Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Residents and businesses to vote on future of Jewellery Quarter

Residents and businesses in the Jewellery Quarter have the opportunity to shape the future of the area by voting on a new Neighbourhood Plan.

The Plan provides a blueprint for the development of this historic part of Birmingham 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.

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.

The Plan will also more than double the amount of money generated by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) that is spent in the Jewellery Quarter.

A referendum on the adoption of the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan will be held on 13th July. 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.
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.”

Currently home to an estimated 10,000 workers and 10,000 residents, the Jewellery Quarter derives its name from the gold and silversmiths that have been working in this part of Birmingham for 250 years. 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.

It has also become a popular place to live, with an influx of new residents creating demand for homes and attracting investment from residential developers. In the past five years, more than 1,000 homes have been completed, or are nearing completion, with a further 1,000 in the pipeline in the next three years.

Matthew Bott, co-chair of the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan committee, said: “As both co-chair of the Neighbourhood Plan committee and a director of the Development Trust, I can see the effect the Plan is already having. For example, through a grant from Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, a new jewellery hub has been formed to tackle the issues facing the industry in the 21st century. The draft Plan kickstarted this and by requiring a steady supply of commercial space and focusing residential development away from the heart of the industry, the Plan will help secure the future of Birmingham’s original creative quarter.”

To vote on the referendum, businesses need to register to vote by 28 June 2023. Birmingham City Council is writing to all businesses to invite them to do so. Residents will need to be on the Electoral Roll and will be sent voting information by the Council.
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.

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