Voters set to have their say on vision for village after referendum approved for East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan
Villagers are set to get a vote on their community’s future after senior councillors backed putting the plan for their neighbourhood to a referendum.
A neighbourhood plan is a means of communities having a say in the future of places where they live and work, helping to shape development and growth in their local areas.
This includes where they want homes, offices, transport and other community infrastructure to be built.
Public consultation was carried out earlier this year on the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan, which was developed by the village’s Neighbourhood Forum.
The plan then had to be submitted to an independent examination, and the Examiner’s Report was received by the council in July.
Councillor Mark Walsh, council lead member for regeneration and the economy, speaking at the meeting said: “The plan has been examined by the independent examiner.
“In their report on the plan, the examiner recommends it proceeds to referendum, subject to certain modifications, and that the referendum area should not extend beyond the Neighbourhood Forum area.”
In the referendum, residents will be asked the question: “Do you want South Tyneside Council to use the neighbourhood plan for East Boldon Neighbourhood Area to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’
A council reports notes, following the ruling at the meeting, the local authority will have 56 working days from publication of that decision to hold a referendum on the plan.
It is currently envisaged that the referendum will be held on 21 October or shortly thereafter, according to the report.
If more than 50% of those who vote in the referendum do so in favour of the plan then it must be made and brought into legal effect by the local planning authority.
Ahead of the meeting, George Mansbridge, council corporate director regeneration and environment, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who had their say on the plan in the two rounds of consultation, and if it does proceed to a referendum, we’d encourage people to vote.”