The West of England Joint Spatial Plan

The West of England councils (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire) have completed a Joint Spatial Plan for public consultation from 7th November 2016 to 19th December 2016.

The aim of the plan is to set out a strategy for sustainable growth over the next 20 years. The consultation document suggests that there is a need for up to 105,000 homes and 82,500 jobs in the region. It therefore identifies, amongst other things, directions of growth and broad parameters for major developments in order to guide investment in infrastructure.

Potential opportunities:

  1. For owners of agricultural land to promote their sites for development
  2. For landowners to promote their vacant sites or surplus land for redevelopment, intensification, a wider mix of uses or higher value uses
  3. For landlords to promote their under-utilised or unoccupied buildings for alternative uses
  4. Businesses can protect their commercial interests by promoting the industries and sectors that they work in
  5. Businesses can seek to influence policies to promote their interests
  6. Policies could be promoted to support specific industries or sectors of the economy


To realise the above opportunities, written representations must be made no later than Monday 19th Decemeber 2016.

If you would like to take advantage of this consultation period by representation to protect or enhance your property interest, then please get in contact with Owen Pike, head of our planning team.

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We provide a complete planning service to a range of private and public sector clients including property owners, occupiers, developers, investors, institutions and local planning authorities in the residential, commercial, renewables, leisure and agricultural sectors. Our advice is based on extensive knowledge of the ever-complex and fast-changing UK planning system.  This enables us to provide bespoke and cost-effective advice at all stages of development from project inception, spatial master planning to negotiating final project delivery. We pride ourselves on always offering one principal point of contact which means our advice is always consistent and provided in a timely manner.  It also means that each member of our team embraces responsibility.  Our collaborative way of working with other technical specialists means we are experts at finding solutions to assist in unlocking latent value. The Planning Process   The basis for decision making is set out on planning legislation, that is, “if regard is to be had to the development plan for the purposes of any determination to be made under the Planning Acts the determination must be made in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise". We apply this approach to each of our planning services.  Our Services We offer the following services: • Planning Strategy Formulation • Planning Appraisals • Planning Applications & Appeals • Community & Stakeholder Engagement • Environmental Impact Assessment • Planning Obligation Negotiation • Land Promotion • Policy Representations • Monitoring Services • Master Planning & Development Briefs • Due Diligence   Contact Us

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Land Promotion

It is more important than ever for land and property owners and developers to get involved in the plan making process if they are to develop robust investment strategies, to protect their long term interests, and to maximise asset values. We act for a wide range of clients to secure beneficial land allocations in development plan documents, and also to attempt to influence policy to a client’s medium and longer term advantage. Before a development plan document is adopted by a local planning authority they are the subject of an examination by an independent planning inspector whose role is to assess whether the plan has been prepared in accordance with the Duty to Cooperate, legal and procedural requirements, and whether it is sound. Our land promotion services include: • Advice on whether a development plan has been positively prepared, it is justified, effective and consistent with national policy; • Site specific representations to emerging development plans which promote the merits of client’s land; • Representations to other planning policy documents that seek to ensure spatial strategies are favourable towards development on client’s land; • Representations to Sustainability Appraisals (SA) to ensure assessments of the social, economic and environmental effects of a development plan document are robust; • Coordination of conceptual masterplans or indicative land use frameworks to establish development parameters on individual sites; • Preparation of development briefs or advocacy documents to promote schemes and engage in consultation with local authorities, statutory consultees and the public; • Examination statements - preparation of written evidence; and, • Examination attendance - provision of verbal evidence at examination hearing sessions. Contact Us

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Master Planning and Development Briefs

Sanderson Weatherall’s Planning Department is experienced in working within multi-disciplinary teams in master planning sites and preparing development briefs.  This can relate to sites that are being promoted through the plan-making process or sites that are already earmarked for development by either allocation or planning permission.  This work is therefore done on behalf of both private sector clients and local planning authorities. Planning and Development Services include: • Coordinating the work of other technical specialists – defining the requirements in terms of consultants, editing any technical assessments undertaken to inform the proposals and communicating the constraints and opportunities to the entire design team; • Identification of key planning policies to inform development concepts and parameters; • Evaluation of relevant design guidance against national policy to inform the design team; • Identification of key master plan parameters such as local authority open space standards, car parking requirements and education authority pupil product ratios and the like; • Arranging design workshops and acting as facilitators at such events; and • Undertaking presentations at public meetings including briefings to Parish, District and County councillors. The Planning department is flexible such it can also provide in-house design advice, if required, through Sanderson Weatherall’s Architecture Department.  Alternatively we are experienced in working with external architects, master planners and urban designers in developing both conceptual visions and detailed design responses. Contact Us

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