Village could get to vote on new plan

By a County Press reporter

Thursday, June 5, 2014

 

RESIDENTS in an Isle of Wight village could become among the first in the region to take part in a referendum on whether a new neighbourhood plan could come into force.

Members of the Isle of Wight council executive are due to decide on Tuesday whether residents in Bembridge should be asked to vote on the plan, which will help govern planning issues in the village.

It is one of several similar plans that are being developed around the Island, with similar documents being created for Brading, Brighstone, Freshwater and Gurnard.

If the executive approves holding a referendum, it will be the first such vote on the Island, and if voters give their approval the plan will come into effect as part of the Island Plan as soon as possible, according to an Isle of Wight Council spokesman.

The spokesman the council had a legal responsibility to proceed to a referendum if it considered the plan meets basic conditions.

A six-week formal consultation took place between in February and March, when 23 representations were received.

"The document and representations were then considered by an independent examiner, who has recommended the plan, with some modifications, goes to referendum. The modifications have also been discussed by planning officers and Bembridge Parish Council.

"The Isle of Wight Council can claim £20,000 in government grant payment for each neighbourhood plan, with the grant going towards the development, examination and referendum for a plan.

"It is understood the Bembridge plan is among the first, if not the first such plan under the new regulations, in the wider Hampshire area as well as the Island," the spokesman said.

Executive member for planning and regulatory services, Cllr Jonathan Bacon, said: "The neighbourhood plans will form a key part of the overall determination process for planning applications across the Island."

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