East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan approved: Voters give thumbs up to vision for village
A planning document aiming to shape the future of development in East Boldon has won support from voters in a historic local referendum.
East Boldon Forum have been working on their neighbourhood plan since 2018 which aims to safeguard the identity of the village and protect green spaces.
After winning support at a local referendum on October 28, council planning officers will be required to take into account a range of policies which have been developed by the local community.
A total of 1,362 residents voted ‘yes’ to the plan and 70 voted against, with the voter turnout being around 42%.
Following the election result, the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan must be brought into legal effect by South Tyneside Council’s local planning authority.
According to a report presented to the council’s cabinet back in September 2021, this will require a further formal decision of the council “within eight weeks of the result.”
Dr Kirstin Richardson GP, who chairs the East Boldon Forum, welcomed the referendum result.
“The neighbourhood plan is built on the wishes of East Boldon residents,” she said.
“The fact that the plan has now been endorsed in this historic referendum will mean that future development must respect those wishes.
“It means that the identity and uniqueness of the village will be better safeguarded and it means that our green spaces that are so much valued today will be protected for our children and grandchildren.
“We are very grateful to East Boldon residents for coming out to vote and giving us their support.”
Dr Richardson added: “It has always been our intention that the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan should have the voice of the East Boldon community at its heart.
“East Boldon Forum is committed to work for its community, and the village we call home.
“Our community has spoken and the majority who voted have told us that they support the work we are doing.
“This referendum result gives us a convincing mandate to take forward the policies and community actions contained in the neighbourhood plan.
“I would like to thank the presiding officers, the staff at the polling station and all of those involved in the count for their hard work and diligence.”
The East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan covers the time period 2021-2036 and sets out a range of objectives ranging from sustainable development, enhancing biodiversity and green infrastructure to “supporting the sustainable creation and protection of employment opportunities.”
Other objectives cover housing, community wellbeing, sustainable drainage and ‘transport and movement.’
More information on the plan can be found on the forum’s website here: www.eastboldonforum.org.uk/2021/08/29/referendum-information