Don’t miss the chance to have your say on the future of the Liverpool City Region
Residents and workers in the Liverpool City Region still have time to have their say and shape the future of the city region, as plans are drawn up that will influence everything from housing and transport, to jobs and health.
Launched in early November by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, “LCR Listens: Our Places” is the second stage of an engagement exercise that will help form the blueprint for the city region’s approach to planning and development for years to come.
Speaking about LCR Listens: Our Places, 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 ‘LCR Listens: 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, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework, said:
“I’d encourage everyone to get involved with LCR Listens: Our Places to help us understand what is important to them and enable us to put policies in place for the future. This isn’t a dry planning exercise – these policies will influence many aspects of our lives, from how our local communities develop to how we tackle climate change. The point of devolution is that we are better placed to make decisions than distant bureaucrats and this type of listening exercise helps ensure that is the case.”
In addition to an online survey, the Combined Authority is conducting a series of 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 engagement exercise 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 engagement 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
Placemaking and communities
It will also seek people’s views on a number of suggested policy areas, including air quality, active travel and employment skills.
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 engagement – 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.