Helping to protect and enhance the local and global environment

Lisburn city centre. Pic by John Kelly

Lisburn city centre. Pic by John Kelly

Improving local housing, regenerating neighbourhoods and building stronger communities are key objectives of the Draft Community Plan 2017 - 2032.

People across Lisburn and Castlereagh are being urged to have their say on the 40-page document, which sets out a vision for community planning in the council area over the next 15 years.

This week we look at the fourth of the plan’s five main themes - ‘Where We Live’.

The draft plan gives information about local housing and the environment, and sets out a number of ideas for helping tackle a wide range of issues, from local biodiversity to climate change.

“The physical world that surrounds us is a vital component of our wellbeing. Many are clearly disadvantaged and would benefit from regeneration. Other more prosperous areas may lack a focus for community life as people retreat behind gates and high hedges,” the plan states.

“Libraries, workplaces, shops, places for leisure, transport and wild and green spaces all make vital contributions to creating better places to live. A number of places in the council area will benefit from improvements in the next few years including Lisburn city centre, Hillsborough and Moira.

“Good housing is fundamental and this plan envisages a supply of suitable housing suited to a range of needs with diversity of tenure, appropriate size, accessibility and energy efficiency. This outcome is about ensuring that all these elements come together in a way that helps build strong and resilient communities.

“While our environment is vital to our wellbeing, the wellbeing of our environment relies on our sense of stewardship so that both the local and global environment is enhanced and protected both now and in the future.”

The draft document lists a number of desired outcomes, including:

• The built and natural environment is protected and enhanced.

• Neighbourhoods are designed and regenerated to promote wellbeing.

• Everyone lives in an affordable home that meets their needs.

• We have access to essential services, shops, leisure and workplaces.

• There is a modal shift to sustainable and healthy transport options.

• We produce less waste and reuse and recycle the waste that we do produce.

• Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

The Draft Community Plan also lists a number of key actions to progress over the next two years. They include developing quality walking corridors and improved cycling facilities including green routes; working with local communities to develop and deliver proposals for mixed tenure housing; produce a comprehensive and achievable Local Biodiversity Action Plan to protect, maintain, enhance, restore and educate on biodiversity issues; and review Lisburn city bus services.

• Lisburn and Castlereagh Council is currently carrying out a district-wide public consultation process, which includes a series of community engagement sessions, as it seeks residents’ views on the Draft Community Plan.

Copies of the document can be downloaded from the council’s website - www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk - and people can email responses to haveyoursay@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk

The public consultation period will end on March 13.