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 period up to 2036.
In the early stages of consultation on the JSP, a potential strategic housing development site labelled “North of M4/M5” was included under the classification of “urban extension”. The site corresponds roughly to the area of land currently occupied by the Woodlands Golf and Country Club.
The potential development is being promoted commercially by South West Strategic Developments (SWSD) under the name Woodlands Garden Village.
- Woodlands Garden Village – Briefing note – November 2017 (SWSD)
- Save Our Green Belt (Bristol and South Gloucestershire Conservatives)
- Woodlands Golf Course – Save Our Green Belt! (Video by Cllrs John Ashe and Roger Avenin)
Evolution of the JSP
November 2015 to January 2016
November 2016 to January 2017
November 2017 to January 2018
November 2018 to January 2019
Next stage: Examination in public
The West of England JSP was submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 13th April 2018
The next stage in the process will be for the Government to review the Plan. They are expected to appoint an Independent Planning Inspector to conduct an Examination in Public in the autumn. The Inspector will then make a report back to the local authorities and may propose further amendments. Once satisfied that the Plan meets all planning rules and laws, each council will then consider whether or not to adopt the Plan. Subject to that approval, the JSP would sit above and guide the review of the councils’ own Local Plans.
Update (12th September 2018)
The Inspectors have requested additional information from the councils in relation to Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA), as well as requesting clarification and further evidence within other technical work areas, including transport.
The councils will therefore run a six-week consultation process in November and December this year to give people the opportunity to see the information that will be provided and to make comments on it. That feedback will be passed to the Inspectors to consider as they prepare for the next phase of their assessment of the JSP. This will mean that the Public hearings part of the Examination process which had been anticipated to take place this autumn is now expected to take place around mid-May 2019.
Local Plan consultations
In addition, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset Council’s are consulting on the next stage of their new Local Plans, these consultations are separate to the JSP.
February 2018 to April 2018
Update (15th November 2018)
As part of our work on a new Local Plan for South Gloucestershire, we are publishing an updated list of sites which have been proposed as having the potential for future development. We are also making the information available via an online map, to make it easy to identify proposals across the district.
Potential for a speculative planning application
We asked South Gloucestershire Council: “Even if the site is not included in the JSP / Local Plan, are there circumstances in which the development might still be brought forward?”
A spokesperson said: “A planning application could be submitted at any time. As this site is within the Green Belt, if the planning application route was followed now, the applicants’ would need to demonstrate ‘very special circumstances’ in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework as to why their application should be granted.”
Petition submitted to South Gloucestershire Council by Cllr John Ashe on 23rd November 2018
Woodlands Garden Village in the Journal
Delay may benefit golf course homes scheme
Woodlands Garden Village in the wider media
30th November 2018 | Bristol Post
Petition launched against 2,000-home development in green belt