Cringleford blazes trail with referendum over future of village
Hundreds of people headed to the ballot box for a vital vote which will shape the future of a village on the outskirts of Norwich.
Cringleford Parish Council blazed a pioneering trail in devising a neighbourhood development plan as part of the government's Front Runner's Project, which is designed to give people more of a voice about planning matters in their area.
The plan, thought to be the first of its kind in Norfolk, looks at the village to 2026, proposing where 1,200 new homes allocated under the joint core strategy - a blueprint for homes and jobs in and around Norwich - could be built.
And, on Friday night, a referendum was held, with villagers asked to vote on whether they want South Norfolk Council to use the neighbourhood plan to help the district council decide on planning applications in the area.
There were 799 votes, with 741 voting in favour of the parish plan. Fifty-seven voted against it, while one paper was spoilt.
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That was a 30pc turnout and meant the plan will now become part of the district council's planning framework.
Anne Barnes, clark to Cringleford Parish Council, said: 'Cringleford Parish Council are thrilled at the turnout and the excellent support they have received from the parish for the plan.'
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Cringleford joins just a handful of parish across the country which have adopted such plans. The parish council has said the aim of it is to ensure new development is sympathetic to the existing village and the concerns of villagers.
In particular it seeks to ensure that overall housing numbers are keep close to 1,200.
The full Cringleford Neighbourhood Development Plan is available to view at www.cringlefordparishcouncil.gov.uk
Another community which is looking to bring in a neighbourhood plan is Sprowston. That plan has been approved by an independent planning examiner and is due to go to a referendum in March.