In a resounding display of community engagement and democratic spirit, the Totnes Neighbourhood Plan has been overwhelmingly approved by the residents of Totnes. The results of the vote, held on 16 November 2023, reveal a staggering 91.55% majority in favour of adopting the plan.
Despite challenging weather conditions on the voting day, a total of 1,066 residents participated in the vote, representing 17% of the local electorate. The impressive turnout underscores the significance of the Neighbourhood Plan for Totnes and demonstrates the residents’ commitment to shaping the future of their community.
The Neighbourhood Plan, a collaborative effort that involved extensive community consultations and input, addresses key issues such as housing, transportation, and environmental sustainability. The overwhelming support received in the vote signals a shared vision for the future of Totnes and a united commitment to fostering a vibrant and sustainable community.
Key highlights of the vote include:
- Total Votes Cast: 1,066
- Percentage in Favour of the Neighbourhood Plan: 91.55%
- Voter Turnout: 17% of the Electorate
Cllr Emily Price, Mayor of Totnes said: “I’d like to thank all residents who participated in the vote, as well as those who contributed to the development of the Neighbourhood Plan. The collaborative effort reflects the strength of community bonds and the shared commitment to building a thriving and inclusive Totnes.
“The Plan for Totnes gives our community a much greater say in shaping the areas in which we live and work and in pushing for the kind of development we want and need in the future. It highlights things like the need for an emphasis on providing social or affordable homes for local people in new developments as well as the importance of protecting the historic character of the town. The Totnes Neighbourhood Plan will be a ‘significant material consideration’ in the determination of planning applications. It will help protect what’s important in our town, including our town identity, the opportunity to be a model for sustainability and innovation and the aspiration that we are an even better place to live or do business.”
South Hams District Council is now required to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan within a defined time period (8 weeks). Once ‘made’ (adopted) by the local planning authority, the Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of the Development Plan for the plan area and will be used alongside the local plan to determine planning applications.
The Neighbourhood Plan was put together by town councillors and a wide variety of public working groups and public consultation events to make sure it encompasses the aspirations and hopes of all the community. It will protect and nurture the town’s precious heritage whilst adapting to the needs of a changing world, particularly recognising the ‘climate emergency’ and the way we act to protect Totnes for future generations. Its vision for Totnes is that:
- As Totnes changes and develops over the coming decades its identity must not be lost;
- It will continue to be a model of sustainability, innovation, inclusivity and creativity;
- It will become an even better place for residents of all ages, visitors and businesses.