Neighbourhood Watch: Pandemic leads to referendum cancellations

News that the coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of a series of neighbourhood plan referendums features in the latest Neighbourhood Watch update.

Local polls have been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis (pic: Getty)
Local polls have been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis (pic: Getty)

Horsham District Council has postponed a referendum on a proposed neighbourhood plan for the West Sussex village of Upper Beeding, which it and the South Downs National Park Authority would use when deciding planning applications.

A spokesman said: "Unfortunately we have now had to postpone the Upper Beeding neighbourhood planning referendum which was set to take place on March 19 as a result of the coronavirus situation and the government's update on March 16.

"The referendum will of course go ahead as soon as practicable and safe. The council will provide updated information when it becomes available."

Elsewhere, Herefordshire Council has postponed all neighbourhood planning referendums as well as local by-elections until further notice.

Local media have also reported that a referendum on a proposed neighbourhood plan for the Wiltshire village of North Bradley has been postponed due to the coronavirus until further notice.

The West Sussex County Times reported that a Wiltshire council spokesperson said: "In light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, and in line with government guidance, the counting officer has decided to postpone the referendum until further notice."

Sections 60 and 61 of last week's Coronavirus Act allow the the secretary of state to postpone upcoming neighbourhood plan referendums, as well as local elections.

PLAN UPDATES

REFERENDUM NEWS

The referendum result on the Farnham Review neighbourhood development plan was published on 12 March 2020. In the poll on whether Waverley Borough Council should adopt the Farnham Review neighbourhood plan, there was a 95.5 per cent vote in favour of using the plan.

The referendum result on the Hassocks neighbourhood development plan was published on 5 March 2020. In a referendum on whether Mid Sussex District Council and South Downs National Park Authority should adopt the plan, there was a 94.8 per cent vote in favour.

ADOPTION NEWS

The Cramlington neighbourhood development plan was made part of Northumberland Council's local development framework on 10 March 2020.

The Lanteglos by Fowey neighbourhood development plan was made part of Cornwall Council's local development framework on 5 March 2020.

EXAMINATION NEWS

The Puttenham neighbourhood development plan has been submitted to Guildford Borough Council


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