Residents back neighbourhood plan for Northampton estate after vote

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People living in Spring Boroughs in Northampton have voted to support a new Neighbourhood Plan.

With a 19.5 percent turnout, 237 people said yes to the question “do you want Northampton Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Spring Boroughs to help it decide planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area?” and 16 people said no.

The neighbourhood plan, nearly three years in the making, will form a blueprint for all planning applications submitted in the Spring Boroughs area.

The 40-page document aims to make the estate a better place to live by making sure new homes built there are of good quality design and affordable; by encouraging developers to contribute to new community and play facilities, by creating better routes for pedestrians and cyclists and by enhancing open spaces there.

Speaking ahead of the vote, chairman of Springs Voice, the group set up to draw up the plan in 2013, Clive Ireson, encouraged people to vote in favour of it.

He said: “If people vote yes the borough council will have to take note of the neighbourhood plan when any planning application is submitted.

“We hope that over 15 years we will be able to regenerate the area to make it more and more attractive to the people that live here.”

After the vote, the leader of the Labour Group on the borough council, Councillor Danielle Stone, said: “This is a fantastic result for Spring Boroughs and I am pleased it has received such enthusiastic support from the whole community.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this and the residents have responded positively. On polling day, the three ward councillors were out there explaining how the Neighbourhood Plan would benefit local people.

“I am pleased as the plan recognises the need for proper family housing in the area and a balance of housing not just one or two bedroom flats.”