The council has received more than 7,500 comments on the proposed options for future development needs across Bath and North East Somerset.

The Local Plan Options consultation gave people the opportunity to add their comments about where Bath & North East Somerset Council should plan for the delivery of new homes and jobs and what policies are needed for addressing the climate and ecological emergencies.

The options were approved by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet earlier this year and support the council’s Corporate Strategy and Economic Strategy, which aim to deliver a fairer, more prosperous and sustainable economy.

A key objective for the Local Plan is to maximise the delivery of housing that is more affordable and the government’s standard assessment suggests an estimated need for 14,500 additional homes up to 2042. Of those, more than 6,000 will be built on sites, mainly brownfield sites in Bath, which are already committed for development via planning permission or allocated in the current Local Plan.

With the council keen to reach as many people as possible and allow them to have their say, the nine-week consultation period included extensive communication with communities and stakeholders across B&NES and a series of in-person events that were attended by more than 600 people.

The website included links to a series of videos, explaining the process and giving guidance for commenting or outlining the proposed options in each of the locations that could be developed in Keynsham and Saltford, Hicks Gate, Whitchurch, Bath and the Somer Valley.

Councillor Mathew McCabe, Cabinet Member for Built Environment and Sustainable Development, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to respond and comment on our proposed plans and policies. The planning team will carefully consider the issues raised in the comments and feedback and they will help to shape the Draft Local Plan.”

The council will work closely with key stakeholders on the Draft Local Plan which will be produced and subject to full public consultation early next year giving residents another opportunity to have their say.

It will then be submitted to the Secretary of State and examined by an independent planning inspector. Once approved by the inspector, it will be adopted by the council. When adopted, the Local Plan will guide planning decisions until 2042.

More information about the development of the new Local Plan can be found on the council website