Plans to transform the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham unveiled
The new Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan is set to shape the future of the area - here’s how
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A new neighbourhood plan on the development of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter which will shape the future of the area is set to be put to a referendum in July.
The plan provides a blueprint for the development of the Jewellery Quarter for the next ten years. Initiated by the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust in 2014, it has been developed following extensive consultation with businesses, residents, and community groups in recent months.
More than 300 jewellery-related businesses still operate in the area, with a workforce of around 4,000 and generating £750 million in each year, and the plans include aims to protect and preserve the heritage buildings in the area as well as to help develop businesses in the area for the years ahead.
What is the Neighbourhood Plan?
The plan was initially developed by volunteers that live and work in the district to reflect community-wide observations and concerns about its future.
The main aims of the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan include driving up the quality of new buildings, protecting heritage buildings and tackling dereliction; and supporting the jewellery and creative industries based in the area. It also aims to make it easier and safer to travel around the Jewellery Quarter, generating more footfall and trade, and to create more public spaces for residents, workers and visitors to enjoy.
If more than 50% vote in favour of it, the plan will carry statutory weight in determining how planning applications are decided by Birmingham City Council. The plan is outlined with four specific aims, they are:
- Enabling businesses and residents to co-exist and be successful together
- Drive up the quality of new developments and avoid dereliction
- Protect the heritage of buildings, jewellery and creative industries, and allied activities
- Facilitate the wider projects needed to support the growth and vitality of the Jewellery Quarter
The new plans say developments are needed in the quarter to protect the jewellery industry, by providing more suitable workspaces for businesses.
The plans also include providing new space for creative businesses involved in design, making and trading, as well as more Green spaces to improve health and wellbeing for residents and businesses in the area.
What’s been said about the plans?
Nicola Fleet-Milne, co-chair of the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan committee, said: “The Plan has been written by the Jewellery Quarter, with input from businesses, creatives, community groups, and residents. It is also fully supported by Historic England and Birmingham City Council.
“People who live and work here are passionate about protecting the area’s unique history and heritage – both its buildings and its businesses – and it is vital they are consulted as the area evolves.
“A yes vote for the plan ensures that locals have their priorities addressed in development that takes place in the Jewellery Quarter.”
When does the vote take place?
On July 13, residents and businesses in the district will be going to the polls to vote on whether to adopt a new Neighbourhood Plan for the area.
Voting will take place at polling stations in the Jewellery Quarter. All registered voters will be required to bring Voter ID – Passport, Driver’s Licence, and other such photographic ID is accepted. Visit https://bit.ly/JQvoterID to see the full list.
Visit the Birmingham City Council website to see more about the plans