92% vote in favour of 'new vision for Whitburn'

A planning document aiming to shape the future of development in Whitburn has won support from voters in a historic local referendum.

By Nic Marko
Friday, 5th August 2022, 5:17 pm
The Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan has been voted through.
The Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan has been voted through.

Work has been taking place on the Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan since 2016, which aims to safeguard the identity of the village and enable the community to shape the future of the local area.

It has been led by the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum, which works with the community and elected officials to preserve, enhance and protect the village.

After the document won support at a local referendum on Thursday, August 4, council planning officers are required to take into account a range of policies developed by the local community.

A total of 1,127 residents voted ‘yes’ to the plan, more than 92% of those who responded, and 91 voted ‘no’, with the voter turnout being 28.4%.

The Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan will now go forward to be formally adopted by South Tyneside Council’s Cabinet in early Autumn.

Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum, which was established by a group of residents from the village, has thanked voters for their support in the referendum.

Posting on Facebook, they said: “Whitburn now has a neighbourhood plan and the Whitburn community has a meaningful say in planning applications in the area.

“The Forum committee is over the moon and is happy that you have backed the neighbourhood plan that has taken six years to create.

“But our work is not done and we will continue to work on our objections to the Local Plan and on comments on any future planning applications to make sure that they are the best for Whitburn and its community.”

The forum was first created in 2016, before being formally designated by South Tyneside Council in January 2017.

Neighbourhood planning enables communities to help shape development and growth in their local areas by giving local people the chance to have their say on where new homes, offices, transport and other community infrastructure could be built in the future.

The Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan covers the time period 2021-2036 and aims to create “a new vision for the future of Whitburn”.

It will seek to ensure “that housing will meet the needs of the village, that the quality of design will be high and that heritage assets, community facilities and the natural environment are respected and protected.”