THE Laverstock & Ford Communities ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ Parish Referendum was held Thursday, October 13.
The referendum asked residents of Laverstock & Ford the question: ‘Do you want Wiltshire Council to use the communities neighbourhood plan for Laverstock and Ford to help it decide future planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’.
The following day Caroline Rudland, the deputy counting officer, gave notice that the number of votes recorded at the referendum was: 801 votes for and 124 against, equating to 12.7% turn out.
On the same day (Friday, October 14) Michael Kilminster the neighbourhood planning manager for Wiltshire Council, also announced: “Following an independent examination and a positive referendum result, Wiltshire Council has decided on 14th October 2022 pursuant to section 38A (4) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, to ‘make’ the Laverstock and Ford Communities Neighbourhood Plan (the ‘Plan’)”.
He clarified that this plan now forms part of the Development Plan and its policies will be given full weight when assessing planning applications that affect land covered by that Plan.
Nick Baker, chair of the Laverstock & Ford Parish Council, said of the result:
“This is the culmination of over five years of work and I am very grateful to all of the councillors, members of the steering group and staff who have enabled the local community to make its voice heard on the future for development within our community.
“This plan recognises the need for more good quality, environmentally sustainable homes, but also the importance of balancing this with the protection of landscape and green spaces which characterise our beautiful parish and the provision of the essential facilities which make successful communities.
“The strong support for the plan is a clear democratic mandate against inappropriate developments such as the proposed 135 houses on Church Road in Laverstock.”
Introduced through the Localism Act 2011, Neighbourhood Planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area.
Vic Bussereau, Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group lead, said: “This result is great news for the Parish and is the successful conclusion to work done by the steering
group in guiding the draft through the various stages of the planning process.”
Wiltshire Councillor Ian McLennan, who was present to witness the vote count, added: “This result is a credit to the team of local residents, who have given much of their time, to undertake this vast and now successful mission.”
Cllr Ian McDonald, who was a member of the Neighbourhood Planning steering committee, added: “Creating the Neighbourhood Plan has been a long and complex process. Now the work begins to apply it in the planning and development debates that will follow in the coming years.”
Across Wiltshire, many
town and parish councils are developing neighbourhood plans to ensure the character and assets of their communities are not lost.
From preserving much needed open spaces and historic sites, to simply ensuring that development is balanced and sustainable.
Shaping the places where we live into safer, supportive communities with a strong sense of identity and ownership.
The referendum version of the plan can be viewed online at: https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/media/9784/Laverstock-and-Ford-Communi- ties-Draft-Neighbourhood-Plan-Referendum-Version/pdf/Laverstock_and_Ford_Com- munities_NP_Referendum_Version.pdf?m=637979855237330000