New residents group meets

April 13 2018
New residents group meets

The new Lockleaze Residents Planning Group have held their first meetings, one at the Cameron Centre and one at the Old Library.

The new Lockleaze Residents Planning Group have held their first meetings, one at the Cameron Centre and one at the Old Library.

There is lots of planning happening locally and there is a need for a group to scrutinise this planning. Residents can have a say in what happens in Lockleaze and this group will be resident-led rather than organisation-led.

Alison Bromilow, who works on a voluntary basis for Bristol Planning Network to support planning groups in Bristol, liaises with Council and shares good practice, came to introduce, encourage and give tips, and is happy to be invited back to help develop understanding of the planning process, or support other elements. Planning groups get pre-applications where developers are thinking of developing but get early feedback on ideas – a great way to influence development before the planning process to get things people want. She advised the meeting of the key things they need to address:

a. Put together a group with Terms of Reference

b. Be open to everyone, advertise, welcome new people

c. Have some kind of accountability (if group becomes narrow how can people challenge/ voice different views)

d. Have an AGM so other people can stand as chair

e. Local planning groups can influence at pre-app stage, help develop something better for their area, can have a neighbourhood development plan

f. Planners will liaise with local planning groups to understand needs in the area to make plans better and get advice on how to engage with community

We can set up own development plan group, define area, and define policies. The benefits would include a greater influence on planning locally, clear articulation of views can be seen by developers before planning, can signal to market, get greater Section 106/ Community Infrastructure Levy money, ring-fenced for our area.

Alison mentioned about the local plan currently under review: building-regulations/local- plan-review, which has a  deadline for responses of 13 April. It has a chapter on Lockleaze.

Helen Bone of Vivid Regeneration, a community economic development worker who has  worked in Lockleaze over a number of years is really encouraged to see our planning group being set up. At the meeting she encouraged us with examples of Lawrence Weston and BS10 planning groups. She said that groups such as ours often come about in response to unwelcome or significant development that raises the question what do you want to see in planning – what kind of houses and what kind of community? There are lots of opportunities for the people who know our area best to shape how it is developed. In Lawrence Weston they put together a Neighbourhood Development plan and managed to get a  local supermarket and have a community led housing scheme. On the back of their plan they have managed to secure investment in solar energy and are championing high build quality for low energy use.They also have a local lettings policy that prioritises local residents getting social housing.

Helen advised the meeting that the key points to take away are:

a. You know best what it means to live here

b. Biggest impact of development is on you

c. You can have a lot of power

There is a lot of development planned in Lockleaze, a housing officer has suggested 700 homes but the draft review of Bristol’s Local Plan suggests 1200 new homes, the largest development in Bristol.