Referendum vote on the Lewes blueprint for the future

Out and about ... Councillors Graham Mayhew and Stephen Catlin
Out and about ... Councillors Graham Mayhew and Stephen Catlin

The Referendum on the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan, setting out a vision for the town through to 2033, takes place tomorrow (Thursday, March 7).

If adopted, it will guide future development. In Lewes the intention is to:

- Preserve the character of the town

- Sustain both the community and the environment

- Use previously developed land for future housing

- Find ways to provide low-cost housing

- Preserve historic features, and

- Protect green spaces and the natural environment.

Councillors Graham Mayhew and Stephen Catlin have been out campaigning hard for a high turnout in tomorrow’s Referendum.

Former Lewes District Council Planning Policy chairman Cllr Mayhew, who has been busy delivering the official leaflets in Southover, said: “This is Lewes’s one opportunity to influence developments in the town over the next 15 years. It puts important safeguards in place to prevent predatory developments and to safeguard the town’s environment whilst at the same time providing housing sites for the future.

“Five years’ work by the Steering Committee and many local residents and organisations has gone into the final version which was commended by the plan inspector for its high quality and thoroughness. It deserves the community’s support.”

Cllr Stephen Catlin, who has been a member of the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee from the start, said: “It has been a long haul, but the effort has been worth it. I am proud to have been a member of the Steering Group and I firmly believe that the final version of the plan, as approved by the inspector will help protect and enhance our town for years to come. I very much hope there will be a high turnout and that the plan will be approved by a big majority.”

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm. Poll cards have been sent to every eligible elector in the town and postal ballot papers sent out to those eligible.

Copies of the 178-page plan are available to read in Lewes Tourist Information Centre and Lewes Town Hall. It can also be downloaded from the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan website.