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2.34 2.35 While early

2.34 2.35 While early consultations examined the possibility of focussing development solely on urban areas this was predicted to lead to adverse consequences to the economic growth of the area, and would be likely to result in harm to the amenity of the City and town through increases in density and the loss of open spaces. Through consultation the possibility of a new town taking the remainder of the development need, creating sustainable urban extensions to the existing City and town areas, or dispersing new development throughout all settlements in the area have been considered as options and tested through the Sustainability Appraisal. All of these potential solutions would lead to the development of areas currently within the Green Belt or AONB. The solution of identifying and allocating Strategic Allocations closest to where the development need is generated has been found to be the most sustainable and strongly supported through consultation. However, this has meant that in order to release land for development the existing Green Belt has been reviewed and a new Green Belt boundary has been required, creating new and lasting defensible boundaries for the designation. Climate change and its local manifestation of more frequent and more severe flooding is also a major issue in the JCS area as much of the area is low-lying and a significant proportion of existing residential properties are already at risk of flooding. Identifying new sites for development outside areas liable to flooding, and improving resilience to flooding of existing areas, is another key challenge of the plan. 2.36 2.37 2.38 Strategic objectives To support and deliver the vision, the JCS sets out the following objectives. The aim is to achieve a sustainable balance that responds to the key challenges identified above and meets the overall needs of the JCS area. A number of strategic objectives, closely aligned with the ambitions of the Sustainable Community Strategies, were put forward in previous consultation documents. Following the publication of the NPPF, the headings of the objectives were amended, and the objectives themselves have been refined following public consultation. Their impact on the environment, community and the economy has been tested through the Sustainability Appraisal process. The objectives do not repeat national planning guidance which will be applied as a matter of course, but have identified spatial issues of local importance. Each policy specifies the objectives to which it is contributing. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 12

Ambition 1 – A thriving economy Strategic Objective 1 – Building a strong and competitive urban economy Develop the potential of the JCS area for further economic and commercial investment by: • Providing the right conditions and sufficient land in appropriate locations to support existing businesses and attract new ones, particularly from the major high-tech and knowledge-based industries, tourism, retail and the leisure sector, to rebalance the local economy away from its public sector dominance, improve the area’s economic resilience, support a highly-skilled workforce and continue to provide a focus for economic growth within the county; • Providing the right environment, in partnership with others such as the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), for business start-ups, entrepreneurship and the improvement and expansion of education and training facilities to develop the skills employers need; • Developing the area’s role as a tourist destination, building on the unique characteristics and festival culture that already exist in the JCS area; • Increasing access to high speed broadband for both urban and rural areas, to drive investment and employment opportunities and to enhance quality of life and access to services. Strategic Objective 2 – Ensuring vitality of town centres Create the conditions for maintaining and strengthening a balanced hierarchy and network of city, town and district centres by: • Providing for sufficient retail, leisure, employment, social, cultural, tourist and other appropriate uses within the designated centres, to improve their vitality and viability, supporting accessibility and environmental improvements and town centre regeneration measures; • Prioritising the delivery of key regeneration sites; • Supporting a diverse retail offer across the three main designated centres of Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury to complement each other and thereby increase competitiveness with centres outside the JCS area. Strategic Objective 3 – Supporting a prosperous rural economy Facilitate rural employment generation and diversification by: • Supporting the needs of agricultural businesses, encouraging farm diversification, the development of small rural business units, the conversion of existing buildings for rural business use, appropriate expansion of existing businesses and home working; • Supporting and safeguarding, in partnership with others, the provision and retention of village shops that serve the everyday needs of a local community. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 13

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