A public consultation on the proposed boundaries for a neighbourhood plan covering Elephant & Castle and Walworth is now open.
Neighbourhood plans were introduced through the Localism Act 2011, and enable local communities to develop detailed planning policy for a specific area.
The latest group to put forward a proposal to draw up a neighbourhood plan is the Elephant & Walworth Neighbourhood Forum which claims more than 90 members.
The proposed boundaries submitted to Southwark Council for approval cover an area stretching from Borough High Street in the north to Camberwell New Road in the south, Kennington Park Road in the west and Albany Road in the east.
The area covers all of Newington ward, much of East Walworth ward and parts of Chaucer and Faraday wards.
Although most of the area to form part of the plan is in SE17, the proposed boundaries encompass the Rockingham Estate and Trinity Newington estates in SE1, as well as the important junctions at Elephant & Castle and Bricklayers Arms.
The northern boundaries have been designed to intersect with the approved Bankside Neighbourhood Forum as well as the proposed Bermondsey neighbourhood planning area whose status is still to be determined.
In its application to the council, the Elephant & Walworth Neighbourhood Forum says: "The neighbourhood plan will deliver better planning in our area. It will have legal status and give us greater influence over planning decisions in our neighbourhood, the opportunity to specify development sites and work in partnership with service providers, developers and key stakeholders.
"The opportunity of deciding and agreeing on a plan for the neighbourhood area will give motivation and enthusiasm to many people, who otherwise feel disempowered. The neighbourhood planning approach will allow people to learn new skills (like participatory mapping or planning policy knowledge) and to pass on and share experiences. Discussion and consensus making will provide stronger community cohesion throughout the neighbourhood and the forum will provide a welcoming and informed community locus for new residents to the area."
Next week the council's planning committee will be invited to comment on the proposed boundaries and there will be a further public discussion at Borough, Bankside & Walworth Community Council on Wednesday 2 April.
• The public consultation on the proposed boundaries runs until Monday 14 April.
• The neighbourhood forum website is at www.elephantneighbourhoodforum.org
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