An overview of relevant Planning Policy Documents and related information both historic and current that should be considered in context of planning applications in Bleadon when making comment.
Category Document

Planning Documents










































Planning Documents














































CPRE Planning Quick Guide

   "The town and country planning system shapes new building all over the country. It can protect the countryside from sprawl, and it gives everyone a chance to have their say.."


Government NPPF

   "The National Planning Policy Framework sets out government's planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied"

Sustainable Development


NSC Corporate Plan (2015-2019)

   "promote growth without compromising the things that we, and our millions of visitors, love about North Somerset: our beautiful countryside, stunning coast and distinctive towns and villages, each with their own unique character. Only a modern, efficient council providing a strong voice for the area can achieve this."


NSC Town & Parish Council Charter (2012)

    "Ensure that council activities in local councils’ areas take account of the Neighbourhood or Parish Plan"


NSC Pre-Commencement Plan Local Plan 2018-2036

    "This consultation is on an initiation document setting out the proposed scope and programme for the preparation of the North Somerset Local Plan 2018-2036. 

The existing timeframe for planning documents within North Somerset is to 2026. This is the end period of both the Core Strategy and the more detailed Sites and Policies Plan"


NSC Core Strategy/Local Plan (Jan17 PDF)

   "The Core Strategy is the main planning document which guides development choices and decisions in North Somerset.


Some Core Strategy Policies 

CS14(Jan 17) - Distribution of new housing

   NSC are to build 20,986 dwellings by 2026. "Settlement boundaries define the area within which resdential development is accptable in principle ... Development outside the settlement boundaries will only be acceptable where a site is allocated in a Local Plan or ...CS33" i.e. in areas such as Bleadon.

CS33(Jan 17) - Infill villages, smaller settlements and countryside

   "Development outside the areas covered .... will be strictly controlled in order to protect the character of the rural area and prevent unsustainable development. Residential development at Infill villages. ... Affordable housing will be permitted within settlement boundaries or in the form of rural exceptions sites, adjacent to settlements."

CS17(Jan 17) - Rural exceptions schemes   "Housing schemes for 100% affordable housing to meet local needs within small rural communities will be supported where: a) the development meets an identified local need demonstrated by an up-to-date needs survey or other evidence; b) the development is supported or initiated by the parish council ...; (presumably acting on the views of residents?) ... Rural exceptions schemes will be acceptable adjacent to the settlement boundaries of  ... Infill Villages [e.g. Bleadon] and elsewhere adjacent to the main body of the settlement ..."


Sites and Polices Plan (SAP)

"The sites and policies plan contains detailed policies that complement our [NSC] Core Strategy. A first draft was produced in February 2013, but due to uncertainties over our strategic housing requirement, the sites and policies plan has been split into two parts."


Some NSC Development Management Policies (SAP Part 1)

   "Part 1 of the plan, development management policies, has been taken forward in advance of part 2. It covers a range of development issues including development in the green belt, major transport schemes, conservation areas, extensions to dwellings, development in the countryside, retailing, accommodation for older people, minerals planning and design." Development Management Policies July 2016.


DM8(July 16) Nature Conservation

   "Where appropriate, proposals should seek to conserve the local natural environment by retaining, protecting, enhancing and linking existing wildlife habitats; by incorporating retained habitats sensitively into the development through appropriate design; and by ensuring that such retained and enhanced habitats are managed appropriately." 

DM11(July 16) - Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

   "To ensure that development would not harm the natural beauty of the AONB and that the priority consideration for all proposed development impacting on the AONB is the conservation, protection and, where possible, enhancement of its natural beauty."

DM44(July 16) - Replacement dwellings in the countryside

   "Restrict isolated residential development in the countryside unless there are special circumstances such as replacement dwellings and protect the countryside from inappropriate sized dwellings that would harm the character of the area"

DM45(July 16) - The conversion or re-use of rural buildings to residential use.

   "Restrict isolated residential development in the countryside unless there are special circumstances such as the conversion of rural buildings."

DM46(July 16) - Rural workers dwellings

   "Restrict isolated residential development in the countryside unless there are special circumstances such as essential rural workers dwellings."

DM51(July 16) - Agriculture and land-based rural business development in the countryside

   "To support proposals for new agricultural buildings which are genuinely necessary and ensure that any new building which is permitted meets very high design standards and respects the landscape and its rural setting"

DM53(July 16) -  Employment Development on greenfield sites in the countryside

   "To prioritise the re-use or existing sites and buildings for the above uses in order to protect the character and appearance of the countryside."

DM54(July 16) - Employment development on previously developed land in the countryside

   "To prioritise the redevelopment of redundant sites and buildings in the countryside for economic and community uses."


Some NSC Site Allocation Plan (SAP Part 2) documents

  "Following consultation on the publication version the site allocations plan was submitted to the planning inspectorate for examination on 24 February 2017 ... WeNSC] currently consulting on proposed modifications to the plan following the examination hearings." "This consultation will open on Monday 18 September and comments must be received no later than 11.59pm on Monday 30 October 2017."


See also NSC SAP SD8 Residential Site Assessment 2016/17 and SAP SD10 Facilities Accessment 2016/17 spreadsheet downloads.


