Gretton Neighbourhood Plan referendum vote - five years in the planning
Residents of Gretton will go to the polls on Thursday, May 6
Villagers of Gretton will finally get to vote in a yes-no referendum to accept or reject the content of the much-anticipated neighbourhood plan.
The plan produced by the Gretton neighbourhood plan steering committee on behalf of Gretton Parish Council sets out the aspirations of residents when it comes to future planning decisions made by North Northamptonshire Council - the local planning authority.
Starting in 2016, the neighbourhood plan had been drafted, villagers consulted, sent on to the then planning authority Corby Council and then sent on to an independent examiner.
Representations from 'statutory consultees and other stakeholders and interested parties' have been urged to get in touch as part of the process.
The committee said: "The Gretton neighbourhood plan aspires to have more control of planning decisions applicable to Gretton Parish, up to 2031, together with the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework, which embrace the whole of the country and the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy which was adopted in July 2016."
In a letter sent out to villagers, they were urged to vote on the motion “Do you want North Northamptonshire Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Gretton to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
It said: "In the upcoming elections on May 6, Gretton villagers will be given the opportunity to vote in the referendum on the Gretton Neighbourhood Plan.
"For the plan to be “made” (becoming a legally binding document) there needs to be at least 51 per cent of voters to say “yes”.
"Once “made” both the parish and North Northamptonshire councils will need to reference the applicable sections of the Neighbourhood Plan in their response to applications – whether that response be for or against."
The plan states that 'both the parish council and the village wish to retain the cohesive community in place, and ensure that there remain ample social, sporting and leisure opportunities as well as a good infrastructure and community facilities. There is also a desire to keep it a place where it is safe to walk, cycle, ride and drive as well as having good transport links.'
Gretton has a historic centre and although there is mix of housing types as the village has grown villagers have emphasised a desire to see that changes and buildings are made in a 'sustainable, quality and sympathetic manner' and that any 'development should meet the needs of the community, with focus given to affordability and the need for downsizing by the elderly population or homes to enable young people to remain within the village and close to their families'.
Villagers will go to the polls on May 6 from 7am to 10pm and as well as the referendum will also vote in the North Northamptonshire Council and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, and town and parish elections
This is the final stage of preparation for the neighbourhood plan and if voted for by the community, be adopted to form an integral part of the Gretton Parish Council planning application process.