Overwhelming ‘Yes’ in Winslow referendum

YES4Winslow campaigners
YES4Winslow campaigners

Residents of Winslow have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the area’s neighbourhood plan, with the highest ‘Yes’ vote of any neighbourhood plan in the country.

The first neighbourhood plan referendum in the whole of Aylesbury Vale took place at Winslow Public Hall yesterday, Thursday.

Winslow’s 3,887 registered voters were asked: “Do you want Aylesbury Vale District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Winslow to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

In total, 2,270 people voted ‘Yes’ and 41 voted ‘No’.

The turnout was 59.5 per cent, compared with a typical turnout of about 30 per cent for local elections.

Polling took place just two days after a developer attempted to gain a High Court injunction to prevent the referendum taking place.

The application by Gladman Developments was dismissed at Manchester High Court on Tuesday.

Prepared by Winslow Town Council, the neighbourhood plan sets out sites for 455 homes, more than five hectares of employment land, educational and community facilities, including play facilities, a nursery and a new health care facility.

Treasurer of the YES4Winslow campaign group, Vic Otter, said: “This result exceeded our wildest dreams.

It is the highest percentage ‘Yes’ vote of any neighbourhood plan in the country and, I believe, the highest percentage turnout too.

“It shows that developers should beware trying to use High Court injunctions to ‘muzzle’ locals.

“It is a day of triumph for ‘people power’.

Gladman Development has massively underestimated the effect of strong-arm tactics against determined locals”.