Neighbourhood Plan


































Neighbourhood Plan






































Neighbourhood Plan








































Neighbourhood Plan











































Neighbourhood Plan



















A comparison of Neighbourhood Plans, Parish Plans and Village Design Documents by Stratford-on-Avon District Council.

   "If you are happy with the Local Plan and the emerging Core Strategy, you may decide that there is no need to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. If you feel that the policies do not fully address what you would like to happen in your community, as you would like more development than is suggested, or your community would like things to happen more quickly, then you could consider preparing a neighbourhood plan."


Could a NSC Strategic Gap help stop WSM urban sprawl consuming Bleadon and making it a suburb?


The Good, Bad and Ugly of Neighbourhood (Development) Plans but no mention of New Homes Bonus....


Frequently asked Questions (April 16)

   Local Government Association - Neighbourhood Plans Frequently Asked Questions.(PDF)


Five Problems with Neighbourhood Plans (Feb 17)   "The real effects of neighbourhood plan making on housing delivery and on the efficient, democratic operation of the planning system are hard to pin down and yet the Government continues to champion its role. Are we really heading in the right direction?"


Government Press Release (Jul 16)

   Although Neighbourhood Plan have been around since 2011, and there are around 11K local councils in the UK, including town, parish, community, neighbourhood and village councils, along with other groups that can create NPs, only 200 had been taken up by 2016. It was also noted that "Early figures indicate that plans for housebuilding are more than 10% higher in areas that have a neighbourhood plan than in the council’s local plan." 400 NDPs had been passed by 2017


There are around 11,000 local councils in the UK, including town, parish, community, neighbourhood and village councils.


Central Government on Neighbourhood Plans

   Communities "are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead ... where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area"


"Where a parish or town council chooses to produce a neighbourhood plan or Order it should work with other members of the community who are interested in, or affected by, the neighbourhood planning proposals to allow them to play an active role in preparing a neighbourhood plan or Order.

The relationship between any group and the formal functions of the town or parish council should be transparent to the wider public ... The terms of reference for a steering group or other body should be published and the minutes of meetings made available to the public."


Understanding the Government's plan for housing and NDPs

One of the key documents to understanding the Government's plan for housing is 'Localism Bill: Neighbourhood Plans and Community Right to Build (Jan 2011 Impact Assessment)', which outlines Option 3, cost savings of £1.345billion, the NDP and speeding up of the planning process. 


"There are also costs of reviewing the plan – estimated at an average 70 per cent of the original costs of the plan – every 10 years" "The cost of preparing a neighbourhood plans will be met partly by the local authority and partly by the promoters of the neighbourhood plans. In the initial years, there will be some financial support from Central Government. The average costs are estimated at £17,000 to £63,000 per plan." Also includes information on Net Benefit, or the economy, local authorities, developers, planning inspectorate and communities.


Cornwall Council gives guidance on costs in 2013 indicating "The average costs are estimated by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) at £20,000 to £86,000 per plan."


Planning Process Reform

The Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill was mentioned in the 2016 Queen's Speech. “This Bill will reform planning and give local communities more power and control to shape their own area so that we build more houses and give everyone who works hard the chance to buy their own home. It will include: Measures to reform and speed up the planning process by minimising delays caused by pre-commencement planning conditions …“


BOB Notes on the above Government NP Information

Link to Neighbourhood Plan information extracts and BOB and process table.


NSC on Neighbourhood Plans

   "Town and parish councils can prepare planning policies for the development and use of land in their area. They can allocate sites for development but should not promote less development than the existing local plan." i.e. promote more development than NSC and/or equal? Currently 21K houses by 2026, more afterwards.


CPRE on Neighbourhood Plans

   "Neighbourhood Plans are optional documents that detail further development priorities for individual communities. They are community-led and can be written by town or parish councils" Parish Plans can be submitted as supplementary documents.


Purbeck District Guide to Neighbourhood Planning.


Good Councillor Guide Third Edition (2011) for Parish Councils

   "The Government is introducing the idea of the neighbourhood plan building on the parish plan. 

Good Councillor Guide Fourth Edition (2013) for Parish Councils

   "Community (Parish or Town) Plans might be led by the local council, drawing in community groups, residents and others, to produce an action plan for improving the local quality of life and the environment. These plans can be based on the findings of a variety of consultation exercises and can form the basis of neighbourhood plans"

Good Councillor Guide 2017 for Parish Councils

   "... consider the delivery of services and community rights, review your council’s role in the planning system including neighbourhood plans and introduce parish plans."

Good Councillor Guide for District Councils

   No mention of Parish Plans but "Neighbourhood plans are written by parish or town councils or neighbourhood forums. They are a tool to give communities more influence over the type, location, size, pace and design of development in their area (providing it fits with local and national policies). These plans become part of the development plan for the area once they have been passed by an examiner and ratified by the community through a referendum [NB There is no minimum turnout figure!! LGA FAQ #26]. Councillors can encourage communities to take advantage of this tool, help them to understand the process, act as a liaison with the council and contribute to the development of proposals in their ward or division."


How much will a Neighbourhood Plan Cost?

   "You can receive grants and support to help you complete your neighbourhood plan.

There are two types of support available in the 2015-2018 programme: Grants of up to £9,000; Technical support packages provided by our partner, AECOM, and an additional grant package of £6,000 (bringing the grant ceiling amount available to £15,000) ... The Neighbourhood Planning Grants will close on 31 January 2018, with the expenditure deadline being 31 March 2018."  If this is a grant towards the full cost what will be the final cost and effect on residents' precept includeding defence of any challenge?


