Questions and Answers: Neighbourhood Plan Referendum

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Neighbourhood Plan Referendum

On 15th February 2018 there will be a referendum on a Neighbourhood Plan for your parishes. Below are some questions and answers which help explain what is taking place and how you can be part of it.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A neighbourhood plan is a new type of plan which focuses on a local area (Parish or Parishes) rather than the whole of Cheshire East. Neighbourhood planning gives local communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. Neighbourhood planning enables communities to play a strong role in shaping the areas in which they live and work.

How was the Hulme Walfield and Somerford Booths Neighbourhood Plan Made?

A Neighbourhood Planning Team was established and led by Karen Ogden. Over the last 2 years, with much input from residents the plan was created with much advice received from Neighbourhood Planning consultants.

Did the Neighbourhood Plan cost the parishes a lot of money to produce?

Virtually all of the cost of developing the plan was covered by grants.

What does the Neighbourhood Plan contain ?

The document contains a vision for the parishes and 10 policies which were specifically created for the Hulme Walfield and Somerford Booths parishes. There are four policies relating to housing, three on Environmental considerations, one on the rural economy and two relating to infrastructure aspects.


What does a Neighbourhood Plan do?

If adopted by the parish’s residents (see the referendum) the Neighbourhood Plan would become a legal planning document. It would form part of the local development plan for Cheshire East. Neighbourhood plans, if adopted, have significant weight in making decisions on planning applications.


Who can develop a Neighbourhood Plan?

All parishes can decide to develop a Neighbourhood Plans if they wish.  One decided there is a very specific process to be followed to get a Neighbourhood Plan ‘made’.


What happens if the Neighbourhood Plan isn’t agreed through the outcome of the referendum?

Decisions on planning within HW & SB Parishes will be made by Cheshire East Planning Dept using the Cheshire East Local Plan and the other National planning documents, which does not include specific requirements of individual parishes.


What is the referendum?

It is a legally binding vote of parish residents to choose if they want to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan. The day to vote is 15th February. You should already have received a voting card or postal vote if you are registered to vote.


Do I have to vote?

Whether you vote or not is entirely your decision.


What are the options for the vote?

The question being asked is:
‘Do you want Cheshire East Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Hulme Walfield and Somerford Booths to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’. 

There will be a Yes box and a No box.  Please put an X in the box next to the answer you choose.


What happens after the vote?

The votes are officially counted.The decision is a simple majority of votes for either Yes or No

“Yes” means the Neighbourhood Plan is adopted as a legal document

“No” means the neighbourhood plan is not adopted and will not be used to support planning decisions in our parishes.


Who should I contact if I want to know more?

Any of your Parish Councillors, whose contact details are on this website.


Where can I find further information?

Further information is available on the Parish council website, Congleton Library and Cheshire East website.

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