Brookes students help Oxford communities plan their neighbourhoods

8 January 2016

Briefing session in Wolvercote with John Bleach, Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum member (photo by Sue Brownill)

Oxford Brookes Planning students, within the School of the Built Environment, are currently working with community groups in the Wolvercote and Summertown areas of Oxford to prepare Neighbourhood Plans.

Neighbourhood planning enables communities to draw up a statutory land-use plan for their area, giving them greater control over development. However it can be a difficult process, requiring communities to gather information, consult with residents and draw up their own policies and proposals. This is where planning students come in; helping groups develop their ideas and an evidence base for their plan.

For the first stage of this work, students prepared posters on key issues including housing, transport, consulting with the community, heritage, design characteristics and shopping provision. These were displayed in the North Oxford Association, on Friday 11 December 2015, allowing community members to comment on the ideas and work so far. Over the following months students will continue to develop their ideas, as well as doing further work to feed into the preparation of the neighbourhood plans.

Module Leader Dr Sue Brownill said: “This is a win-win situation; the groups get planning support and students also gain from having hands-on planning experience”.