JQ Neighbourhood Plan Gets Green Light

17 July 2023

Residents and businesses in the Jewellery Quarter have voted in favour of a new Neighbourhood Plan to provide a blueprint for the development of the historic district over the next decade.

Initiated by the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust in 2014, the Plan was developed following extensive consultation with local businesses, residents, and community groups, with backing from Historic England and Birmingham City Council.

The Plan was put to the vote on Thursday, 13 July. 94% of residents voted in favour, with 60% of businesses giving it the thumbs up. 

As more than 50% of those who voted supported the Plan, it will carry statutory weight in determining how planning applications are decided by Birmingham City Council.

The main aims of the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan include driving up the quality of new buildings; protecting heritage buildings and tackling dereliction; and supporting the jewellery and creative industries based in the area. It also aims to make it easier and safer to travel around the Jewellery Quarter, generating more footfall and trade, and to create more public spaces for residents, workers and visitors to enjoy. 

The Plan will also more than double the amount of money generated by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) spent in the Jewellery Quarter. 

Nicola Fleet-Milne, co-chair of the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan committee, said: “Nobody cares more for this wonderful area than the people who live and work here. The overwhelming vote in favour of the Plan is a ringing endorsement of how invested both residents and businesses are in preserving this special place.”

Currently home to an estimated 10,000 workers and 10,000 residents, the Jewellery Quarter derives its name from the gold and silversmiths that have been working in this part of Birmingham for 250 years. More than 300 jewellery-related businesses still operate in the area, with a workforce of around 4,000 and generating £750 million in each year. 

It has also become a popular place to live, with an influx of new residents creating demand for homes and attracting investment from residential developers. In the past five years, more than 1,000 homes have been completed, or are nearing completion, with a further 1,000 in the pipeline in the next three years.

Matthew Bott, co-chair of the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan committee and a director of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust, said: “The Plan is an insurance policy. It will ensure that the JQ is sensitively developed going forward, and that the people who know it best have a say in its future.”