The Initiative advocates that sufficient land must be made available for employment and housing to provide suitable and affordable space for business and the workforce. With the population of the West of England city region forecast to increase up to 500,000 by 2050, a shortage of housing, transport and employment provision is a barrier to our continued growth.
The Initiative has set up a working group on the Enterprise Arc, which is defined as the areas of high growth largely in South Gloucestershire, stretching from Avonmouth in the West to Emersons Green in the East. The Enterprise Arc area will witness a significant increase in houses and jobs in the future, with three major applications currently in progress to develop the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood, and Filton Enterprise Area.
The growth in this area is crucial to the rest of the city region and The Initiative is working to stress the importance of this area including better East-West transport links and a high quality of development. This will ensure that this key development will work for the benefit of the wider area. The group meets as necessary with members liaising with developers and the councils.
Cumberland Basin Working Group
A major project in our 2050 Vision is the development of the Cumberland Basin. A working group is exploring the options for reconfiguring the road system, including the high level bridge, and thereby releasing significant development land for residential and commercial use to the North and South of Cumberland Basin.
The Initiative is also engaged with the studies currently underway on building a barrier across the Avon to protect Central Bristol from anticipated major future flooding and allowing the level of the river to be maintained at a higher level for more of the time, creating an environmental, cultural and economic asset.
Core Strategies and Local plans
The West of England Initiative planning group and the LEP infrastructure and place group are engaged with the West of England core strategies. The Initiative is concerned with influencing Local Authorities and makes the case for sustainable growth. It is working to make sure that business will play a lead role in the Enterprise Zone and Enterprise Areas across the region.
Planning and Transport Group
The Initiative runs a Planning and Transport Group which meets every month, alternating between planning and transport agendas. The function of the group is to ensure that the business community of the city are represented and have an influence in key policy decisions by providing a link between the private and public sectors. The group meets regularly to discuss the key transport and planning issues in the city and takes action through responding to specific planning applications and liaising with public sector representatives.