Community planning is a new power that we’ll take on as a result of local government reform. We will lead the community planning process and work with a wide range of partners, including representatives from the statutory, business, higher education, community and voluntary sectors, to develop a long-term plan to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the city.
Our community plan will be known as the Belfast Agenda. It will be the city’s strategic plan for the future. It will provide a simple and clear framework for a wide range of plans and strategies which we'll take forward at both a city and local area level with our partner organisations.
Community planning is linked to other transferring powers, such as planning and urban regeneration and community development (please note that urban regeneration and community development powers will transfer in April 2016). We'll be addressing social issues, spatial planning and place shaping as part of these duties to improve the wellbeing of residents throughout the new council area in April 2015.
As the lead organisation in the community planning process in Belfast, we will be required, by law, to produce a community plan every four years from April 2015.
Community planning is about public services working together and with communities to deliver real improvements for local people.
We want you to be involved and to have your say on issues that affect you to help us improve services in your area.
We want to make sure that the Belfast Agenda makes a real difference to peoples' lives, so we'll let you know about more opportunities to help shape it as the community planning process develops.
In September 2014, we carried out an online survey and a door-to-door resident survey of a representative sample of about 1,500 people from the new Belfast area. The findings will help us understand your key aspirations and concerns and define a vision and priorities for Belfast.
- 92 per cent of respondents stated that they are satisfied with Belfast as a place to live.
- 86 per cent of respondents are satisfied with their local area.
- 35 per cent rated creating a strong economy as their top priority for the city.
The top three economic priorities were rated as:
- creating jobs
- improving skills and employability
- attracting investment.
The top three social priorities were rated as:
- improving safety, reducing crime and antisocial behaviour
- improving community relations
- improving people’s health and wellbeing.
The top three environmental priorities were rated as:
- creating a cleaner and more attractive city
- managing waste
- energy efficiency and investment in renewable technology.
Download an overview of the survey results (PDF - 751KB)
We have been preparing for community planning over a number of years, through pilot programmes and existing partnerships which have provided is with a strong platform for the future.
Community planning will provide a central point of focus for this work as we create one strategic vision for the city.
We’re awaiting guidance from The Department of the Environment on how community planning should be carried out. This guidance and information about our partner organisation will form the basis of our community planning work.
We will publish details of our partners on our website when they are agreed.