by Ed Dade

If successful at examination, the Neighbourhood Plan will progress to the referendum stage.

The district or borough council is responsible for arranging the referendum, including setting the date the referendum will take place.

Usually, people who are eligible to vote and living in the Neighbourhood Area will be able to participate in the referendum. However, the neighbourhood plan examiner will determine the boundary for voting in the referendum.

Referendum question

The purpose of the referendum is to find out if local people support the plan and  want the local planning authority (e.g. district / borough council) to use the plan when determining planning applications. The referendum question which is printed on ballot papers is:

"Do you want [insert name of local planning authority] to use the neighbourhood plan for [insert name of neighbourhood area] to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

If the majority of voters (i.e. more than 50%) vote in favour, the plan will be formally 'made' by the district council. The plan will form part of the Development Plan for the area, alongside the Local Plan and other planning documents, and planning applications will be judged against it.

If successful at referendum, the plan should immediately be given full 'weight' when determining planning applications.

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