St Neots’ residents voted “yes” in a 93% majority to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan in February last year.
A total of 5217 votes were received during the polling period. Of those who voted, 4850 residents accepted the plan; resulting in a 93% majority “yes” vote for the plan. 357 “no” votes were counted and 10 ballot papers were spoiled. Voter turnover at the polls on the day was 21.8%.
The implementation of the Neighbourhood plan requires all planning applications within St Neots to be measured against the vision and objectives set out in the town’s Neighbourhood Plan – a document which was created through consultation with local residents. Not only does this ensure that St Neots has greater control over planning policy, more money will now come into the town through an increase in the taxes placed upon new developments.
As an officially adopted document, the St Neots Neighbourhood Plan has become part of local planning statute.
An analysis of neighbourhood plan referendum results by The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has found stark differences in voter turnout for Neighbourhood Plan referendums, ranging from 11.2% to 68.7%. Figures from the first 52 referendums published by the department in February 2015 showed an average “yes” vote of 88%.