The countdown to Stratford’s long awaited neighbourhood Development Plan referendum has begun after Stratford District Council gave the go ahead for it to proceed to a public vote next month.
The plan, which will be used to help determine planning applications in the town, has been seven years in development, with a dedicated team of 40 volunteers working hard to put it together.
It will now become the twelfth neighbourhood plan in the district to reach the referendum stage when it goes to the vote on Thursday 29th November.
If more than 50 per cent of voters support the plan it will be adopted by the district council and become legally binding,
The plan focusses on seven key areas, development strategy and housing, employment, the town centre, build environment and design, the natural environment, infrastructure and community, leisure and wellbeing.
The plan aims to improve the quality of the town’s future development, protect the town’s heritage and green spaces and seeks to ensure that infrastructure is in place before any development takes place.
Should the plan be adopted, it would lead to substantially more money being invested into improving infrastructure in the town, through developer contributions between now and 2031.
Mark Haselden, chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, said: “I am delighted that the Neighbourhood Plan is progressing to referendum. Not only is it an opportunity to make sure money is spent on the town rather than elsewhere in the district, once adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan will be legally binding and will make people focus more on local issues, such as congestion, infrastructure and the type of housing needed, before new developments are approved.
“A lot of recent housing schemes have been developer-led which does not always result in the best solution. A Neighbourhood Plan is a powerful tool which Councillors can use to challenge inappropriate development.”
Councillor John Bicknell, Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon added: “Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council joins me in paying tribute to every individual who played a part, large or small, in bringing this Plan to fruition, but particularly those on the management team of the Steering Group, so ably led by their Chairman, Mark Haselden.”
In the run-up to the referendum a series of workshops will take place providing residents with more information about the neighbourhood plan, more details of which will be published online at www.stratford-tc.gov.uk or www.ourstratford.org.uk.
Details will also be available in a special edition of the Town Council’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ newsletter, which will be posted to residents.
To vote in the referendum residents must be registered to vote in the Local Government elections and be 18 or over on the day of poll.
The polling stations, which will be open from 7am to 10pm, will be at Chaser Suite at Stratford Racecourse, the Rosebird Community Hall at the Rosebird Centre, Shottery Memorial Hall on Hathaway Lane, St. Peter’s Mission on Manor Road, Stratford Baptist Church on Payton Street, The Avenue Sports and Social Club on Avenue Farm Industrial Estate, Bishopton Community Centre on Drayton Avenue, The Council Chamber at Elizabeth House on Church Street, The Ken Kennett Centre on Justins Avenue and Tiddington Community Centre on Main Road, Tiddington.
At last Monday’s Cabinet meeting at Stratford District Council, members formally adopted Shipston’s Neighbourhood Development Plan after residents voted to support the document last month.
Members also agreed that the Harbury and Deppers Bridge Neighbourhood Plan will proceed to referendum on Thursday 29th November.