Residents of Wilmslow have voted to back their neighbourhood plan.
The plan was put to referendum on Thursday, 10th October, with 89% of people who voted saying 'Yes' Cheshire East Council should officially adopt the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan.
The turnout was 17.9% with 3109 votes in favour, 367 against and 19 spoiled papers.
Brian Donohue, Chairman of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group said "I am obviously delighted that the vote was in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan and that Wilmslow now has a local planning document in force which, among other advantages gives immediate extra protection to our green spaces and heritage areas such as Wilmslow Three Parks and and Lindow Moss.
"In addition it sets out a number of aspirations for the development of the town centre. These should act as a catalyst for ideas and investment which I am sure will be pursued by Wilmslow Town Council."
One other benefit is that Wilmslow will receive a larger share of monies to be paid out for local use from future housing planning applications (Community Infrastructure Levy) now it has a neighbourhood plan."
Brian added "It has been a great example of what can be achieved by a volunteer group which,over the three year period, has consulted and listened to the views and opinions of the residents of Wilmslow and translated these into the final document.
"I want to thank everybody who has participated and responded to the surveys but in particular to the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group members for their many hours of dedicated effort in producing the document and achieving the result and to Wilmslow Town Council which initiated the project and supported the group throughout."
Martin Watkins, Chairman Wilmslow Town Council, said "I would personally like to thank all of the volunteers who have spent much of the last 3 years working to bring together this excellent document, the enthusiasm and skill involved has been immense. Almost 90% of those who cast a vote were in favour of the content of a plan that will ensures that the Planning Authority have a statutory requirement to consider its content when dealing with all planning matters relating to Wilmslow.
"In addition the Plan will now help direct the future work of the Town Council and we look forward to continuing to work with volunteers ,the Principle Authority and other bodies in influencing the delivery of the Plan over the coming years. Finally I would like to thank those who voted and in doing so gave the plan the necessary mandate to shape the future of Wilmslow."
An independent group of Wilmslow residents have spent the past three years putting together The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan which consists of planning policies and aspirations on the development of the town. There are also policies on the natural and built environment, infrastructure, housing and employment and on the town centre core. Additionally, the plan identifies key sites which could be developed and specifies how and under what circumstances these developments would be supported.
The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan will become a planning policy document which is considered when determining planning applications in the town, alongside the Cheshire East Local Plan and national planning policies.
The plan can be viewed on the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan website.
Image: Artist's impression of how the area outside The Rex could be developed.