Residents in Bridge to vote on proposed neighbourhood plan

A hand putting a polling card in a ballot box

A referendum on whether to adopt a neighbourhood plan for the parish of Bridge is to be held next month.

The vote, which will take place on Thursday 28 March, will be open to registered local government electors living in the village.

The question that will be asked is: “Do you want Canterbury City Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Bridge to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

The proposed neighbourhood plan, which has been given the green light by a planning inspector, needs to gain the approval of the majority of voters (more than 50% of those who vote in the referendum) for it to be ‘made’, or put into force, by Canterbury City Council and become part of the district’s Local Plan where it will be used to help decide planning applications in the parish.

Poll cards should be hitting the doormats of electors living in the village later this week.

Voters in Bridge have until 12 March to register to vote, have until 13 March to apply for a postal vote or change an existing arrangement and have until 5pm on 20 March to apply for someone to vote on their behalf, known as a proxy vote.

The polling station at Bridge Village Hall, 28 High Street, Bridge, will be open from 7am to 10pm and the count will take place there as soon as the polls close.

The government’s relatively new rules on voter identification will apply to the referendum. You can check what forms of ID are acceptable here or apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) here. The deadline for VAC applications is 5pm on 20 March.

If approved, decisions on planning applications will be made using both the local plan and the neighbourhood plan and any other material considerations.

It is important to note a neighbourhood plan does not have the power to stop all housing development that is not already contained within it and the planning system is not normally concerned with issues around land ownership.

For more information on the referendum, please visit our website.

You can view a copy of the draft Bridge Neighbourhood Plan at St Peter’s Church foyer, High Street, Bridge during office hours or online here.

Published: 20 February 2024

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