WINSFORD’S Neighbourhood Plan moved a step closer to public referendum after town councillors voted to submit the document for independent examination.
The NP sets out where future housing and employment land will be allocated in the period up to 2030, alongside planned improvements to infrastructure, retail and leisure.
Councillors voted to pay urban design company, Tibbalds, £4k to hold the requisite oral hearing as part of the independent examination.
Clr Don Becket said it reflected a ‘good job; well done’ by the company during their earlier work on the NP.
If more than 50 per cent of Winsford’s registered voters decide to adopt the NP during a referendum next spring, then Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) planners must consider it when refusing or granting planning permissions.
At a meeting of Winsford Town Council on October 21, councillors progressed the plan after agreeing no new fundamental issues had been raised during an extended nine week consultation held by CWAC.
Town clerk, Alan Warburton, said the ‘important point’ to remember was that the council had agreed to hold an extra stage of consultation to accommodate late feedback, even though this was not a legal requirement.
Earlier consultation stages of the plan, which has been in the making since early 2012, encountered problems when a feedback form due to be delivered to every house weren’t initially circulated to homes in the Rilshaw Lane region.
The NP has been unpopular among some residents in the area, who claim land housing allocations in the document are unfairly concentrated hear their homes.
All councillors bar the Lib Dem contingent voted to progress the NP.
Clr Charlie Parkinson said: “The Liberal Democrats support having a Winsford Neighbourhood Plan.
“We don’t support certain elements of the plan and that’s all we’ve said.
“We also believe that brownfields for developments haven’t fully been explored.”
Supporters of the NP say it acts as a safeguard against speculative housing developments, and will improve Winsford’s built environment and attractions by requiring developers to pay for material improvements to leisure, retail and infrastructure.
For more information about the Winsford Neighbourhood Plan, visit winsford.gov.uk
Residents of Tattenhall last week voted in overwhelming support of their Neighbourhood Plan by a majority of 905 to 38.
By a referendum endorsed a vision for a “sustainable and successful” future for the Doomsday Book village, which has taken the local community over two years to prepare.
The ballot produced 51.86 per cent turnout of the 1,822 eligible voters –exceeding the previous record of 40 per cent in Thame, Oxfordshire.
The plan suggests that future development is limited to housing groups of no more than 30.