate that the council can deliver its development plan housing targets. An annual housing trajectory is therefore produced by the council which involves monitoring both past and anticipated housing completions across a period of time. It can help indicate at an early stage whether any steps need to be taken to ensure that planned housing requirements are met.