Voters say 'yes' in UK's first planning referendum

Cumbrian voters go to the polls (7am) in an historic referendum in Cumbria. People in the Upper Eden area will be the first in the country to hold a planning referendum to decide if they want a greater say in how their community develops.

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Cumbria votes yes in historic referendum

Voters in Cumbria have said yes in the country's first neighbourhood planning referendum.

The Upper Eden area, around Brough and Kirkby Stephen, went to the polls yesterday to decide if residents wanted to have more of a say over local planning decisions.

Ninety per cent of those who voted supported the plan.

Votes in favour: 1,310

Votes against: 138

Total Turnout: 1,452 (33.67%)

The vote was part of the government's localism agenda to give more power to local communities and cut some of the red tape surrounding planning decisions.

The neighbourhood plan, drawn up locally, will allow the people of Upper Eden to decide where homes should be built and whether redundant farm buildings can be converted.

The plan will now go to Eden District Council and will influence any planning decisions in the area.

“I offer my congratulations to the Upper Eden Planning Group on a successful result. I am delighted that the residents of Upper Eden have decided by a significant majority to endorse the Upper Eden Community Plan. This is the first plan in the country. I do hope that local people will now submit planning applications and we look forward to dealing with them."

– Gordon Nicholson, Leader of Eden District Council

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