Roman Road Neighbourhood Forum is launched

A Neighbourhood Plan for Roman Road has been initiated by Roman Road Trust, and the Inaugural Public Meeting will be at 4pm on Saturday 20th February at St Paul’s Church on St Stephen’s Road.

A Neighbourhood Plan allows local residents and businesses to have their own planning policies in a neighbourhood plan that reflect their priorities, deliver tangible local benefits and have real weight in planning decisions. Neighbourhood planning was introduced in 2011 through the Localism Act and local examples include East Shoreditch and Isle of Dogs.

Neighbourhood Plans are developed and delivered by a Neighbourhood Forum. Forums are made up of people who live or work in the area. It’s important to have as many people involved in the Forum as possible in order to ensure policies represent the views of the whole community. The Forum is seeking representatives from local businesses, community groups, places of worship, charities and resident associations to join the initiative. Find out more about joining the Forum at the RomanRoadNeighbourhoodPlan.org website.

Roman Road Trust has enlisted the help of neighbourhood planning specialists Public Works who will offer guidance and advice about setting up a Neighbourhood Plan. Tom Dobson and Andy Belfield from Public Works will be attending Forum meetings over the next few months and helping to set up the Forum’s Steering Committee. The Steering Committee currently has vacancies for a Chair, Secretary and Treasure – find out more about these roles here.

Roman Road Trust is a community development trust working on a community-led regeneration of Roman Road involved in several local initiatives including the Roman Road LDN high street digital platforms, Roman Road Festival and the new Roman Road Yard Market.

Tom Dobson and Andy Belfield will be talking at the Inaugural Public Meeting on Saturday 20th February to explain the process and open up discussions with the local community. One of the first things to be discussed is where the boundary of the Neighbourhood Plan should be.

If you can’t come to the Inaugural Meeting on Saturday 20 February there will be more meetings planned at other times of the week on a monthly basis. Click here to subscribe to Forum updates.

What a Neighbourhood Plan might include for Roman Road

Typical things that are neighbourhood plan might consider include affordable housing; use of vacant buildings; provision for business expansion;  development of schools, health and leisure facilities, museums and community centres; restriction of certain types of developments; protection and creation of open and green space; design and height of new buildings; protection of historic assets, and the promotion of renewable energy.

For Roman Road a Neighbourhood Plan might include:

  • Improvements to public realm (pavements, squares, pocket parks, underused spaces)
  • Traffic and congestion (cycling routes, buses, one-way systems)
  • A community building (a multi-use space run by the community for the community)
  • Controls on certain shops (betting, fast food)
  • Balanced mix of retail unit size (to ensure shops aren’t too small or too big)
  • Refurbishment of the street market (resurfacing, lighting, power)
  • Preservation and celebration of heritage (East End, Wiley, Suffragettes, industry)
  • Security (lighting, policing)
  • Look of the high street (shop fronts, estate agent boards, roller shutters, festive lighting, signage, benches)
  • Art and culture (community events, street art, art installations)
  • Eco inititiaves (green roofs, vegetable planters, pocket parks)
  • Technology infrastructure (wifi, broadband)

How to contribute to the NPlan

If you live or work in or around Roman Road in Bow, or if you have close ties to the area, we want to hear from you. You can actively participate in the planning of your neighbourhood even if you only have five minutes!

  1. Five minutes? Use the online ‘map and comment’ tool to say what you like and dislike about the area
  2. One hour? Attend the Inaugural Public Meeting on Saturday 20 February 2016
  3. One hour per month? Join the Roman Road Neighbourhood Forum
  4. Two or three hours per month? Apply for a role on the Steering Committee



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Tabitha Stapely

Tabitha Stapely is the founder of Social Streets C.I.C, a not-for-profit media company using journalism to strengthen communities, particularly those in disadvantaged or neglected areas. Prior, Stapely was a writer and editor for national titles including The Telegraph Saturday Magazine, Elle and Red magazines.

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