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Residents to create their own “West Side Story”

Residents to create their own “West Side Story”

Thousands of Wolverhampton people are being given the exciting opportunity to help develop their own “West Side Story” by having a say in how their neighbourhood will look in the future.

People living in the west of Wolverhamptonare to be amongst the first in the country to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for the area which takes in more than 10,000 homes covering Tettenhall, Finchfield, Aldersley and surrounding districts.

The project – called Our Place, Our Plan – has just been launched along with its own website, www.ourplaceourplan.org.uk – and the steering group driving the project is now hoping as many local people as possible will get involved, whether they live or work in the area.

Cyril Randles, who chairs the steering group, said: “Local people can influence what happens in the area over the next 15 years by having their say now, whether it relates to conservation of our local heritage, new homes, shops or better open spaces.”

When complete, the Neighbourhood Plan will detail the types of new development residents want to see in the area and will provide guidance that developers will have to take account of when seeking planning permission in the future.

Cyril continued: “We want to make sure as many people as possible know about the plan, so they can raise any important issues that concern them. It’s really important that we engage with as many sectors of the community as we can, including young people who are often difficult to reach.  We will also be approaching the schools to see if we can work with them.”

In addition to the website, there will be two launch events, the first on Thursday March 15, 2012, at Christ the King,Pendeford Avenuefrom 6.30pm-8.30pm and the second on Saturday March 17, 2012, at Christ Church Hall,Church Road, Tettenhall Wood, from 10.30am-12.30pm, where people find out more information. Comments can also be posted on Twitter at @ourplaceourplan.

For people concerned about traffic, parking, or public transport and traffic issues, two special drop-in meetings will take place on Thursday March 1, 2012, at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Windmill Lane, Castlecroft, between 3pm and 5.30pm, and on Tuesday March 6, 2012, at Christ Church Hall, Church Road, Tettenhall Wood, from 6pm-8.30pm where people can drop in and talk about their concerns with members of the steering group and council officers. Other informal meetings will take place in the future for issues such as housing, shops and businesses, the environment and conservation.

Cyril added: “The involvement of the local community, including residents and people who work in the area is crucial to the development of the Neighbourhood Plan. A household survey will be conducted at a sample of households across the area over the summer and the results of which will directly feed into the content of the plan.”

The steering group is looking for more volunteers to help with getting the plan off the ground and would welcome more interested residents to get in touch. They are also looking for 100 keen walkers to deliver 100 leaflets each to the 10,000 households across the area.

Cyril said: “For those who can’t help in a practical way, we just simply ask that they spread the word about the plan and encourage their friends and neighbours in the area to give their views when the opportunity arises.”

Potential volunteers should either visit the website or contact Steve Poole, Support Officer for Tettenhall Local Neighbourhood Partnership, on 01902 572470 or via steve.poole@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

 NOTES  

For more information, please contact Cyril Randles via cyrilrandles@gmail.com, Kerry Cox, South West Constituency Manager for the Local Neighbourhood Partnership Service on 01902 572470 or via kerry.cox@wolverhampton.gov.uk, or Steve Poole via steve.poole@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

The Government has made changes to the planning system which allows everyone living and working in this community to have more say in what happens in their neighbourhoods.  The Tettenhall and District area has been selected as one of the frontrunners to establish its own Neighbourhood Plan with the support and advice of the Council and the Princes Trust.

Wolverhampton City Council has asked the Tettenhall & District Community Council, the Local Neighbourhood Partnership for the area, to deliver the plan and a steering group has been established to oversee the setting up of the plan.

The Government wants to give local people more opportunities to influence the future of their communities.  With the introduction of the Localism Act in early November, local communities now have a right to draw up a Neighbourhood Plan for their local area.

The Neighbourhood Plan will set out the community’s ideas for where it thinks new houses, shops or other land uses should be situated within its area.  Having a Neighbourhood Plan in place will mean that landowners and developers will need to take note of the views of local people when drawing up their development proposals for new sites.  Local communities can ensure that poor quality planning applications are not made and certainly not developed.

Neighbourhood Plans can be a fairly concise document covering just the large development sites available within a community.  Or they could include a broader range of practical issues that will make a difference to people’s lives in the future, such as:

  • new pedestrian walkways;
  • affordable housing for young people;
  • a new shopping area;
  • the site of a new school;
  • a new park or play area;
  • where new allotments go;
  • wildlife and landscape areas.

The Neighbourhood Plan will be required to make proposals that are sustainable into the future.  This means that decisions made about the use of land now should not be detrimental to the future of the neighbourhood and the lives of future generations.

The Neighbourhood Plan will need to be in line with national planning policy and with the strategic vision set by the relevant local authority as well as other legal requirements.   Following completion of the plan, it will be need to be assessed by the Planning Inspectorate, a professional expert in planning matters who will want to check that it meets the necessary conditions in terms of meeting national and local planning policy and strategic visions.

Local people will then be able to vote on the plan in a referendum.  If there are enough votes supporting the plan, then it will become a statutory planning document to be adhered to by anyone seeking a planning permission in the area.

The area of the plan covers the wards of Tettenhall Regis and Tettenhall Wightwick. This takes in the areas of Palmers Cross, Aldersley, Claregate, Tettenhall Wood, Wightwick, Compton, Finchfield, Castlecroft and Tettenhall.



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