A DOCUMENT outlining major housing plans across the West of England has been submitted to the government today.

The draft of the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) is now in the hands of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The plan, which outlines housing targets and business growth for South Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset up to 2036, has been under development for the past three years.

The next stage in the process is for the draft to be passed to the government’s planning inspectorate, where it will be examined and a report will be sent back to the local authorities, with any proposed amendments.

Once satisfied that the plan meets all planning rules and laws, the four councils must adopt the plan, giving it statutory authority. At that point the approved JSP would sit above and guide the review of the councils’ own Local Plans.

Alongside the JSP, the first such joint planning approach in the UK, is the Joint Transport Study (JTS) which will assess transport infrastructure and the projects that could accommodate for the increase in homes.

A transport topic paper, which provides further detail on the infrastructure investments being considered to support the growth proposed in the JSP, is also being submitted.

This expands on the ideas explored in earlier transport consultations and will form the basis of detailed public engagement on each of the projects, as part of each authority's new Local Plan development work, later this year.

The JSP draft plan, as well as a report identifying the key issues raised in the most recent consultation and other information that supports the submission stage, is available online at jointplanningwofe.org.uk