100-day Pledge: Arrange a meeting with planning officers and other specialists to understand Birmingham City Council's planning policies with regards to places of worship.
In making a pledge to meet with planning officers, I sought to understand the policies that would have an impact on what we build in our new centre. Unfortunately, I was only partially able to achieve this within my first 100 days of office. The reasons for this are as follows:
- The architect and the property developer helping us to find a new site said that they had already made informal representations with the Council and would be able to guide us on the things we would have to bear in mind when submitting an application.
- Having taken the architect's advice, and since we already have meetings arranged with the local MP and Councillors, I feel it is better for the community that this not be completed immediately.
Despite being advised not to meet with planning officers yet, I knew through the research the committee had carried that there is a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) entitled Planning for Places of Worship and Faith-Related Community and Educational Uses. Therefore, in order to achieve the primary objective of understanding the actual policies that will affect our Community when submitting a planning application, I have summarised the key elements of the SPD in this article.