In a first for Plymouth residents, those eligible to vote in Plympton St Mary may soon have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to approve a Neighbourhood Plan for their ward.
Neighbourhood Plans were first brought into power by the Localism Act 2011, aiming to give individuals and communities more decision-making powers.
Plympton St Mary’s Neighbourhood Forum submitted a plan for independent examination last December. The plan lays out how they wish to see the city’s planning agenda reflected in their local area by proposing environmental and infrastructure improvements, such as designated local greenspace sites.
The plan is being submitted for approval to Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet on 5 March. If agreed by Cabinet then it will be put to a local referendum for the voters of Plympton St Mary to cast their vote on the question “Do you want Plymouth City Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Plympton St Mary to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “It is great to see a neighbourhood that has aimed to come together to create a forum, write this plan together to reflect their aspirations and take it to their community for a decision to be made. I really support empowerment for neighbourhoods to set the local planning agenda for their community, within the framework of the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan.”
The Cabinet paper proposes that the vote should take place at the same time as the local elections on Thursday 2 May.
Residents of Plympton St Mary ward who are eligible to vote will need to make sure they are registered to vote at elections www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.