'New vision for the future of Whitburn' given final seal of approval by borough chiefs following public vote on neighbourhood plan
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Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum has been working on the area’s neighbourhood plan since 2016, which aims to safeguard the identity of the village and enable the community to shape the future of the region.
The document has now been legally brought into force after being adopted by South Tyneside Council’s (STC) cabinet on Wednesday (September 7), meaning it will form part of the statutory development plan for the borough.
Voters were asked ‘Do you want South Tyneside Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Whitburn Neighbourhood Area to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’
A total of 1,127 voted ‘yes’ to the plan, and 91 voted ‘no’, with a voter turnout of 28.4%.
Neighbourhood plans allow communities to help choose where new homes, shops and offices should be built, to influence the design and appearance of new buildings and open spaces.
Councillor Margaret Meling, lead member for economic growth, skills and climate change at STC, said: “Now that the Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan has been formally adopted, it will be used to help inform decisions on planning applications in the local area and guide development.
“Neighbourhood plans are an important means for local residents to have their say on the future of places where they live, and to help shape growth, however they must comply with the council’s Local Plan and national policies.”
Speaking after the referendum result was revealed last month, Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum representatives said they were “over the moon” and the plan would allow residents to have a “meaningful say in planning applications”.
The Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan covers the time period 2021-2036 and aims to create “a new vision for the future of Whitburn”.
It states it will seek to ensure “that housing will meet the needs of the village, that the quality of design will be high and that heritage assets, community facilities and the natural environment are respected and protected.”
For further information, visit https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/2901/Whitburn-neighbourhood-planning.