2016 Yearbook

R E V I E W 29 At the same time, it could have implications for some businesses that were attracted to the area by lower rentals and could result in some having to move to more affordable accommodation elsewhere. This happened in the nearby Ropewalks part of the city, which regenerated partly as a result of it becoming a focus for creative industries, attracted by low property values. A combination of public investment in the public realm, a historic area grant scheme and investment by more entrepreneurial (risk-taking) developers continued the regeneration process. As mainstream developers and businesses moved in, many of the creatives were priced out of the area. This could be viewed as a regeneration success story, but for some in the Baltic Triangle, Ropewalks is also a warning. There are no easy solutions. The Baltic neighbourhood plan will require tough decisions to be made on where growth happens, how it is accommodated, how to ensure it is sustainable and the nature of that growth. The plan may seek to reconcile the interests of businesses, developers and residents. It can also seek to improve the quality of design of new developments and refurbishment schemes. Once a neighbourhood forum is designated, the planning of the area is the responsibility of that forum. In the Baltic Triangle, many of those involved with the neighbourhood planning process are directly involved in delivering growth in the area. This combination of direct interest, expertise and knowledge of the local economy, together with a commitment to working with local communities, is bringing a level of sophistication to neighbourhood plans that is often not possible through more traditional forms of planning, especially as local authorities lose capacity and expertise. Neighbourhood planning has real implications for the heritage sector and heritage professionals. The focus is on helping communities in the management and delivery of change. The role of the heritage professional is that of an enabler, advisor and advocate of good practice. It requires a wide perspective to be taken with goals not only of conserving heritage, but making sure it fulfils its full potential in delivering sustainable growth and development and meeting the aspirations of the local community. To work with neighbourhood planning bodies, it is essential to consider heritage as an integral part of the wider planning of an area. This includes understanding how it can fulfil a range of planning aims. The heritage professional must help communities to understand not just the cultural value of heritage, but also its values as part of the infrastructure supporting local economies, communities and places. Fundamentally, it is about helping communities to reconcile those values. Neighbourhood planning and the transfer of heritage assets to community organisations both demonstrate that communities are prepared to put serious time into planning their area, or getting directly involved in project delivery and the creation of new economic or community facilities. This is not just about community engagement but community leadership. Especially in areas where there are viability issues with heritage buildings and areas, such leadership can provide practical solutions to delivering sustainable growth and improving quality of life. Further Information NPPF Planning Practice Guidance: Neighbourhood Planning http:// planningguidance.communities.gov.uk Locality Roadmap Guide to Neighbourhood Planning http:// bc-url.com/neighbourhood-roadmap Dave Chetwyn is managing director of Urban Vision Enterprise CIC and chair of the Historic Towns Forum. Gerry Proctor MBE is chair of Engage Liverpool. The Baltic Creative (centre) is a community interest company which saw the potential in the Baltic Triangle and began to acquire property in the area after its foundation in 2009. It now provides workshop, studio and warehouse space for the creative and digital sector and is playing a major part in the neighbourhood’s regeneration.