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Voters choose ‘yes’

The Farnham electorate has given a clear message about how it wants the town to evolve over the next 12 years with an overwhelming majority voting in favour of adopting the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.

The result of the referendum, which took place on Thursday 12 March showed that of the 7,848 people who voted, 95.5% want Waverley Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.

This is the second time voters have voted on Farnham‘s Neighbourhood Plan and comes after the original plan was revised to accommodate a new government housing target.

Councillor Carole Cockburn led on the review of the Neighbourhood Plan and says: “I am thrilled with the outcome of the referendum and would like to thank everybody who voted. Considering this was a standalone election, the turnout was excellent and is a very convincing result. People have shown us that they feel so strongly about the future of their town that they were prepared to turn out for this one-off election and have their say. I would like to pay tribute to volunteers from the Farnham Society and local residents’ associations for working so tirelessly to inform people about the referendum and for encouraging people to vote.”

The Neighbourhood Plan is an important planning document for Farnham which has been produced by the community for the community. It includes policies which aim to develop a shared vision for Farnham and to sustain local character. Importantly for many, it also states the community’s preference for new housing to be built on previously developed land.  

Commenting on the result of the referendum, Councillor John Neale, Leader of Farnham Town Council says: “This is a momentous occasion for Farnham. Having an adopted Neighbourhood Plan ensures that future development will be focused on sites for which the public has expressed a preference. The Plan should also help to safeguard our green spaces from inappropriate, speculative development.

“Everybody who accepted the invitation to take part in a Neighbourhood Plan consultation has influenced the content of the Plan. It is reassuring that we now have some certainty for the future of Farnham and that our town and communities can evolve in a way that has been chosen by the people.”

The Farnham Neighbourhood Plan will now be officially adopted by Waverley Borough Council and will very soon be used to help decide planning applications in the Farnham area.

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