in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge referendum this Thursday'
and Highbridge residents will be going to the polls this Thursday
(September 20th) to vote in a landmark referendum that will help
shape the future of the area for generations to come.
vote will decide whether the towns adopt a resident-written Neighbourhood
Plan, which has been created to benefit the whole community.
and Highbridge's Mayor Cllr Bill Hancock, pictured, is urging voters
to get out and vote this Thursday.
Phil Harvey, who chaired the group of residents who drew up the
Plan and is a spokesperson for Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Town
Council, added: "Our referendum for the Neighbourhood Plan
represents a significant milestone in the development of the area
and if more than half the registered, eligible voters in the area
vote yes on September 20 it will have a massive positive
impact on how our community lives, works and plays for the next
14 years at least. It will also give us a much greater say on what
happens here in our two towns."
expecting a good turn out on the day as there has been considerable
public interest in the Neighbourhood Plan in the build-up to the
vote. We, Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council and Burnham
Without Parish Council, understand around 60% of eligible voters
will be submitting their ballot papers by post, but we still expect
to see a good turn out at the various polling stations in the area
on the day too."
of people have viewed the Plan online or as a hardcopy at the Town
Council offices, Burnham Library, Highbridge Library, Highbridge
Community Hall, BiARS and the Community Centre in Berrow Road and
it will still be possible to look at these on the day of the referendum
Plan is designed to give residents some control over their two town
centres and allow them to have a say on what new buildings and homes
would look like.
will also allow them to influence what infrastructure should be
provided and Sedgemoor District Council would be obliged to use
the Plan when determining future planning applications for both
Harvey added: "If more than 50% of residents vote yes
to the Plan it will empower us collectively to create somewhere
marvellous for people to live, for businesses to thrive and provide
employment and for locals and visitors to enjoy in their leisure
time. Its also about protecting our towns finest attributes
and conserving and preserving our green spaces and the aspects of
our natural and built environment that are wonderful already."
the majority vote no in the referendum, however, then
we wont be allowed to adopt the Plan and only Sedgemoor policies
will apply, as they currently do now."
Plan is all about bringing real benefits to the whole community.
It includes protection of our areas important open spaces
from inappropriate development by designating them as local
green spaces. This will give extra protection to Apex Park,
Burnham Road playing fields and Southwell Gardens in Highbridge
and Marine Cove, Manor Gardens, Crosses Pen and South Esplanade
Lawns in Burnham, (pictured below) so they can be used and
enjoyed, as they should be, for generations to come."
Plan will be good for business and employment too by supporting
the retention of retail and work opportunities in Highbridge town
centre. Theres support as well for green policies
in the new Isleport Business Park and with any new housing being
built. For example, there is encouragement for the provision of
points for charging electric cars."
Burnham, the Plan covers, in any redevelopment proposed, the retention
of the best aspects of the High Street area and provides details
on possibilities for establishing a Town Square in Princess
Street. There are also strategies to ensure that, in any redevelopment
of Pier Street car park, the whole car park is covered by a comprehensive
Harvey continued: "Our Neighbourhood Plan also aims to enhance
the environment for local residents with policies to ensure that
new housing is built to high design standards with priority given
to pedestrians and cyclists, and the creation of networks of streets,
paths and accesses, which are pleasant and safe to use. In addition,
flood mitigation measures would be put in place to protect new homes
very important we all have our say in the future of our two towns
and the area we live, work and play in, how they are shaped and
grow. This referendum is all about our environment and how it is
protected and enhanced. Its also about helping businesses
that provide employment for locals and boost our local economy to
help them thrive here. Plus, its how our community remains
safe for the benefit of all and enables our children and grandchildren
referendum to decide whether the proposed Neighbourhood Plan should
be adopted as part of the planning policy in Burnham and Highbridge
takes place on Thursday, September 20th. For more information about
the Neighbourhood Plan, call 01278 238168 or visit www.burnhamandhighbridgeneighbourhoodplan.org.
voting closes, the count will commence on Thursday, September 20
in Highbridge Community Hall at approximately 10.30pm/10.45pm and
a result is expected at around midnight with full results available
here on Burnham-On-Sea.com.