A neighbourhood plan for Fishwick and St Matthews has been praised by the government.Advertisement
Local residents in the area are working with the city council on shaping how developments will happen in the two wards.
Officials in the Department for Local Government and Communities have held up the Fishwick and St Matthews local plan as a top example.
Friends of Fishwick and St Matthews group have been consulting local people ahead of a referendum in September 2014 to enshrine their local plan in law, meaning developers must take note of the communities needs when tabling planning applications.
Councillor Matthew Brown, cabinet member for community engagement, said: “I am delighted that this scheme has been held up as an example of good practice because it has been a collaborative effort between the council, the community group and local people.
“We have been very creative in the way we have approached local people for their input. We have spent a year engaging with residents in a whole range of ways, everything from attending school parents’ evenings, to translating the information into Polish. We wanted everyone to have an input and this creative approach is what we have been recognised for.”
Councillor Martyn Rawlinson, a member of the Friends of Fishwick and St. Matthews, said: “Local people have highlighted to us that they want empty properties occupied, they want access to green spaces and improved play areas, they want safer roads and to improve the image of the area.
“What the neighbourhood plan allows us to do is ensure that these concerns are addressed when development plans are brought forward for the area.
“Any development in the future will have to consult the plan and ensure that the plans meet the criteria that local people have identified.”
The Friends group are currently consulting on how £1 million should be spent in the area.
Have you been involved in the local plan? Do you live in the area? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below