29 Feb 2016

Democracy and Engagement

Old Market residents vote in favour of neighbourhood development plan

The residents of a Bristol community have voted in favour of a new neighbourhood development plan which influences the way Bristol City Council makes decisions on planning applications in their area.

In the first referendum of its kind in Bristol, Old Market residents voted in favour of the council making it part of the citywide Development Plan, which guides planning decisions.

The Old Market Quarter Neighbourhood Development Plan was created by a local group of residents to inform decisions on where new homes and offices should be built and what they should look like.

The referendum returned an 88% majority with 265 votes in favour of the proposal and 31 against.

Zoe Willcox, Service Director of Planning at Bristol City Council, said: 

“It’s important we work in consultation with local residents whenever we can to deliver the most effective and sustainable improvements in their area, which is why we worked closely with the Old Market Quarter Neighbourhood Planning Forum as they prepared this neighbourhood development plan. 

“We would like to thank the community for their commitment to working with the council to make the improvements they want to see in context of our wider planning policies.”

The Old Market development plan has been created by the Old Market Quarter Neighbourhood Planning Forum, a group of residents who wanted to formally record the vision and the long-term hopes of local people so their aspirations are taken into account.

Paul Bradburn, Chair of Old Market Community Association, worked on the plan. He said: 

“The whole creation of the plan has been quite a challenge but having had such a high ‘yes’ vote from the local residents at yesterday’s referendum is an excellent endorsement from the community. The area is changing rapidly and to know that our plan will help steer that change in a positive way makes all the work worthwhile.”

Following a consultation on the draft development plan in 2015, an independent examination was conducted and a recommendation made to submit it for a local referendum. 

The neighbourhood plan will be formally incorporated into the Development Plan for Bristol when it is confirmed by Full Council.

You can find out more information on the development plan online