New look neighbourhoods

The first 15 Liveable Neighbourhoods projects have been approved by B&NES Cabinet members and will now move ahead to the co-design and consultation stage.

Cabinet members – meeting at the Guildhall last night – also approved £1m funding for Liveable Neighbourhoods this year and promised further funding to support future projects in the next three years.

Liveable Neighbourhoods are a flagship sustainable transport policy for the Lib Dem administration, aimed at “breathing new life” into residential areas, creating fairer, healthier connected communities and reducing the dominance of motor vehicles. They will help make neighbourhoods quieter and safer, tackle the climate emergency, improve air quality and enhance health and wellbeing across the area.

Phase one schemes include both large and small schemes. The list is spread across Bath and North East Somerset; in wealthier areas and in less well-off areas; and in urban and rural areas. The Council will work with communities and stakeholders to draw up plans, starting from September this year.

Introducing the proposals, Cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel, Councillor Sarah Warren, said:

“Liveable Neighbourhoods are a key pillar of our administration’s plans to improve public health and enable sustainable transport choices. They will create connected, healthy, vibrant communities where motor vehicles are less dominant, improving the local environment for residents, and fostering conditions where people are enabled to use alternatives to the private car.

“Tonight, we are moving ahead with the first 15 Liveable Neighbourhoods that we are proposing to take forward for detailed community consultation and design, the next stages in the process.

“Residents, businesses and local organisations will be consulted and given the opportunity to work with councillors, with preliminary designs prepared, starting in the autumn. There will then be further public consultation, before detailed designs are drawn up and the first schemes implemented. 

“Exciting and positive change now lies ahead, along with benefits for all, and we will work closely with our communities to resolve any problems, and to make the most of the positives.”

Councillor Richard Samuel, Cabinet member for Economic Development and Resources, commented:

“This is the beginning of the rebalancing of local priorities away from the dominance of vehicles in our streets across B&NES and towards less intrusive environments for our residents. The response from local communities and their ward councillors has been tremendous and this report now moves that to the next level.

“I can also announce that in preparing the next budget I intend to commit further capital funds to this programme to enable it to extend further over the next three years.

“Liveable Neighbourhoods are here to stay. They will be funded. They will be delivered and, by working closely with local communities, they will be a success. They also deliver on a top 2019 manifesto commitment and will mark out one of the choices available to electors in 2023.”

Councillor Manda Rigby, Cabinet member for Transport, added:

“Liveable Neighbourhoods: who wouldn’t want that for our future? Elsewhere, some early schemes have failed and are being removed because they were implemented without involving residents. We have learned from the experience of others. What we are proposing could not be more different. The schemes going forward will be because of requests from the community, and will be co designed, and consulted on widely. If they are not supported, they won’t be imposed.

“As an administration we are committed to raising the quality of where all our communities live, and this is a central plank of so doing. It was a manifesto commitment, once approved this evening, I want all our communities to work with us to deliver it.”