Residents of a Bristol neighbourhood are being asked if they want to alter how Bristol City Council decides planning applications in their area.
In a first for Bristol, a referendum will be held to ask residents living in the Old Market Quarter neighbourhood if they want the council to adopt a new local development plan, to sit alongside the exisitng citywide plan, when deciding on applications.
The Old Market Quarter Neighbourhood Development Plan sets out general planning policies for the development and use of land in the neighbourhood. These policies establish plans for decisions such as where new homes and offices should be built and what they should look like.
The referendum will be held on 25 February 2016 and will be open to any residents on the electoral roll within the Old Market Quarter Neighbourhood Development Plan Area. Anyone wishing to vote in this referendum must register to vote by 9 February. Details on how to register can be found online at www.bristol.gov.uk/voting-elections/register-to-vote or by calling 0117 922 3400.
Citizens living in the area will be asked the question “Do you want Bristol City Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Old Market Quarter to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?” Voters will be asked to respond with a “yes” or “no” vote.
Zoë Willcox, Service Director of Planning at Bristol City Council, said:
“We have considered the recommendation of the independent examiner and have determined that the proposals meet the definition of a neighbourhood development plan. As recommended by legislation, we have called a referendum to allow local residents the chance to have their say on its use.”
The Old Market plan has been developed by the Old Market Quarter Neighbourhood Planning Forum, a group of local residents whose aim it has been to establish a local plan for building in the area.
Following a consultation on the draft plan in 2015, an independent examination was conducted and a recommendation made to submit it for a local referendum.
Full information on this referendum, including a map of the eligible area and the associated development plan can be found online at www.bristol.gov.uk/planning-for-business/neighbourhood-planning-old-market-quarter