Project Planner

"Producing a neighbourhood plan involves a lot of complex tasks and stages." The My Community Locality website offers a project planner, which outlines these core tasks and stages. "The completed project planner must also be submitted with neighbourhood planning grant applications. If this hasn’t been completed it will delay the grant assessment process." The Planner clearly shows that the submission of a Designated Area comes after public awareness and consultation.


Backwell Farleigh Fields spend £thousands on legal fees.NSC Application and Appeal Decision


The views of a person from Sandford/Winscombe indicate that it could be costly. See also the Planning Inspector's report with regards sustainability.


BPC Correspondence on Neighbourhood Plan (NDP)

BPC correspondence and BOB notes on the NDP can be found here.


BPC Neighbourhood Area Submission

   Bleadon Neighbourhood Plan Application for the Designation of a Neighbourhood Area submitted 15 Sept 2017. What happened to "Neighbourhood planning is not a legal requirement but a right which communities in England can choose to use. Communities may decide that they could achieve the outcomes they want to see through other planning routes ... Communities and local planning authorities should discuss the different choices communities have to achieving their ambitions for their neighbourhood"?


BPC Newsletter on Neighbourhood Plans

   BPC Autumn Newsletter #107 stated "Settlement boundaries, village plans and even some new neighbourhood plans have been shown to be irrelevant or at best to hold very little weight in current national planning decisions ... All villages are now being encouraged to produce new neighbourhood plans by the end 2019 which will cover issues such as planning"

BOB Query to BPC 13 Aug 2017

   "To our knowledge Parish Plans can exist alongside any other plans such as a Neighbourhood Plan, and previously NSC (and CPRE) suggested that the Bleadon's Parish Plan could be submitted as a 'supplementary planning document' to the NSC Local Plan/Core Strategy, is this BPC's intention?" We are still waiting a response (Dec 17)

BOB Query to BPC 10 Sept 2017

We/BOB asked BPC "Please can BPC publish/send us a response of their view as to why a Neighbourhood Plan will benefit residents over and above the existing Parish Plan, especially considering BPC comments in the recent parish newsletter i.e. "even some new neighbourhood plans have been shown to be irrelevant or at best hold very little weight"? We are still waiting for a response (Dec 17)


My Community Locality   "The new and improved Help Centre is now able to provide you with better access to all forms of advice and support on community projects and plans, neighbourhood planning, community business and more."


Forum for Neighbourhood Planning   "This website supports people and communities who are using new powers under the Localism Act 2011 to create neighbourhood plans."


Community Voice on Planning (CoVoP) Enabling local communities to preserve, conserve and protect their own local green environments, whether green fields, green spaces or green belts


Below are some informative links from CPALC but you may need a membership to read more fully.


Parish Councils own neighbourhood plans open forum

Neighbourhood planning boosts plans for housebuilding by more than 10 percent


Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum goes to court over neighbourhood plan changes Who Pays?


Bishop Tawton Neighbourhood Plan issue Who Pays?


Burnham-on-Sea, Highbridge and Burnham Without Neighbourhood Plan.


See also Newspaper Articles section below.

 Parish Plan





































NSC Town & Parish Council Charter 2012

    "Ensure that council activities in local councils’ areas take account of the Neighbourhood or Parish Plan"


CPRE on Parish Plans

   "Influence how local services are delivered. Parish Plans are an important tool that can be fed into other plans and strategies such as Local Plans.."


Good Councillor Guide (2006) for Parish Councillors   "The parish council needs to understand the procedures by which the planning authority makes decisions. Some decisions are made by the authority’s planning committee, while many are delegated to officers. Central to the decision making process are material considerations - issues that are, in law, material or relevant to a planning application. Such matters must be taken into account when making a recommendation on a planning application. Material considerations include: ... parish plan"  In Jan 2017 BOB suggested BPC submit the Bleadon  Parish Plan as a Supplementary Document as suggested by NSC at the Bleadon Hill Inquiry.  We have not received a response despite chasing this in Sept 2017.


Good Councillor Guide (July 2017) for Parish Councillors

     "A parish plan is a community plan and not a land use plan. It is a set of policies and an action plan for the next few years covering a much wider range of issues such as housing, the local economy and transport. It is a good idea to draw up a plan, whatever the size of your community. The plan should be developed in consultation with thelocal community."


Good Councillor Guide for District Councillors

  Does not mention Parish Plans only Neighbourhood Plans?


Bleadon Parish Plan Page



Financial Incentives





















Financial Incentives



























District Incentives - New Homes Bonus (NHB)


House of Commons Overview NHB 24 July 17

   "The New Homes Bonus (NHB) was introduced by the Coalition Government with the aim of encouraging local authorities to grant planning permissions for the building of new houses in return for additional revenue. Under the scheme, the Government has been matching the Council Tax raised on each new home built for a period of six years. ... The development of each additional affordable home attracts an enhancement of a flat rate £350 per annum ... From 2017 a national baseline for housing growth will apply of 0.4%. Below this, the NHB will not be paid. The aim of this change is to ensure that “the money is used to reward additional housing rather than just normal growth” ... The number of years for which payments are made will be reduced from six to five years in 2017-18 and reduced further to four years from 2018-19. The funding released from this measure will be retained by local authorities to contribute towards adult social care costs “recognising the demographic changes of an ageing population, as well as a growing population”."


