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People urged to have their say in neighbourhood plan referendums

Wiltshire Council is urging communities in the county to have their say in the neighbourhood plan referendums that are taking place on 6 May, the same day as the local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Published 30 March 2021
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Wiltshire Council is urging communities in the county to have their say in the neighbourhood plan referendums that are taking place on 6 May, the same day as the local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Neighbourhood planning enables communities to shape future developments in their area by giving local people the chance to have their say on what happens where they live. The plans are developed by the local town or parish council, and once finalised, a community's plan must be taken into account when planning applications in that area are considered.

On 6 May, referendums on nine neighbourhood plans are taking place for Crudwell, Hindon, Lydiard Millicent, Market Lavington, North Bradley, Seagry, Seend, Tockenham and The Winterbournes. People within the neighbourhood plan areas will be asked whether they would like Wiltshire Council to use the plan to decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.

If greater than 50% of those who vote are in favour of the plan being used, it can then be brought into effect by Wiltshire Council and used to decide planning applications in the neighbourhood plan area.  

A referendum will also take place for the Community Right to Build Order for Freshford and Limpley Stoke, about Freshford Village Hall. The hall is in the Bath and North East Somerset authority area, but the order also affects Wiltshire residents in Limpley Stoke, who have a vote on the matter.

Terence Herbert, Chief Executive, said: "Due to the ongoing pandemic, the easiest way that people can have their say is to sign up for a free postal vote. On election day, our polling stations will look a little different, and there may be queues to ensure that people can vote safely, in line with social distancing guidelines, so registering to vote by post is easy and quick, and it saves you from having to attend one of our polling stations."

Sam Fox, Corporate Director for Place and Environment, said: "These referendums are an important milestone in the preparation of neighbourhood plans, so I would urge everyone in the areas where a referendum is taking place to cast their vote and have their say."

To print an application form for a postal vote and for more information, people can visit GOV.UK: Apply for a postal vote. To avoid the risk of fraud, a signature is required when applying for a postal vote, and anyone unable to print the form at home can call Wiltshire Council on 0300 456 0112 and a copy can be posted out. 

The council will do everything it can to keep polling stations as safe as possible for voters and staff by making sure venues are COVID-secure, but people should expect to see some changes to previous elections if they decide to vote in person. For instance, there will likely be longer wait times, one-way systems and people should bring their own pen to cast their vote. 

People should visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/elections-2021 for all the information they need on the upcoming elections.

To find out more about the Neighbourhood Plans and Community Right to Build Order, visit Latest progress
 

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Published 30 March 2021