The first Neighbourhood Planning Referendum within North Kesteven took place on Thursday at Welbourn.
Electors from the parish were asked to vote on the referendum question, ‘Do you want North Kesteven District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Welbourn to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’
A total of 267 people voted with a turnout of 48.17 per cent; the average population turnout is 33 per cent so the council is very pleased with the increased levels of attendance shown. The plan was passed with a majority vote of 88.4 per cent (236 approved – 31 opposed); this is on target with the average percentage of yes votes from the 113 referendums so far - 88 per cent.
The Welbourn Neighbourhood Plan aims to help residents in local communities play a direct role in planning the areas in which they live and work, by showing how the community wants land to be used and developed in the area - determining planning applications and granting planning permission for the types of development communities want to see in their areas.
North Kesteven District Council is pleased with the turn out so far and sees it as important that residents attend these events so the council can understand what role local communities wish to play in future planning.
Coun Marion Brighton, Leader of NKDC said: “It is important that residents take control over planning matters that affect them and the Welbourn Neighbourhood Plan is based on local planning needs and the desire of the community for any development to be in the best interests of the community. We are confident this plan provides a solution to meeting necessary growth and need for housing, whilst protecting the rural character of the area.”