Homes Bonus Calculator 

   An article written in Feb 2011 indicated that minister Grant Shapps said "Rather than feeling the strain of new homes through extra pressure on local services local residents will feel the direct benefit as they get to choose how the money is spent". This has now been changed to "The funding released from this measure will be retained by local authorities to contribute towards adult social care costs"?


NSC recieve £5+ million 2016-7 via New Homes Bonus Scheme

   "The New Homes Bonus is a grant paid by central government to local councils to reflect and incentivise housing growth in their areas. The New Homes Bonus is currently paid each year for 6 years. It is based on the amount of extra Council Tax revenue raised for new-build homes, conversions and long-term empty homes brought back into use. There is also an extra payment for providing affordable homes.... The New Homes Bonus is payable where empty homes are brought back into use."


NSC Council Tax Info 2017

   "The change in government policy for the funding of social care has led to a 3 per cent levy being applied to council tax bills, along with a general council tax increase of 1.75 per cent as a result of reduced central government funding."


Parish Council Incentives - Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

    "Neighbourhoods that take a proactive approach by drawing up a neighbourhood development plan, and securing the consent of local people in a referendum, will receive 25% of the revenues from the Community Infrastructure Levy arising from the development that they choose to accept." The CIL is 15% without a Neighbourhood Plan. What would BPC use this money for?

(See Table of percentages)


How much will a Neighbourhood Plan Cost?

   "You can receive grants and support to help you complete your neighbourhood plan.

There are two types of support available in the 2015-2018 programme: Grants of up to £9,000; Technical support packages provided by our partner, AECOM, and an additional grant package of £6,000 (bringing the grant ceiling amount available to £15,000) ... The Neighbourhood Planning Grants will close on 31 January 2018, with the expenditure deadline being 31 March 2018."  If this is a grant towards the full cost what will be the final cost and effect on residents' precept?


The views of a person commenting on the Sandford & Winscombe designated area/plan indicate that it could be costly.


Brownfield Sites





















Campaigners call for councils to develop on brownfield land 1 April 2019

"The Joint Spatial Plan, despite having the capacity to build more than 3,000 homes on 787 brownfield sites, is still considering building 25,000 homes on untouched greenfields. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has called on the Government to make local authorities develop the used land.

In North Somerset, there is a capacity to build 3,084 homes across 77 sites, all of which could be delivered in five years. The CPRE analysed North Somerset Council’s Brownfield Land Register, which lists sites the council says are suitable for development.

A brownfield site refers to an area that has already been used for development, while greenfield sites are used for agriculture or landscape design, or left to evolve naturally.

The Joint Spatial Plan is looking to build more than 100,000 homes in the West of England. The North Somerset developments will see mainly greenfield sites in Churchill, Langford, Backwell and Nailsea being developed. More than 120,000 potential new homes have been added to registers in England in the past year. In North Somerset, 192 new homes were added last year, and all were assessed as being deliverable within five years. The brownfield sites now on the council’s register cover a combined 190 acres – or 126 football pitches."


England has Enough Brownfield Land for 1 Million Homes March 2019

"England has enough derelict or vacant land to build more than one million new homes – two-thirds of which are ready to start immediately, new research has found". Also see Brownfield Blog


DCLG Penrose Brownfield letter May 2017

  Penrose MP responds to BOB's brownfield query via DCLG "... each local authority is required by law to create an easy-to-access Brownfield Register and publish it on its website by 31 December. However, only sites suitable for new homes are to be included"  Where are NSC in this process, when will it be available for residents, developers to use?


NSC on Brownfield sites June 2016

   "We are one of 78 local authorities across England to take part in a pilot project for brownfield registers.  As a pilot authority we have followed the proposed guidance and created a pilot register."


CPRE Why Brownfield Works (Mar 2016)

    "To investigate the extent to which brownfield is a viable option for development, CPRE commissioned construction analysts Glenigan to compare the speed of residential development on brownfield sites with development on greenfield, once these sites have been granted planning permission."


CPRE 1 Million Homes capacity Sept 2014

   "Brownfield land that is considered suitable for housing development has the capacity to support at least one million new homes ... current measures are not enough to increase brownfield development and protect sensitive green spaces from development in the long term"


Liam Fox MP Dec 2014

On 15 Dec 14 local MP Liam Fox spoke out in parliament (skip to 21:58 mins) on behalf of North Somerset and the high extra housing development imposed by central government coming from the Bristol University court challenge inlcuding, "... it must be made clear that greenfield development should come only as a last resort after all brownfield sites are exhausted"


UK Food Security
















Food Security

   What will happen after our agriculture green fields have been built on? "The UK’s main public funders of food-related research are working together through the Global Food Security programme to meet the challenge of providing the world’s growing population with access to safe, affordable and nutritious food, all of the time and in ways the planet can sustain into the future."


CPRE also submitted comments to NSC for the Pre-commencement Document of the new Local Plan 2018-2036, asking "In terms of the scope of the proposed Local Plan, we would wish to see included, Landscape, Quality of land,  Food production (linking to the new food district), and Lighting (new CPRE maps have been produced showing the status and impacts across the country including North Somerset). CPRE also encourage the use of local foods.


