AN 'innovative' approach to engaging with local people earned Liverpool City Region Combined Authority a national planning award.

LCR Listens: Our Places won the Planning Award 2020 for stakeholder engagement in planning (plan-making).

Launched by Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region last autumn, the project aimed to try and understand the public's views on where they live, to inform the development of the city region's Spatial Development Strategy.

The Spatial Development Strategy will be the blue print for development over the next 20 years, aiming to make the city region a more prosperous, healthier and greener place to live, work, invest in, and visit.

LCR Listens: Our Places set out specifically to target people from groups who traditionally do not engage with the planning.

A spokesperson for the authority said that of 2500 respondents to the engagement exercise, more than 42% were young people, more than half were from neighbourhoods among the most deprived 10% in the country, and 18% were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Organised annually by Planning Magazine, the Planning Awards recognise excellence in planning and placemaking in the UK, across the public, private and VCFS sectors.

Steve Rotheram said: "I'd like to thank everyone in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority involved in delivering LCR Listens: Our Places - this award is testimony to their hard work.

"We carried out this engagement because devolution has to mean bringing decisions closer to the people.

"Since we launched the LCR Listens approach last summer we have engaged with thousands of our residents and I'm particularly pleased that with this exercise we’ve so successfully reached people who traditionally haven’t been involved in the planning process.

"Through LCR Listens: Our Places we made sure that every community had the opportunity to shape our spatial plan, because it is ultimately their plan, and will shape the places where they live for years to come."