Members of the public have a final chance to review Bristol City Council’s new planning guidance for higher density, quality developments. An updated version of the council’s proposed Urban Living Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has been published and views are invited by 25 September 2018. The Urban Living document provides good practice guidance for the city’s planners and developers to make sure that quality design and placemaking is not lost while delivering the large number of homes the city requires. The SPD also gives guidance to ensure Bristol’s future development is inclusive by design and that neighbourhoods are interconnected with varied social, economic and cultural opportunities. Changes to this latest version of the SPD include: • Clarification on its purpose – to provide guidance on good practice of high density schemes and the design of tall buildings • A clearer definition on density • Quality standards have been amended to reflect statements and recommendations • Adjustments to the document format to create three separate areas on guidance, including one separately on tall buildings, the other two are on major developments and residential design • Moving policy-specific elements such as locational guidance to the Local Plan. Following the latest consultation, the SPD will be considered at Cabinet later this year before it is adopted and the guidance would then sit alongside policies established in Bristol City Council’s Local Plan.
Cllr Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning and City Design, said: “As the local planning authority we manage the development of land and buildings through policies, which we then use for deciding planning applications. Whilst the council is not directly constructing all the developments we routinely see coming forward, we are working hard to guide their approach. With that in mind, we think Bristol needs extra planning guidance to sit alongside polices established in our Local Plan to ensure we have quality places and homes people aspire to live in. The Urban Living approach is intended to help support the significant increase in new and affordable homes we desperately need, alongside local infrastructure to support housing. “We cannot stand still if we are going to create good places for everyone to live in, establishing a Bristol where no one gets left behind. Encouraging the best use of land with more concentrated developments is a careful balancing act too. I would stress that this exercise was not just about how we might increase densities, but how we also raise design quality. I think we should take note of the words of renowned health minister Nye Bevan, who said: ‘We shall be judged for a year or two by the number of houses we build. We shall be judged in ten years’ time by the type of houses we build.’” Citizens, business professionals, community representatives, planning agents, and architects contributed to nearly 1,000 responses on the first draft of the Urban Living SPD earlier this year. You can view the latest Urban Living Supplementary Planning Guidance Consultation and the Consultation Statement on the council's website .