A referendum is to be held in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge this autumn when residents will be able to vote on whether a proposed new Neighbourhood Plan is adopted.

The local referendum is to be held on Thursday September 20th when thousands of local people will be able to have their say by voting.

The document has been compiled over the last three years by local groups and residents to outline how future housing needs and development should proceed in Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge and the parish of Burnham Without.

A six-week consultation period was recently held and an independent examination of the Plan has just been completed, with the outcome that a formal public hearing is not needed, allowing this autumn’s referendum to be held.

“The purpose of the Plan is to guide and shape development in the two towns in the future,” said Cllr Phil Harvey, pictured, who has overseen the plan’s development.

“The plan addresses several points – for Burnham, these include retaining the viability of our town in the face of retail pressures, retaining the town’s Victorian character, and ensuring it is suitable to visitors.”

“For Highbridge, the Plan considers how to halt the perceived decline of the town centre which some see as ‘past its best and struggling’. Many residents are concerned that things have been done to the town, rather than with the involvement of residents.”

The document is also a long-term plan that includes a review of local green spaces and future housing needs.

The plan is published here and has been compiled with the involvement of local residents and groups, including the Town Council, Sedgemoor District Council and the Chambers of Trade.