Ringmer residents delivered a resounding ‘yes’ vote in last Thursday’s referendum on the village’s Neighbourhood Plan.
Parish councillors thanked people who took time and voted. The Neighbourhood Plan will now be included in the Lewes District Council’s Core Strategy which is pending adoption.
Planning committee chairman Richard Booth said. “After years of hard work and the commitment of my fellow councillors I am pleased that Ringmer’s united voice has been heard. The Neighbourhood Plan helps define Ringmer and will help Ringmer maintain its ‘village feel.’
Replying to the question: ‘Do you want Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Ringmer Parish to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’ 1,444 people said ‘yes.’ 128 said ‘no’ and 92% of those voting carried the majority of a 42% turnout.
Parish Council chair John Kay said: “This is one of the most positive responses for any Neighbourhood Plan. All those public meetings, questionnaires and information leaflets have been validated by this vote.
“Ringmer people understood the value of having a good neighbourhood plan, and have provided a strong endorsement for it.”
“Ringmer is not a ‘Nimby’ village, but now has control over the way in which it develops,” said Lib Dem District Councillor Peter Gardiner.
“More of the money that developers must pay to support local infrastructure will now be allocated by the parish, who will also define the size and location of all types of development.
“When we got Vanguard status for the Ringmer proposal in 2011, I did not think it would take four years to reach this stage, but that has allowed full consultation with residents on a whole range of policies, especially housing, and there can be no doubting the strength of this vote.”
“Much good work got this plan approved by the National Park, Lewes District Council, and the Planning Inspectorate,” said Cllr Booth.
“Now the referendum has shown that it has the wholehearted support of local people.
“While we have had our differences with Lewes District Council and the Planning Inspectorate, this is a positive plan with much to commend it, and it shows what can be achieved by getting the public involved. Hopefully this should be formally adopted by LDC before the end of December.”
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