RESIDENTS in Martley, Knightwick and Doddenham have given the thumbs up to having more of a say in how their communities are developed in the future.
Voters in the area went to the polls last Thursday to decide whether or not to back the Neighbourhood Plan for the three parishes.
More than half of those voting had to support the plan if it was to be officially adopted by Malvern Hills District Council and used when making decisions on planning applications.
A total of 308 people turned out to cast their vote with 86.7 per cent voting ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you want Malvern Hills District Council to use the Martley, Knightwick and Doddenham Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area?’.
Martley Parish Council was responsible for drawing up and submitting the plan which has been subject to public consultation and examination by an independent planning inspector.
It contains objectives and policies for the three parishes, including proposals to protect significant views, to guide the development of new housing in the parishes and to protect valued community facilities.
The plan also includes design guidance for new buildings and proposes new Local Green Spaces.
The document will now be presented to a meeting of Malvern Hills District Council on January 30 with a view to the plan being formally adopted.
Coun Melanie Baker, portfolio holder for sustainable development and infrastructure on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We are delighted that more and more parishes across the district are getting involved in preparing Neighbourhood Plans, and at the referendum stage residents are clearly saying “yes” to having more influence and control over how their communities grow and develop.”
The ‘yes’ vote follows referendums in Kempsey and Clifton-upon-Teme in October, which also saw residents vote overwhelmingly in favour of adopting their Neighbourhood Plans.
They were both formally adopted by Malvern Hills District Council last Tuesday, becoming the first in the district to do so.
Neighbourhood plans are a key part of the Government’s localism agenda to give people more of a say on issues such as where new homes, shops and offices should be built, and the design of new developments.
Visit www.malvernhills.gov.uk/neighbourhood-planning to read the Martley, Knightwick and Doddenham Plan in full.