Plan on village’s future to be voted on

PUBLISHED: 09:14 30 August 2018

The plan which will be voted on tomorrow (Friday). Picture: Cheddar Parish Council

The plan which will be voted on tomorrow (Friday). Picture: Cheddar Parish Council

Cheddar Parish Council

The future of a Somerset village will be decided at a referendum today (Thursday).

Cheddar’s electors will be invited to decide whether or not to adopt a neighbourhood development plan (NDP) which will change the way planning applications are viewed and decided on.

A committee formed of volunteers and some Cheddar parish councillors has worked for five years to create the NDP which details sites which can be developed for housing, retail and economic space, plus areas it feels should remain untouched.

The Cheddar Neighbourhood Planning Group will host the referendum at the Methodist church in Cliff Street tomorrow asking villagers to vote whether or not the NDP should be adopted.

Parish councillor Paul Fineran said the project had been a ‘massive undertaking’ but hopefully the hard work would ‘pay off in the long run’.

He added: “The inspector commented it was a well-written and well-covered report and it is so pleasing because a lot of plans have major changes made to them at this stage.”

A neighbourhood plan sets out the planning policy for an area and if voted through and adopted by Sedgemoor District Council, it will become the main document against which future applications will be judged against.

The NDP not only looks at areas suitable for building but their appearance and which existing properties should be protected.

If adopted, the NDP will see the community infrastructure levy – which is applied to all developers when housing applications are submitted – will rise to 25 per cent which will allow Cheddar Parish Council to make improvements around the village.

The plan allows for up to 200-300 more homes to be built up to 2027, despite almost 500 houses being planned across six outstanding applications and the 612 houses earmarked in the district council’s emerging local plan for the whole area.

The NDP was submitted for examination in August 2017 where the independent examiner, Timothy Jones, commended the application for its ‘well written, logical, clear’ and ‘appropriately concise’ work.

The church polling station will be open from 7am-10pm.

To view the NDP in full, visit www.cheddarplan.co.uk

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