Two more parish plans pass referendum stage

Neigbourhood plans in Nottinghamshire and East Sussex have become the latest to secure the backing of residents in local referendums.

Downs near Ringmer (picture by grassrootsgroundswell, Flickr)
Downs near Ringmer (picture by grassrootsgroundswell, Flickr)

In a referendum held last week, a neighbourhood plan for the parish of Ringmer, East Sussex, received a 91.9 per cent "yes" vote on a 42 per cent turnout, with more than 1,500 votes cast.

The plan includes land within the boundaries of both Lewes district and the South Downs National Park.

One of four key principles underpinning the neighbourhood plan is that "Ringmer is, and should stay, a village".

A policy in the plan stresses that "proposals for new development outside planning boundaries that are not in accordance with other policies in this neighbourhood plan or other material planning policies, and would have an adverse effect on the countryside or the rural landscape, will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the adverse impacts and that they cannot be located on an alternative site that would cause less harm".

Meanwhile, in a referendum also held last week, residents of Elkesley in Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, backed a neighbourhood plan drawn up for their parish, with 93.9 per cent voting in favour on a 36.5 per cent turnout.

The plan includes a policy to allocate affordable housing to those with a local connection. It says: "All new affordable housing on market sites or rural exceptions sites in Elkesley will be allocated based on a local connection criteria hierarchy, meaning that people with a strong local connection to the parish and whose needs are not met by the open market will be first to be offered the tenancy or shared ownership of the home."

More than 100 neighbourhood plans have now secured backing in local referendums, according to figures compiled for Planning’s Neighbourhood Watch tracker bulletin.

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