Torrington and Winkleigh residents vote on local plans

North Devon Gazette

In a decision that will influence how the areas around Great Torrington and Winkleigh will be developed in the future, residents went to the polls in late June to vote on the local plans for their areas.

The plans were prepared by Great Torrington Town Council and Winkleigh Parish Council and will now be presented to Torridge Full Council in early August where a vote to ‘make’ the plans will see them come into full effect.

The plans have already been through a formal process where they were independently reviewed prior to being put forward in the referendum.

To pass through to the final stages the plans needed a simple majority of those that voted to be in favour of using the plans when deciding on future planning applications for each area.

They will eventually sit alongside the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan and be part of the consideration for planners and plans committee when deciding on whether to refuse or approve future planning applications in the locality.

Around 91% of those that voted in Winkleigh voted to approve the plan with around 83% voting in favour in Great Torrington, providing a decisive result for each locality.

The referendum is a key test as to whether the plan represents the wishes of local residents as they will be most directly affected by their future use.

The plans cover a wide range of planning considerations including the availability of affordable housing, maintaining environmental habitats and landscapes, transports and traffic issues as well as the economic development of the area.

Torridge District councillor Pete Watson, lead member for planning said: “Neighbourhood plans are an important element in helping to shape how an area will be developed in the future, what forms of development local residents would like to see encouraged and also what they would like to protect.

“I would congratulate everyone involved in bringing the process to this stage and for all those that voted to make their voice heard. As a member of the council’s plans committee, I am sure they will be of significance in our future decision making.”

Further information on the respective plans can be found at the following links for Winkleigh visit and Great Torrington visit