Attleborough residents to vote on neighbourhood plan at upcoming referendum
PUBLISHED: 12:43 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:06 07 September 2017
A plan to help guide the future of a Norfolk town will go to a public vote in November, it is hoped.
Attleborough’s mayor, Jeremy Burton, said he wanted a referendum on the town’s neighbourhood plan to take place on November 23.
At Monday’s town council meeting, Mr Burton said: “That’s what I’m pushing for. I’m really keen that we get it through on that date. It’s a straight majority vote.”
Mr Burton said he also hoped to have a “strong marketing campaign” to inform residents about the vote and to ensure the town did not “sleepwalk into the referendum”.
Attleborough is in the midst of a huge expansion, with 4,000 new homes expected to be built over the next 20 years.
The neighbourhood plan, which has been four years in the making, is designed to ensure roads, health, education and other amenities keep pace with the development and the town remains an attractive place to live.
Campaigners are keen to emphasise that voting against the plan would not stop the new homes, as these were already allocated in an earlier Breckland council master plan.
MORE: Bid for 4,000 new homes to double size of Attleborough takes step forward as planning application lodged
At Monday’s meeting, councillors voted that the plan should proceed to a referendum.
Mr Burton said the plan - which has now been scrutinised by an independent examiner - would now go to Breckland for final approval and undergo a further six-week consultation before the referendum.
He said: “Hopefully we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.”
Also at the meeting, Rhodri Oliver, who represents Attleborough on Breckland and Norfolk county councils, said he was confident a much-needed £18m link road south of the town would be built along with the first of the 4,000 homes planned for the area.
Ptarmigan Land, which is behind the application for the homes, approached the county council for a loan to build the link road earlier this year.
Mr Oliver said either the county council or the government’s Homes and Communities Agency would be able to loan them the money.
He said: “My hope and my belief is that this loan will come forward and that will facilitate the construction of the link road in tandem with the first homes being built.”