Before a Neighbourhood Plan can be “made” and become part of the Borough’s Development Plan (which means it then must be taken account when making planning decisions in our area), it has to get a majority voting for it in a public referendum.
We expect the Borough to shortly give notice of the date for the Referendum, which is likely to be towards the end of March.
Who is eligible to vote
All registered voters in the two parishes of Sunninghill and Ascot, and Sunningdale will be eligible to vote. Polling cards will be sent out and voting will be at polling stations as for normal elections. Postal voting will be available to those who are registered for it.
The Referendum Question
The referendum question will be a straight “yes” or “no” on the entire Plan, as mandated by Neighbourhood Planning regulations. People won’t be able to vote for or against individual policies. The question is:
“Do you want the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
If 50% or more of those voting, vote ‘yes’, the Neighbourhood Plan will come into force and become part of the Borough’s Development Plan. All the policies in the Neighbourhood Plan will direct and influence future planning decisions in our area.
If more than 50% vote ‘no’, there will be no Neighbourhood Plan at all for our area.
Having a Plan or not will not affect whether development takes place. Development will happen, whether there is a Neighbourhood Plan in place or not. If there is no Plan, none of the policies in it, which set out the type of development that is in keeping with our area’s character and where it should go, and the importance of the community being consulted, will have any effect. Future planning decisions will instead be based on the Borough’s policies and national guidance.