Agriculture graduates

   What will happen to the current and future farming industry locally and in the UK? "Farm schools fear for their exam crop after new GCSE rules" (July 2014)


Bleadon Land Classifications

Within BOB Local Plan Consultation Presentation


UK Food Security Report 2021 (PDF)

"In meat, milk, and eggs, the UK produces ar roughly equivalent volume to what it consumes"

"The UK produces a significant prportion of the other domestic crops its needs, inludineg 54% of frsh vegetables, 67% of sugar beet, 71% of ptatoes, and 79% of oilseeds, though only 16% of fresh fruit"

Support Services














Weston Hospital A&E Services Reduced (July 17)

   It was announced that Weston General Hospital’s A&E department would be closed overnight after inspectors deemed the service was ‘not safe’. The hospital’s A&E therefore will be closed between 10pm and 8am from July 4 2017.

BPC Aug 17 (Mins 298.13)   "It was unanimously agreed to write to the Chief Executive of Weston General Hospital highlighting the Parish Council objection to the closure of the A&E Department and copying the Local MP and Minister of Health into the correspondence." No access to the letter sent on behalf of residents, or reply from Hospital or MP yet minuted.










How to Object to a Planning Application by Ruth Allen (2010)

"How do you convey your fears to the powers that be in a way that persuades them that your point of view is the right one? How do you avoid being accused of 'Nimbyism?' And how do you put up a decent fight against a developer who more often than not is experienced and highly skilled at presenting their case in the best possible light, and offering an argument that even the most reluctant planning officer would struggle to disagree with? Lwt me tell you: it IS possible"


Objecting to a Planning Application, including Appeals by Martin Goodalll

"This note is designed to help a lay person to object effectively to development of which they disapprove. It is rarely cost effective to seek professional help in formulating a planning objection, and so I have endeavoured to give fairly full advice in this note to enable you to make your own objection and to pursue it through the Council’s planning procedures and also, if necessary, through the appeal process."


What is a valid objection to a planning application?

"The Council can only take into account 'material planning considerations' when looking at your comments". This link shows the most common of these (although not an exhaustive list)


Infill Status & Settlement Boundary

































Infill Status & Settlement Boundary





























 Settlement Profile for 2018-2036 NSC Local Plan/Core Strategy

   NSC stated "This information will form part of the evidence base that will inform the settlement hierarchy for the forthcoming Local Plan ( 2018-2036). Pen Pictures have been undertaken for all villages and towns in North Somerset and have been sent to Parish Councils to check the information."  BOB requested BPC's response to this agenda item to discuss and review this document but has not received a reply (Aug 17 Mins 298.7). This response and NSC subsequent decision could change our status and hence level of development that could happen under NSC Planning Policy. Public consultation will be early next year. NSC have also stated "The other key area identified is the need for a review of the settlement hierarchy, spatial strategy and role of settlement boundaries." Report to the Planning & Economic Development Policy & Scrutiny Panel July 2017


Strategic Gaps

NSC is encouraging Bleadon to create a NDP via our Ward Councillors who cover Locking and Hutton. If NDPs have been around since 2011, and it is considered by BPC to be the most appropriate way to defend a village from unwanted development, then why haven't Locking and Hutton (Infill) villages got NDPs too? What was their rationale for not having a NDP? Why do they have a Strategic Gap allocated instead (as seen below)? What can Bleadon learn from their decision making? NB As far as we can tell Bleadon is currently the only infill village moving towards a NDP in North Somerset i.e. without a partnership with another community.


NSC Jan 2017 Core Strategy 3.242 "Strategic gaps are defined as important open areas between settlements or parts of settlements and will be identified, and their boundaries defined in detail, in the Sites and Policies Development Plan Document. In appropriate cases such as at Weston, strategic gaps could be incorporated into the masterplanning process.  At this stage the following locations have been identified as appropriate for investigation for possible designation as strategic gaps:


3.243 Between: ● Weston-super-Mare and Hutton; ● Locking and Hutton; ● Weston-super- Mare and Locking; ● Congresbury and Yatton; ● Weston-super-Mare and Uphill; ● Nailsea and Backwell. ● Weston-super-Mare and St Georges; This list is not exhaustive and other areas might be designated through more detailed planning policy documents"


Did our District/Ward and/or Parish Councillors ensure WSM and Bleadon was discussed and protected by the Core Strategy, including the possibility of a Strategic Gap, if so please can BPC publish this information? NSC still indicate in their October consultation  "No change is proposed to either policy CS6 (Green Belt) or CS19 (Strategic Gaps) but changes are proposed for ... CS33 (Smaller settlements and countryside)". The current SAP consultation closes on 30 Oct 17, what is BPCs response?


UPDATE Oct 17 Min (300.21) SAP response refers only to the Sanders site as a Strategic Open Space.


Sustainability Assessment for Rural Communities (Feb 2016)

   "The assessment allows a settlement hierarchy to be established. Identifying which settlements are relatively more sustainable through the hierarchy will help us decide which are most suitable to accommodate additional growth. We need to actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and further focus significant development in locations which are, or can be made more sustainable. Settlements that are sustainable places to live need to have enough homes to support local facilities, and new facilities can improve the quality of life in villages" An extract for Bleadon.


