PEOPLE are being urged to have their say in the upcoming neighbourhood plan referendums.

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.

Referendums on nine neighbourhood plans are taking place on May 6 - the same day as the local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

The nine neighbourhoods are The Winterbournes, 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 per cent 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.

'An important milestone'

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, click here.

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.

For more information on the upcoming local elections click here.

To find out more about the Neighbourhood Plans and Community Right to Build Order, click here.

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