The Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan has been endorsed by residents after 80 per cent of those who voted in yesterday’s referendum gave it their backing.
The Government introduced neighbourhood plans in 2012 so that local communities could play a direct part in shaping the future of their towns and villages.
It will form part of the development plan for the county, which means that it will be used as the basis for making decisions on planning applications in the area, not just by the county council, but by planning inspectors considering appeals in the town. Planning proposals must be in accordance with the plan otherwise they should not be approved.
The result was as follows: 1,174 (80.74 per cent) voted for the plan, 277 voted against and there were three spoilt ballots. The turnout was 21.6 per cent.
Alnwick county and town councillor Gordon Castle said: “Five years in the making, but we now have a forward plan and it will have real weight where planning applications are concerned. I’m very grateful to the people who came out to vote and to all those who contributed to the final document.”
Mayor of Alnwick, Alan Symmonds, added: “A lot of hard work went into the plan preparation and I am delighted it has been endorsed by residents. This endorsement means that the people of Alnwick and Denwick have a much greater say in future planning matters.
“The plan gives the town a sound framework for the next 15 years, we have a number of important sites in the town such as the current middle-school sites and any development proposals will now need to be in accordance with the plan.”
Northumberland County Council will now formally make the plan through its decision-making cabinet.
Alnwick Town Council will consider how best to monitor the plan and also ensure delivery of the community action proposals which run alongside the planning policies.