The Neighbourhood Framework will help promote development opportunities to developers, guide development schemes, inform the determination of planning applications and identify wider improvements to ensure that new development is sustainable and provides benefits to the wider community.
The Council owns a large amount of cleared and vacant land across Belle Isle and Middleton totaling approximately 35 hectares including the former Merlyn Rees School site and smaller infill opportunities.
The Council will use the framework to promote the area to developers and guide proposals as they emerge and the framework will support the work of the Belle Isle and Middleton Neighbourhood Improvement Board.
Key elements in the Framework include:
- Additional new housing
- Strengthening existing local centres and neighbourhood shops
- Improvements to green space
- Improved connectivity e.g bus service to White Rose Shopping Centre
- Improved community facilities
The report states that in discussions with over 150 people it was clear that many residents have positive views about the area, feel that there is a close-knit community and that there are good bus services to the city centre. Concerns were raised about the quality and maintenance of play areas and open space and levels of anti-social behaviour. The following were identified as being the key priorities for change:
- Better quality play areas;
- More housing in the area, particularly affordable housing;
- Better policing;
- Improved traffic calming measures;
- The need for a family friendly pub;
- Improvements to bus services, in particular the introduction of services to White Rose shopping centre;
- The need to promote public services and existing facilities in the area more effectively
The report does not say how these improvements will be funded although it is hoped some of them could be supported by new development through S106 contributions and the Community Infrastructure Levy.