Before a Neighbourhood Plan can become a statutory part of the Borough’s Local Development Plan (which means it then must be taken into account when making planning decisions in our area), it has to get a majority voting for its policies and proposals in a public referendum.
Who is eligible to vote
All registered voters within the defined Neighbourhood Plan Area will be eligible to vote. Polling cards will be sent out and voting will be at polling stations as for normal elections. Postal voting will be available to those who are registered for it.
The Referendum Question
The referendum question will be a straight “yes” or “no” on the entire Plan, as mandated by Neighbourhood Planning regulations. People won’t be able to vote for or against individual policies. The question will be:
“Do you want the Borough of Surrey Heath to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Windlesham to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
If 50% or more of those voting, vote ‘yes’ the Neighbourhood Plan will come into force and become a statutory part of the Borough’s Local Development Plan. All the policies in the Neighbourhood Plan will then direct and influence future planning decisions in our area.
If more than 50% vote ‘no’ there will be no Neighbourhood Plan at all for our area.
Having a Plan or not will not affect whether development takes place. Development will happen, whether there is a Neighbourhood Plan in place or not. If the Neighbourhood Plan is rejected, none of the policies in it, which will set out the type of development that is in keeping with our area’s character and where it should go, and the importance of the community being consulted, will have any effect. Future planning decisions will instead be based only on the Borough’s policies and national guidance. The local community will not be consulted.