See also NSC SAP SD8 Residential Site Assessment 2016/17 and SAP SD10 Facilities Accessment 2016/17 spreadsheet downloads.


General Settlement Boundary Information

   There are only 13 Infill Villages identified in the whole of North Somerset as indicated in NSC Core Strategy (2017), CS33. Development in these villages, Bleadon included, "will be strictly controlled in order to protect the character of the rural area and prevent unsustainable development."


Wider Bristol HMA Strategic Housing Market Assessment - Study by ORS

  "The purpose of the study is to support the local authorities in objectively assessing and evidencing the need for housing (both market and affordable) across the Wider Bristol HMA for the 20-year period 2016-36, and provide other evidence to inform local policies, plans and decision making." PDF copy , Volume 2 and original Consultant Brief (PDF)


West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) for Housing Market Area need of 105,000 dwellings


"The four West of England Councils – Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire are working together to produce a West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) which will set out a prospectus for sustainable growth to help the Region meet its housing and transport needs for the next 20 years, to 2036. The JSP is the first such joint planning approach in the UK, which takes into account the impact that development in one area has across council boundaries.


The JSP will set out the policies and principles that have been applied in determining the most appropriate and sustainable locations for future development. The plan is the product of more than two years joint working and two previous consultations, where individuals, communities and stakeholders have made contributions to help shape the future growth of the region. Previous consultation papers can be found at the bottom of this page. The four councils now propose to submit the Joint Spatial Plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for examination.

Before this happens, residents, businesses, the development sector and other stakeholders have the opportunity between 22 November 2017 and 10 January 2018 to comment on the plan and make representations on its soundness. These comments and views will be passed on to the Planning Inspector who will assess the plan"


" CPRE comments on the new Local Plan timescale in relation to the JSP (July 2016) i.e. "North Somerset needs a period of stability in terms of Strategic Planning and not to be chasing a timetable of a new plan that meets the need of the JSP." 

Additional documentation on the JSP Consultations and Responses and Technical Documents and Evidence Base are also available.


NSC Development Management Agent's Forum 12 Jan 2017

   "NSC will consider implications of housing need from both Bristol and Bath HMAs to be allocated across West of England area ... including about 10,000 dwellings in NSC ... Work has commenced on a new local plan -to be prepared in parallel with JSP. Will cover period 2018-2036.Target for adoption 2019 ... Opportunity to work closely with Neighbourhood Plans ... 20,985 dwellings( 2006 -2026) 8,000 dwellings built up to 2016. Settlement boundary policies relaxed".


21 Oct 217 Bristol Post article on the JSP

"The majority of new homes (57,500) are set to be built in South Gloucestershire and North Somerset – 32,500 and 25,000 respectively – as these authorities have more space. Bristol and Bath will take on 48,000 collectively at sites towards the North East of Bristol."


NSC Pre-Commencement Plan Local Plan 2018-2036

   "The production of the JSP requires work to progress on a new Local Plan in parallel with it, in order to provide detailed policies and additional housing, employment and other land allocations beyond 2026 and up to the new 2036 end date"


CPRE response (July 16)

    "Given the decision by North Somerset not to accept a Metro Mayor, and the impact on the ‘devolution deal’, this must also impact on the relationship with the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and must generate the need for a review. North Somerset needs a period of stability in terms of Strategic Planning and not to be chasing a timetable of a new plan that meets the need of the JSP."


JSP Plan Examination Hearing Update





















North Somerset Villages Alliance (NSVA)

   "brings together representatives from village action groups to give a communal voice to those living in rural North Somerset who want to curb the urban sprawl threatening to overwhelm the countryside. The group provides mutual support to demonstrate the strength of opinion within the service / infill villages Churchill, Congresbury, Claverham, Langford, Sandford, Winscombe, Wrington and Yatton"


Current NSC Infill villages are: Bleadon, Claverham, Cleeve, Dundry, Felton, Flax Bourton, Hutton, Kenn, Kewstoke, Locking, Sandford, Uphill and Winford


Most members of NSVA are designated 'Service' villages except Sandford that has 'Infill' status like Bleadon. Although despite applying for a Neighbourhood Plan with Winscombe (service village) an appeal was lost in October 2016 for 118 dwellings.


All Neighbourhood Plan applications currently being prepared by NSC seem to be for Service Villages, except Bleadon (Sandford is part of Winscombe Parish)!


The JSP proposes 10,000 more houses in North Somerset during the next Plan period. Due to their status, Service villages will get proportionally more. NSVA made this comment on JSP. No Moor Development Manifesto and Parish Poll


Sustainable Urban Growth - A presentation by Nash Partnership Bath and Bristol referencing the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) to build 105,000 in the area by 2036


Rule 6 Status

and Appeals 



Rule 6 Status

Should any application go to appeal to be determined by the Planning Inspectorate an Action Group can apply for 'Rule 6' status under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) in order to make submission to the Inspector at the appeal. (especially if the Parish Council chooses not to do so) Types of Appeal


Bleadon Hill Appeal Inspector's Decision Report


Wentwood Drive Appeal Inspector's Decision Report


NB: Decision on Sandford Appeal Report here also Backwell Farleigh Fields by The Secretary of State and Hutton Appeal by Planning Inspector also Laney Drove WSM and Leafy Way Locking(and costs decision)































Fun Facts about Local Government

   By LGiU - Local Democracy Think Tank. "all about people and the places where we live: ... the everyday essentials that make life work – health, schools, homes, jobs, support, open spaces and the rest. And the thread that weaves through all our work is our core belief that all these essentials are best when they are designed and delivered locally." See the Local Government Facts and Figures e.g. 11K Town, Parish and Community Councils in the UK. Also, What is Local Government Responsible For? 


