Town goes to the polls on planning blueprint

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A town goes to the polls next month, after its Neighbourhood Plan was approved by the independent examiner.

Examiner Nigel McGurk has approved the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan and recommended that, subject to minor modifications, it now proceeds to the next stage, which is a community referendum.

Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) has agreed with the inspector’s recommendation and the referendum will be held at Winslow Public Hallon Thursday, July 24.

All Winslow residents on the electoral register will be able to take part in the referendum.

The process is similar to a local election but, instead of a list ofcandidates, the ballot paper will contain a single question which requires a Yes or No vote.

A public hearing was held in Winslow last month at which developers with sites whichhad been excluded sought to challenge the plan.

In his report, the examiner was critical of the developers’ legal representatives at the hearing but praised the level of community involvement evident in the plan.

The ballot paper will ask voters: “Do you want AVDC to use the neighbourhood plan for Winslow to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

If more people vote Yes than No in the referendum, AVDC will use the Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in Winslow.

Chairman of the plan’s steering group, Llew Monger, said: “It’s probably the most important thing that’s happened to Winslow in the last 100 years because it impacts on development decisions for the next 15 or 20 years.

“We are all obviously delighted at the outcome and look forward to a lively campaign to encourage a massive Yes vote for the plan.”