South Gloucestershire Council to drop regional growth plan

New homes Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The regional scheme outlined plans for 105,000 new homes

A second council is set to abandon the joint regional plan for housing and growth in the west of England.

Last month North Somerset said it would withdraw from the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) and now South Gloucestershire Council is set to follow suit.

The decision comes after planning inspectors said the blueprint was not "robust, consistent or objective".

Conservative council leader Toby Savage said the authority would formally leave next month.

Four unitary authorities, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Bristol City and Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) councils, were working together to draw up the plans which included 105,000 new homes.

Mr Savage told South Gloucestershire cabinet members on Monday: "We will need to continue working jointly with our neighbouring authorities, not least because of the legal duty to cooperate but also, in the case of Bristol and B&NES, we work together through the West of England Combined Authority (Weca).

"North Somerset will have to have that working relationship with Weca as well, which we already have through the mechanisms that have worked for us to date through the JSP process.

"In terms of the split between what will sit in any new strategic level document and what will sit within our own Local Plan, that is still to be discussed and decided."

Bristol City and B&NES councils are yet to announce a decision on the JSP, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

A Weca spokesperson said: "Weca remains committed to working with the four West of England councils on the best way forward for the region to positively address its strategic planning needs.

"Weca and the councils will be jointly commissioning a refresh of the strategic evidence base."

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