Before a Neighbourhood Plan can be made and become part of Hart’s Development Plan, it has to achieve a majority vote in a public referendum. Only then must it be taken into account when making planning decisions.
Significant work and formal consultation periods must take place before the Onward Plan is ready for referendum.
All registered voters in the parish of Odiham, including RAF Odiham and North Warnborough, will be eligible to vote. Polling cards will be sent out and voting will be at polling stations as for normal elections. Postal voting will be available to those who are registered for it.
What’s the question?
The referendum question will be a straight “yes” or “no” on the entire Plan, as mandated by Neighbourhood Planning regulations. People won’t be able to vote for or against individual policies. The question is likely to be:
“Do you want Hart District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Odiham and North Warnborough (known as the OnwardPlan) to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
If 50% or more of respondents vote yes, this will come into force and become part of Hart’s Development Plan. Then all the policies in our OnwardPlan will direct and influence future planning decisions in our area. Yet if more than 50% vote no, there will be no Neighbourhood Plan at all for our parish.
Having a plan or not will not affect whether development takes place. Development will happen, whether there is a Neighbourhood Plan in place or not. If there is no Plan, none of the policies in it, which set out the type of development that is in keeping with our area’s character and where it should go, and the importance of the community being consulted, will have any effect. Future planning decisions will instead be based on Hart’s policies and national guidance on a case by case basis.