Jewellery Quarter businesses and residents are to draw up a masterplan for the historic area after it was granted special status.

Those with a vested interest in the Quarter will write the blueprint for developers to follow after Birmingham City Council gave it neighbourhood planning area status.

The new plan will be drawn up by the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust Neighbourhood Planning Forum.

Its aims include filling empty units and attracting more customers, as well as benefiting both the traditional jewellery industry and other companies making the area their home.

Stephen Whitaker, a board member of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust, believes it can do much to shape the area for the good.

He said: “We would like to have some say on how buildings are restored.

“The residential and business communities will be pooling their aspirations and coming up with a plan, monitored by the city council.

“The local community will be developing a plan which to some extent will be aspirational, using others such as the Big City Plan and all planning decisions, whether new or derelict will be judged against it.

“It is very much a new process and as yet no group in Birmingham has got as far as having their plan approved.

“Balsall Heath is the leading group and is further down the track than us but as yet it has not really been tested.”

Both business and residential communities will be balloted in a referendum once the neighbourhood plan is published, with a simple majority required from each in order for it to be adopted.

The Jewellery Quarter’s heritage will be the driving force in establishing the plan, which is set to take 18 months to formulate.

“The Jewellery Quarter is enjoying a significant renaissance right now,” added Mr Whitaker.

“Golden Square is currently under construction and the development trust has submitted plans for a Townscape Heritage grant, which would bring in a further £2 million for repairing derelict listed buildings, which we sadly have too many of.

“These are probably two of the most important things that have happened to the Jewellery Quarter in the last 50 years.

“There was perhaps a low point two years ago, but the community is coming together making a difference.” Mr Whitaker also believes the Jewellery Quarter has a unique selling point which can be capitalised on.

He added: “People want to move to the quarter and there are firms that want to move here, who like the quirky architecture that makes it special, like a village.

“We have got a long way to go and it is not going to happen in five years, but if people look back in 10 years they should see a very different panorama to what we see now.”

The area covered by the neighbourhood plan will encompass more than what is traditionally perceived as the Jewellery Quarter, including Great Hampton Street which Mr Whitaker admitted was not the most attractive road but had some impressive buildings.

He added: “Like all things you can have legislation but you also have to have goodwill on all sides.

“This will be a three-party process involving local people, the council and developers, which will require people to work with goodwill.”