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South Bank and Bankside to pilot new ‘Business Neighbourhood’ status

The South Bank and Bankside have been named as two of the eight 'frontrunners' across the country which will test out a new approach to planning with businesses working in partnership with residents.

The South Bank Employers' Group and Better Bankside are among eight 'frontrunners' named by planning minister Greg Clark on Tuesday.

The two neighbouring SE1 areas will have the opportunity to test out the approach being proposed in the Localism Bill to develop a business-led neighbourhood plan in partnership with local residents.

This week's announcement follows the earlier designation of Bermondsey and Bankside as frontrunner areas for the resident-led approach to neighbourhood planning.

The South Bank Employers' Group, which covers the area between Lambeth Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, says that it wants to develop a plan that includes improvements to public areas and better retail opportunities for new and existing customers.

Covering the adjacent area between Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge, Better Bankside says that it will work with Southwark Council and Bankside Residents' Forum to develop a plan to provide more affordable business and shop space, improve public amenities, and create more community facilities for both residents and workers, such as dentists, creches and doctors' surgeries.

The Business Neighbourhood frontrunners will work with councils and community groups to prepare a planning and development framework. If the plan is approved in a local referendum it will be adopted by the relevant councils.

"Local businesses are vital to stimulating growth and benefit their communities way beyond just providing jobs," says Greg Clark MP, minister for decentralisation.

"They can revive neglected neighbourhoods, support schools or make a significant contribution to community facilities.

"We need to involve local companies more explicitly in neighbourhood planning decisions for business areas if communities are to get the most out of them.

"Businesses have access to skills, resources and expertise that can give a real boost to getting the right kind of growth underway in many areas. Business Neighbourhood frontrunners are about residents and businesses shaping their neighbourhood together.

"Ensuring all members of a community are involved in driving development in their neighbourhood is central to our planning reforms and local businesses are an equally important part of many communities."

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