Firms invited to have their say on region’s 20-year planning blueprint

December 4, 2020

Businesses in and around Bath have less than two weeks to give their views on the type of employment spaces, vital transport links and homes the region needs over the next 20 years.

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has already received almost 1,000 responses to the survey it is running on its Spatial Development Strategy – a blueprint for the region for the next two decades. 

More than 260 people have also registered to attend a series of online webinars over the past month.

As the December 14 deadline approaches businesses and residents can still give their views via the survey on the WECA website

As the region’s population grows and as people live longer, the amount and type of housing that is needed across is changing. Covid-19 has also altered the way many people are working, travelling and spending their leisure time.

The strategy aims to make sure residents have the homes they need, where they want to live with the connections to get to job opportunities, education and leisure across the region.

It offers an opportunity to plan for a cleaner, greener recovery, ensuring new development is resilient, contributes towards reducing carbon emissions, and brings improvements for nature and sustainability.

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “This Spatial Development Strategy will make sure that over the next 20 years, we are building homes and providing jobs and infrastructure in the right places, so that the West of England remains a great place to live and work.

“Importantly, it will also make sure we are building sustainable communities that are less reliant on cars, improving our environment and connecting our residents to jobs, education, businesses and leisure facilities right across the region.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who has shared their views with us so far. There is still time to get involved if you haven’t done so already.

“Whether you are a resident, business or other organisation based in the West of England, I urge you to make sure your voice is heard at this early stage of the process, so that as the work progresses it reflects the priorities of the people who live and work here.  

The West of England Combined Authority is working with Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils, stakeholders and residents to develop the plan. Details of the survey have been shared with a wide range of communities and equalities groups.

Bath & North East Somerset Council leader Dine Romero said: “The Spatial Development Strategy will directly affect how people in Bath and North East Somerset live, work and enjoy leisure time.

“It is important to share your views and take part in the consultation especially as we all work towards a 2030 carbon neutral target, which means seeking sustainable solutions to housing, transport and the economy.”

Responses to the survey are the first step in developing a draft of the Spatial Development Strategy alongside technical evidence and studies. Once the draft is completed and published next year it will be subject to a full statutory consultation, providing the opportunity to formally comment on the proposed plan.

Once agreed and published, it will form part of the ‘development plan’ alongside councils’ own local plans and neighbourhood plans which will be considered when determining planning applications across the region.

Paper copies of the survey are available by calling 0117 428 6210 or by emailing


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