Local Government in England

   "Legislation concerning local government in England is decided by the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom, because England does not have a devolved parliament or regional assemblies, outside Greater London"


Parish Councils in England   "A parish council is a civil local authority found in England and is the lowest tier of local government. They are elected corporate bodies, have variable tax raising powers, and are responsible for areas known as civil parishes, serving in total 16 million people. A parish council serving a town may be called a town council, and a parish council serving a city is styled a city council; these bodies have the same powers, duties and status as a parish council."



   Bleadon is the subject of a number of major development so who represents residents' views and protects our rural village community and countryside environment?


BOB Queries to BPC Dec 2016

   BOB submitted queries to BPC during the Bleadon Hill Inquiry about how to protect Bleadon from forthcoming major development. We are still waiting for a considered response and in the meantime BPC have implemented their vexatious policy until Feb 2018 to avoid answering.




























National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on Sustainability

"International and national bodies have set out broad principles of sustainable development. Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations General Assembly defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The UK Sustainable Development Strategy Securing the Future set out five ‘guiding principles’ of sustainable development: living within the planet’s environmental limits; ensuring a strong, healthy and just society; achieving a sustainable economy; promoting good governance; and using sound science responsibly."


"There are three dimensions to sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. These dimensions give rise to the need for the planning system to perform a number of roles:

  • an economic role – contributing to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth and innovation; and by identifying and coordinating development requirements, including the provision of infrastructure

  • a social role – supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by providing the supply of housing required to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by creating a high quality built environment, with accessible local services that reflect the community’s needs and support its health, social and cultural well-being

  • an environmental role – contributing to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment; and, as part of this, helping to improve biodiversity, use natural resources prudently, minimise waste and pollution, and mitigate and adapt to climate change including moving to a low carbon economy."

NSC has 39 Town/Parish Councils (see attached and note Bleadon Band D Precept relative to similar population villages), of these 13 have applied for NPs and 2 have been published. Bleadon is the sole 'infill' village that has applied for a NP. Sandford is also classed as 'Infill' but is part of Winscombe & Sandford Parish Council. They too applied for a Neighbourhood Plan but despite this, the planning inspector seems to have ignored it's 'emerging' status as a 'block' to development and granted 118 dwellings. Of particular interest is the 'Sustainability' section.


Build new Homes away from Roads - Feb 2019

"Planning permission should be refused to developments that do not mitigate air pollution ..."


Housing £


























03 Feb 14 Guardian - Affordable housing does not mean what you think it means

   "Beware of politicians talking about affordable homes. New 'affordable' housing is not actually that affordable "


10 Aug 15 Shelter - What is Affordable Housing?

   "It sounds like an easy question to answer, but what makes a home ‘affordable’ has become a serious point of contention. People even get angry about it, suspicious that what is being called ‘affordable housing’ isn’t actually affordable in any real sense."


23 Nov 16 BBC - Reality Check What is Affordable Housing?

    "With property prices rising faster than wages, affordable housing has become a hot topic  ... The government's definition when it comes to renting is that affordable homes should cost no more than 80% of the average local market rent. "


29 Aug 17 House of Commons  - What is Affordable Housing?

    "This Commons Library briefing paper considers how affordable housing is defined in England and looks at key trends in the affordability of different tenure types. It also examines the supply of affordable housing and the role of Housing Benefit in enabling households to access and retain affordable housing." Also, "commentators questioned how affordable Starter Homes would be. The homes will be sold at a minimum discount of 20% off the market price subject to price caps of £250,000 outside of London and £450,000 within London. The Government argued that the homes built will be sold at prices substantially below the price caps, but subsequently decided not to require local planning authorities to include a minimum percentage of Starter Homes on development sites."


Government National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

   Affordable housing is referenced in the NPPF including Annex 2 in the Affordable Housing and Rural Exception Sites sections.






















 Environmental Table of articles and updates.


Avon Wildlife Trust

"Standing up for wildlife at a national and local level plays a key part in our work"


Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)

   "We campaign for a beautiful and living countryside. We work to protect, promote and enhance our towns and countryside to make them better places to live, work and enjoy, and to ensure the countryside is protected for now and future generations."


Protected Species: How to Review Planning Applications

   As a Planning Authority "You must consider how a development might affect protected species on or near a proposed development site when reviewing a planning application"


Construction near protected areas and widlife

"Information for developers on how to avoid harming protected areas and species during development work"


Natural England

   "We're the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy and for the services they provide"


Extinction Rebellion (WSM)

"The W-s-M branch of Extinction Rebellion. Preparing for national actions to peacefully force the government to take greater action on climate change."


'Fracking' Groups

Link to a list of some fracking groups.



Bristol Water currently supplies the water in the North Somerset, Somerset and Bristol counties. Its Southern Resilience Scheme (p35) was a new £27 million water infrastructure project which "will help us meet the increase in demand for water over the coming years. Weston-Super-Mare is one of Europe’s fastest growing towns, and so we need to supply all of the new residents and businesses coming to the area". This map shows the extent of the project. To find if this is happening in your area enter your postcode and zoom out to see the associated information more clearly. You can also compare the extent of the fracking licences in the North Somerset area to local reservoirs here.


