Villagers from Edlesborough, Dagnall and Northall turned out to vote in the referendum for their Neighbourhood Plan on Thursday – and gave it their overwhelming backing.
The plans are a recent government initiative giving locals a voice in how development impacts their communities.
The Edlesborough Parish Neighbourhood Plan was developed over the last two years through a democratic consultation process with the community. It limits new developments in the village until 2033, controls locations and designs for any planned building and also makes some provisions for expansion of the local school and doctor’s surgery.
The plan was approved in Thursday’s referendum by 88% of voters (866 said yes, 115 no), with an impressive turnout of 45%.
Graham Neill is a village resident and chairman of ‘Yes for Edlesborough Parish Neighbourhood Plan’, an independent group of residents who campaigned to protect the character of Edlesborough and the surrounding villages.
He said: “Of course, we know many people don’t want any new developments, so we were delighted so many people turned out to have their voices heard and that they recognised that approving the plan was the best way to prevent an unlimited number of houses being built over the coming years.”
Alan Williams, chairman of the Edlesborough Parish Council, added: “Neighbourhood plans give local communities like ours the chance to have a democratic input into new developments for years to come. The level of turnout and the size of the majority in favour of the plan show how important these issues are to people and the level of support it has from local people.
“The Edlesborough Neighbourhood Plan is now set to shape future planning decisions for years to come.”
You can see the plan at the AVDC offices, or on their website www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk.