Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is calling for people across the Liverpool City Region to have their say and help shape the future of the region – with big implications for everything from jobs and housing, to transport and health.
Launched today (Tuesday 10 November), the second stage of the “Our Places” consultation will help form the blueprint for the city region’s approach to planning and development for years to come.
In addition to an online survey, the Combined Authority will be conducting a series of consultation events with community groups to help ensure that local people’s views are central to the region’s priorities.
Responses will influence the Combined Authority’s first Spatial Development Strategy (SDS), which will set out a strategic framework for the development and use of land moving forward for at least 15 years. When complete, it is thought that the SDS will be the first in the country outside of London.
The first stage of the consultation focused on asking people what they wanted the plan to cover. It set out specifically to hear from communities whose voices tend to go unheard in the planning process and won a prestigious National Planning Award for its innovative approach to engagement.
Of 2500 respondents, more than 42% were young people, more than half were from neighbourhoods among the most deprived 10% in the country, and 18% were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
The second stage of the consultation will take the same approach and will concentrate on people’s vision for the Spatial Development Strategy, alongside its objectives in five key areas:
- Climate change and the environment
- Health and wellbeing
- Inclusive economy
- Placemaking and communities
- Social value
It will also consult on a number of suggested policy areas, including air quality, active travel and employment skills.
Anyone wanting to have their say on planning issues and the development of the SDS should visit https://www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/lcr-our-places/ where they can comment on a range of different policy themes.
Speaking about the consultation, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “When I first ran to be Mayor, it was because I was excited by the potential for more decisions to be taken locally and for local people to have a much bigger say about the future of their communities.
“With ‘Our Places’, we’re putting local people’s views front and centre when it comes to developing the region’s policies. Your views will help us make important decisions about the future of everything from jobs and transport, to health and housing right the way across our region.
“We might be in a difficult time at the moment, but your answers could help decide the direction of our region for years to come. I’m really keen to hear from you so, if you get a chance, please take a couple of minutes to fill out the survey.”
Councillor Graham Morgan, the Combined Authority’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework, said: “Our Spatial Development Strategy will be really important in informing decisions across our region for years to come. We’re really keen to hear from you so we can make sure that it really represents the views of people in communities right across the region.
“We had a fantastic response to the first round of consultation – especially among groups that wouldn’t normally engage with these sorts of things. Please take the time to fill out the survey and ensure that your voice is heard.”
The SDS is a statutory planning document. When it is published, it will form part of the ‘development plan’ for the city region’s six local councils alongside their own Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans. The policies that make up the SDS, when finalised, will be considered when determining planning applications across the city region.
After receiving all responses, the Combined Authority will review them and take them into account along with any evidence needed as it drafts the policies.
A draft of the SDS will then be presented to the Combined Authority followed by a 13-week consultation when the public will be able to comment on specific policies.