90% YES Vote in Neighbourhood Plan Referendum
Residents in the Wolverton & Greenleys Parish voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Wolverton Town Centre Neighbourhood Plan when it went to Referendum on the 30th July.
1609 votes were cast, 1452 YES votes and 153 No votes. The overall turnout was 16.74%.
We expect the plan to be “made” by Milton Keynes Council in the middle of September 2015, after which it will be used to determine all planning applications within the Town Centre area.
Wolverton Town Centre Neighbourhood Plan Referendum
After over three years work, the Wolverton Town Centre Neighbourhood Plan goes to public referendum on Thursday 30th July 2015.
All eligible electors within the Wolverton & Greenleys Town Council area should by now have received by post a polling card for the referendum vote.
If you have not had one and believe you should have one, please contact Milton Keynes Council elections office now on 01908 254706.
How to find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan and Referendum:
We’re keen for people to be able know as much as possible about the plan before they vote on the 30th July. To find out more you can:
Watch the VOTE YES Campaign Film: at http://bit.ly/1KcVhUL
Look at the information on Milton Keynes Council website:
Read a copy of the plan: Copies are available at Wolverton Town Hall and at Wolverton, Stony Stratford and Central Milton Keynes Libraries.
View or download a copy from the Future Wolverton website home page.
What does a ‘yes’ vote and a ‘no’ vote mean?
A ‘yes’ vote means that Milton Keynes Council must adopt the Wolverton Town Centre Neighbourhood Plan, and planning applications need to follow its policies. The Plan’s proposals will be used to guide redevelopment of the Agora site, redevelopment of the Railway Works site and issues to do with the mix of shops in the Town centre and the design of new and existing shop fronts.
A ‘no’ vote means that Milton Keynes Council will use its existing planning policies for Wolverton to guide development and decide planning applications. These policies are ten years old, and many are no longer relevant to the issues facing Wolverton Town Centre or considered achievable or desirable.
FIVE REASONS TO VOTE YES
1. This is a Community Plan
The Neighbourhood Plan is a result of over three years of consultation with local residents and businesses. It was developed by people who live and work in the area for the community, not written by consultants from outside the area or Council officers.
2. It is pro-change and development – but not at any cost!
The plan supports change in Wolverton town centre but NOT change at any price! The vast majority of local people want some redevelopment to happen, but they also want to make sure what happens next is right for Wolverton. The plan tries to make sure that development is led by community wishes.
3. It’s about keeping what’s special about Wolverton
Wolverton is a Victorian railway town with a unique history and strong sense of place. The plan seeks to preserve what’s special, whilst welcoming new design and architecture which enhances our town.
4. It’s about helping the town centre become vibrant & attractive
Attractive town centres attract customers and more customers generate more trade. Like many other town centres in the UK, Wolverton has suffered from changing shopping habits and more online shopping. But now there is also a move to people wanting a more personal shopping experience and increasingly choosing to shop locally. The plan helps by protecting the “shopping function” of the town centre; seeking to create small shop units to promote local enterprise and improve the town centre environment to make it a more attractive place to visit and shop in.
5. It’s about making Wolverton more sustainable
Wolverton can be rightly proud of local efforts to become a more sustainable community, such as local food growing and energy efficiency work on houses. The plan seeks to build upon the fantastic work already done and promote the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and bus users, renewable energy in new housing and water saving technology.
Brief summary of the seven policies in the Neighbourhood Plan
The plan has seven policies designed to facilitate the redevelopment of the Agora site and Railway Works site, support small, independent trade, conserve historic shopfronts and kick-start the regeneration of Wolverton town centre
It also has an overriding vision statement which is:
“The Neighbourhood Plan seeks to ensure that Wolverton’s centre, as the heart of the town, is a vibrant, attractive and distinctive neighbourhood with a variety of retail, commercial, cultural, and leisure uses that reflects the town’s rich and proud railway heritage and its diverse business and residential population.”
Policy W1 – The Agora Site
This policy paves the way for redevelopment of the Agora site. It specifies the sort of development the community would like to see on the Agora site, setting out the key principles including the reconnection of Radcliffe Street; a mix of retail space of modern size and standard including small shops suitable for current businesses within the Agora; housing which compliments the current housing mix in Wolverton; keep as many trees as possible; and good design in keeping with the Victorian setting.
Policy W2 – General Town Centre Development
This policy specifies what will be required of development within the wider town centre (excluding the Agora site).
Policy W3 – The Railway Works site
This policy sets out the principles that should guide any redevelopment of any part of the railway works site, whilst being clear that existing employment uses should be supported.
Policy W4 – Town Centre Diversity
The policy seeks to protect the shopping function of Wolverton Town Centre by
introducing a percentage based policy for different town centre uses.
Policy W5 – Supporting Street Markets
This policy supports the creation of a market in The Square.
Policy W6 – Supporting small, local trade
This policy enables the provision of small shops (50 m sq gross) to support small and independent businesses.
Policy W7 – Shopfronts design, signage and security
This policy is designed to conserve and enhance Victorian shopfronts in the town