Thursday, 18 October, 2018 2:08:29 AM

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Neighbourhood Plan Voting Underway

Published: 21/06/2018 8:45 AM

The Polls opened at 7am this morning as Adderbury’s Neighbourhood Plan faces it’s final test – how much support it will receive from villagers in the official referendum vote. More than 50% of those casting a vote must vote “yes” in order for the Plan to become officially recognised.

The referendum is the culmination of three years’ work by the group behind the current version of the plan. Chaired by Berry Hill Road resident Sam Brown, the Neighbourhood Plan team includes villagers and Parish Councillors. They consulted widely inside the village and with other interested parties to formulate the plan, which included input from a professional advisor who has successfully worked on similar projects.

Should the plan be accepted it will be studied when considering future planning applications and making strategic decisions. One of the key elements of the plan is the Rural Settlement Boundary (picture) – a line drawn tightly around the existing built up area of the village. The plan stipulates planning applications should not be allowed outside this boundary. The plan also identifies rural areas between Adderbury and Bodicote and Adderbury and Milton. These are shown as buffers between the villages to ensure Adderbury maintains it’s individual identity and protects against Banbury’s expansion towards the village.

Other areas considered in Adderbury’s Plan include protecting green spaces within the village, managing the conservation area, local services and community facilities.

Bloxham already has a neighbourhood plan which was accepted in a referendum in November last year. Cherwell District Council officially recognised the plan in December. One of the first tests of the strength of Bloxham’s plan is an application to build up to 136 houses on the Tadmarton Road, outside Bloxham’s Rural Settlement Boundary. This application was submitted after the referendum vote, but a few days before Cherwell officially recognised the plan. No decision has yet been made on this application, but is officially due to be made by the end of July.

Those proposing voting against Adderbury’s Neighbourhood Plan claim the Rural Settlement Boundary will not protect the village; meanwhile those campaigning for a “yes” vote suggest it is better having the Boundary in place to protect the identity of the village. They add that a “no” vote simply plays into the hands of developers who, without the Neighbourhood Plan, will have one less battle to fight in their campaign to build in the fields around Adderbury.

On what is the longest day of the year, those on Adderbury’s electoral role have between 7am and 10pm today to vote in the referendum, which is being held at the Methodist Church. Voters can read the full version of the Plan they are voting for, or against, here.

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