Monday 28 January 2013 1.11pm
I've no brief for either neighbourhood plan group, but like the previous thread on this subject nearly two years ago
, people got rather hung up on the Bermondsey name. This is a red herring, IMHO.
The issue isn't about defining where Bermondsey begins and ends - they are not saying 'if you're not in our neighbourhood plan area you are not Bermondsey' and I don't believe they are trying to claim the Bermondsey name for all time to the exclusion of all others - it's very much about defining an area that makes sense for a specific purpose.
If you feel that you want a neighbourhood plan for your area, you are as entitled to apply to set one up as anyone else.
The neighbourhood plans proposed in Bermondsey, Bankside, East Walworth (and more tentatively for Waterloo/South Bank) have the potential to be pioneers which make a real difference to the way planning policy is set - and to the balance of power between residents and planning professionals of in inner-city areas like ours.
There's plenty of potential for a whole range of problems and unforseen consequences along the way too, though, and the whole process needs a lot of scrutiny and attention.
I certainly think that names are important, but I worry that by getting fixated on the 'Where is Bermondsey?' question there is a danger of losing sight of other important pros and cons of what is being proposed.