More than 100 residents crowded into Winslow Public Hall for an examination hearing into the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan.
The plan is one of the first 30 in the country to reach this stage, out of 1,000 plans currently being developed.
Independent examiner, Nigel McGurk had called the hearing to assist in his understanding of some issues raised during the plan’s publicity phase. In particular there were objections from two major developers whose sites had been excluded. Both developers were represented at the hearing, last Thursday by barristers and planning experts.
Winslow Town Council was represented by councillors Llew Monger and Roy van de Poll, supported by their consultant, Neil Homer.
The examiner will now decide whether the plan can move to a community referendum.
Mr Monger, who chairs the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan steering group, said: “We remain hopeful that, whilst we may have to make some minor amendments, the plan will be approved by the examiner and there will be a referendum in early July.
So far only 14 plans have reached this stage so Winslow are certainly among the leaders nationally.”
But the final decision could yet be made in the High Court.
Mr Monger said: “Barristers speaking for Gladman Developments have made it clear that, should the plan proceed to referendum, they will challenge it at Judicial Review.”
In recognition of the work carried out in Winslow, Mr Monger has this week been invited by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to join a nationwide Neighbourhood Planning Champions Network, to promote neighbourhood planning to local councils and communities.