A town wide Referendum was held on Thursday 26th January 2023 where the local community was asked to vote on the following question: ‘Do you want Lancaster City Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Carnforth to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’ 476 (87%) of those voting were in favour of the plan with 67 voting ‘No’. The turnout was 13%.
Once a Neighbourhood Plan is complete, a town or village wide referendum is held to ask all residents what they think of the proposed plan. If more than 50% of people in the area who vote in the Referendum are in favour then the Neighbourhood Plan will be used to decide future planning applications. Neighbourhood Plans give local people the choice to plan for their own area by developing policies that will guide and shape development in the future.
Since April 2018, the Carnforth Neighbourhood Plan Working Group, Chaired by Councillor Malcolm Watkins, has worked alongside the local community to produce the Plan, which set out planning policies on new homes, heritage and tourism, the local economy, parks and open spaces, traffic management and tackling air pollution and climate change.
Commenting on the result, Councillor Watkins said ‘We are immensely proud of our Town and our Neighbourhood Plan provides the means for a new approach to its development providing our community with greater control over its future. The CNP has been prepared during a time of unprecedented, extraordinary and rapid change, locally and globally that has led to new ways of thinking about our homes, working and leisure environments, and has highlighted the importance of our town and surrounding area to the wider district. I am grateful to my colleagues on the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group, our Town Clerk, Bob Bailey, planning consultants, Troy Planning & Design, Lancaster City Council and, especially, all those who live and work in the town who have played their part in shaping the long-term future of our beloved town’. The plan will be officially ‘made’ following a meeting of Lancaster City Council on 15th March. Meanwhile, the Town Council will set about implementing an action plan and monitoring delivery of the Plan’s policies and aspirations for the next decade and beyond.