The countdown has begun to a referendum being held on the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area Neighbourhood Development Plan this autumn.

16,434 residents will be able to vote on Thursday 20th September to decide whether the proposed local Neighbourhood Plan is adopted, defining the future development of the two towns.

The referendum will ask residents to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following question: “Do you want Sedgemoor District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

If more than 50% of individuals vote ‘yes’ in the referendum, then Sedgemoor District Council will ‘make’ the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area Neighbourhood Development Plan.

It comes after the Town Council recently approved the final version of the plan, allowing the referendum to be held.

If the Plan is made it will form part of the statutory development plan and will help determine planning applications in the Burnham and Highbridge area, as defined in the plan.

A person is entitled to vote in the referendum if they are entitled to vote in a local government election in the referendum area, and their qualifying address for the election is in the referendum area.

A person’s qualifying address is, in relation to a person registered in the register of electors, the address in respect of which he or she is entitled to be so registered. The referendum will be conducted in accordance with procedures similar to those used at local government elections.

There are a number of referendum documents that are available to view here.

These are: the referendum version of the Burnham on Sea and Highbridge area Neighbourhood Development Plan, and the Independent Examiners Report on the Burnham on Sea and Highbridge area Neighbourhood Development Plan.

There is also a summary of representations submitted to the independent examiner following consultation on the plan, a Decision Statement from the Local Planning Authority, plus a statement that sets out general information in respect of Town and Country Planning including neighbourhood planning and the referendum (information for voters). The documents can also be viewed in person at Sedgemoor District Council Officers at Bridgwater House in King Square, Bridgwater.

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