Bristol Civic Society Calls for Prioritisation of Sustainable, Healthy Placemaking

Bristol Civic Society calls for prioritisation of sustainable, healthy placemaking in towns and cities and not brownfield development at any Cost.

SUB HEADING – Bristol Civic Society, an independent civic society with over 600 members and dedicated to enhancing Bristol's built environment and promoting its heritage, strongly opposes the recent government consultation titled "Strengthening Planning Policy for Brownfield Development."

The consultation, with a deadline of March 26th, seeks feedback on proposed changes to national policy aimed at bolstering support for brownfield development and optimising land use. These changes are outlined in three proposals:

  • Amendments to national planning policy to prioritise maximising home delivery and adopting a flexible approach to applying planning policies or guidance concerning the internal layout of development.
  • Modifications to the Housing Delivery Test operation in 20 towns and cities subject to the uplift in the standard method. This includes introducing an additional presumption trigger where the Housing Delivery Test score falls below 95%, thereby favoring sustainable development in applications on previously developed land.
  • Reviewing the threshold for referral of applications to the Mayor of London.

Bristol Civic Society raises serious concerns about these proposals, arguing that they neglect essential considerations outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Local Plans. The society warns against prioritising housing development on brownfield sites without proper assessment of suitability and informed placemaking.

While supporting the principle of maximising existing land resources, including brownfield sites, Bristol Civic Society emphasises the importance of considering factors such as infrastructure capacity, community needs, and environmental impacts. The society fears that the proposed changes could lead to overdevelopment and substandard living conditions.

Of particular concern is the proposal to adjust the Housing Delivery Test threshold, which Bristol Civic Society strongly opposes. The organisation also challenges the suggestion of a flexible approach to planning policies, fearing it could compromise living standards and pose health risks to residents.

In response to the consultation, Bristol Civic Society unequivocally rejects the idea of a two-tier planning system and urges the Government to prioritise healthy placemaking in towns and cities. Bristol Civic Society encourages other civic societies to submit their responses before the consultation deadline on March 26th 2024.

For further inquiries or interviews, please contact Bristol Civic Society at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

About Bristol Civic Society:
Bristol Civic Society is an independent civic society committed to enhancing Bristol's built environment and celebrating its heritage. With a diverse membership and extensive community engagement, the Society actively influences development decisions and advocates for responsible urban planning in Bristol.

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Contact: Bristol Civic Society
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: +44 1234 567890