KEMPSEY and Clifton-upon-Teme have become the first areas in the Malvern Hills district to have their Neighbourhood Plans officially backed by the public.
Voters in both areas went to the polls last Thursday to decide whether or not to support their respective documents, which give residents more of a say in how both communities develop in future.
More than 50 per cent of those voting had to support the plans in order for them to be officially adopted by Malvern Hills District Council and used when making decisions on planning applications.
In Kempsey 1,083 people cast their vote with 91.7 per cent voting yes to the question ‘Do you want Malvern Hills District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Kempsey Parish to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’.
In Clifton upon Teme 132 people took part in the poll with 92.4 per cent answering a similar question with a yes vote.
Coun Melanie Baker, portfolio holder for sustainable development and infrastructure on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in the development of the Neighbourhood Plans for Kempsey and Clifton-upon-Teme and to residents in both areas who have voted to have greater influence and control over how their communities grow and develop.
“There are a number of other communities across the district also developing Neighbourhood Plans and we look forward to putting them to a public vote at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Kempsey Parish Council and Clifton-upon-Teme Parish Council were responsible for drawing up and submitting their respective plans which have been subject to public consultation and examination by an independent planning inspector.
The Kempsey plan proposes a number of policies including around protecting the significant gap between Kempsey and Worcester from development and proposing new community, recreation and sports facilities.
Meanwhile, the Clifton-upon-Teme plan covers a number of themes ranging from supporting investment in the economy, tourism and home working to protecting local community facilities and significant views.
Both plans also include policies to guide the development of new housing.
The documents will now be presented to a meeting of Malvern Hills District Council on November 28 to be formally adopted.
Visit www.malvernhills.gov.uk/neighbourhood-planning to read the plans in full.