A neighbourhood group in Prestwich wants to ensure residents’ ‘have a real say’ as efforts to transform the village move forward.

The Prestwich Village Neighbourhood Forum, which formed in summer 2022, is made-up of a group of residents with the aim  of ensuring local voices are heard amid ongoing regeneration plans in the area.

The £100m plan to regenerate the centre area of Prestwich include the Longfield Centre and replacing it with independent businesses, a mix of homes, outdoor areas and a new community hub focused on health.

The Neighbourhood Forum, led by chairperson Andrea Turner, is now seeking official recognition by Bury Council to ensure that residents and business owners’ voices count as the proposals get underway.

READ MORE: Six-peak Lake District challenge for Prestwich fundraisers

The forum has applied to become a Designated Neighbourhood Forum under the Localism Act 2011, meaning it could better influence council decision making.

The Chair of Prestwich Village Neighbourhood Forum, Mrs Andrea Turner said: “Being designated does not mean anti-development, it means that the community has a real say in any development of their neighbourhood and we are looking forward to working with the community, the Council, Muse and all other interested stakeholders to make Prestwich neighbourhood a thriving, sustainable and enjoyable place to live, have a business and work.”

Designation means the Forum could set planning policies through a Neighbourhood Plan that will form part of the Council’s development plan which is used when determining any planning applications for the designated area.

It could also grant planning permission through Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders for specific small developments and lead the development and implementation of a Neighbourhood Plan in the absence of a town or parish council.

READ MORE: New clinic on The Rock a 'dream come true' for Bury woman

The steering group, made up of 21 residents and business owners, have been working with a number of other community groups, such as Prestwich Environmental forum, incredible edibles and the Prestwich Clean Team.

The group must now wait for Bury Council to make it’s decision on the designation, which will be made at a Counil Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, June 7.

It holds fortnightly meetings and have consulted with councillors. The group have a dedicated Facebook page which already has more than 1000 followers.

The Forum is inviting residents to follow its activities on it's Facebook page and on it's website.