The Environmental Protection Agency (USA) "The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA works to ensure that: Americans have clean air, land and water; National efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information ..." The EPA found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances:Report OverviewExecutive Summary and Final Report. Also a diagram of the Impacts from the Hydraulic Fracturing Water Cycle on Drinking Water Resources.







See BOB Mapping page

Newspaper Articles on Development















































Newspaper Articles on Development




















22 Sep 2017 Could a School and 250 houses be built in Bleadon? "Planning consultants Sutherland Property and Legal Services Ltd held an open day in Bleadon’s Coronation Hall, in Coronation Road, to get residents’ views on its proposed £15million development."


07 Aug 2017 Holiday village hopes to meet rising demand with £5 million caravan site in addition to £7 million in recent years. "Riverside Holiday Village has asked North Somerset Council for planning permission to turn its camping site into a base for 90 caravans ...current capacity of up to 400 people, across the campsite and in static and touring caravans ... Bleadon Parish Council has said it supports the application"


25 Jul 2017 Could 16 new homes be built in a North Somerset Village? "Claremont Somerset Ltd has asked North Somerset Council for outline planning permission to build 16 houses to the land off Purn Way, in Bleadon. This is the second housing application for the village in the past month, following the outline application to build 70 homes off Bridgwater Road. [Devil's Bridge]"


24 Jun 2017 Residents fear plans to build 70 new homes in Bleadon do not take into account the 'bigger picture'. "Residents in Bleadon have voiced their frustrations after the outline plans were announced, with one person calling them ‘ridiculous’ while another is worried village services are already ‘at breaking point’."


19 Dec 2016 Growing safety concerns in village following fatal collision. "Serious concerns have been raised about the condition and safety of a country road which sees 100 lorries drive down it every day"


05 Dec 2016 North Somerset Council 'Precious landscape must be protected 'Developer Molwin Estates wants to build 79 homes off Bleadon Hill and the application will be determined by a planning inspector following an inquiry, which began on Tuesday."


31 Jul 2016 Man arrested as woman dies in road collsion."The woman was walking her dog when she was involved in a collision with a Landrover Freelander."


16 Jul 2016 Council gears up to defend housing appeals. "North Somerset Council has admitted it is facing a 'challenge' in deciding planning applications quickly, due to the sheer number of developers hoping to build new homes within the area"


27 Jun 2016 Date set for inquiry over Weston home plan."A date has been set for the Government's inquiry into a housing develoment on the edge of Weston-super-Mare development on the edge of Weston-super-Mare ... planning permission to build 79 homes on Bleadon Hill"


31 May 2016 Developer has second go at housing application."Molwin Estates submitted a second planning application for 79 homes on Bleadon Hill, despite an impending Government appeal on the first application."


22 May 2016 Wooden holiday lodges plan approved. "A landowner in Bleadon applied for permission to build 57 of the huts in Accommodation Road."


19 May 2016 Weston housing application rejected "Developer Coldharbour Land Ltd applied to North Somerset Council for planning permission to build 60 houses off Wentwood Drive last year. The application attracted hundreds of objections online including from Weston Town Council – which said it was concerned the development would fill the space between Bleadon and Weston, damaging their ‘separate identities’. But the application was reduced to 50 houses and council officers subsequently recommended the plans for approval."


22 Apr 2016 Council rejects hilltop housing development "At North Somerset Council’s planning meeting last week, there was a heated debate over how the authority should respond to the application for 50 homes in Wentwood Drive, between Weston and Bleadon."


18 Mar 2016 Council to fight Bleadon homes appeal "Cllr Terry Porter said: “It would change the character of this area completely."



11 Oct 17 article in North Somerset Times "The plans are contentious, as the land was not marked for development in Backwell Parish Council's neighbourhood plan, which lays out how the village will grow in the future. The neighbourhood plan was developed through consultation with residents, and the parish council has spent thousands of pounds in legal fees to fight the Farleigh Fields proposals."





The Claverham website states:


"The latest proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, Government's top level policy) are similar in effect. It appears that our [Claverham's] position is unchanged and the Plan is protected [BOB: until renewal time in 10 years, when more development needs to be offered?]


The recently (today - 5 Mar 18) proposed new protection in the NPPF can be simply expressed as:

A Neighbourhood Plan should not be overruled if:

a) it had a successful referendum less than two years ago

b) it makes allocation for its share of housing (the council is supposed to give a number and our PS1 site is more than generous)

c) the council has at least 3 years worth of housing land

d) the developers have provided at least 45% of the required delivery rate for three years

So I will ask NSC to say what the required number of houses Claverham Plan area is supposed to provide. I believe it is part of a shared number with the remainder of the Infill Villages and Countryside, probably with a shared number of “windfall” dwellings that are just going to happen anyway."




North Somerset

06 Jan 2017 North Somerset Council to finally confirm plans for 20,000 new homes by 2026. "The council’s core strategy planning document outlines where 20,985 new homes will be built in the area between 2006 and 2026 – a figure which was increased from 14,000 homes after a lengthy legal challenge from Bristol University in 2013."