Following the approval of the first neighbourhood plan in Upper Eden, Cumbria in March 2013 (see RPC’s recent Blog Post), residents in St James, Exeter and Thame, Oxfordshire have recently voted in favour of adopting their own neighbourhood plans.
In Thame, residents voted for 775 new homes which will be linked into the town via new pedestrian, cycle and public transport routes. This vote is significant because it is the first plan to set out the precise sites the residents want to see homes built on in their area. The plan was passed by 76% of voters with a 40% turn out.
In St James, the neighbourhood plan was developed by a newly formed neighbourhood forum. The plan placed an emphasis on sustainable development and support for the local economy and is significant because it is the first plan to be voted on in a centrally located urban area. The plan was approved by 92% of voters with a 21% turnout.