Castlefield has made a name for itself as the go-to alfresco area of the city (you know, for those 3 weeks of sunshine we get a year). Inhabitants pay a gentrified premium to be in sight of the canals and the old industrial infrastructure.
The Localism Act gives communities the ‘right’ (subject to a consultation and public referendum) to make decisions about the way in which their local area develops and impose their own planning policies.
The Neighbourhood Plan is still the new kid on the block. It is sitting squarely on the unsettled wasteland created by the governments two opposing policies: creating new homes to try and control the housing crisis; and, giving the local communities power to block the developments which will ease the strain.
Castlefield could become the first area in Manchester city centre to have a Neighbourhood Plan and only the third in the city as a whole, after Northenden and Levenshulme, under proposals which opened for consultation today. In total there are an estimated 4,000 homes in the Castlefield area with a further 3,500 planned, which will nearly double the population, currently estimated to be more than 6,000 people.