Elkesley has made local history by becoming the first village in Nottinghamshire and Bassetlaw to vote in a Neighbourhood Plan following a referendum.
A Neighbourhood Plan helps to guide any kind of development in a designated area and can influence the type, design and mix of development to ensure it is right for that particular village, parish or town.
Villagers took to the polls and a total of 93.86 per cent of those who voted were in favour of using a Neighbourhood Plan for Elkesley.
Elkesley Parish Council Chairman, Neil Oldbury, said: “This is a brilliant outcome for Elkesley and we are incredibly proud to be the first village in Nottinghamshire to have a Neighbourhood Plan. This will give the community a much stronger say on what development will take place within our village and gives us added focus and justification for future projects.
“Throughout this process we have also had people come to us, who may never have spoken out before, to identify projects that benefit our community and are already in the process of coming to fruition, because of this plan.”
The number of ‘Yes’ votes were 199; the number of ‘No’ votes were 13; and there were zero number of ballot papers rejected. In total 212 residents took part in the election from an electorate of 581, which is a 36.49 per cent turn out.
Bassetlaw District Council’s ward member for Welbeck, Councillor Kevin Dukes, said: “This is a momentous occasion for the village and this result shows how hard local people are willing to work so that they may have the ability to influence decisions that will affect this locality. They have shown real commitment to engage in local politics and that should be commended.”
Former Ward Councillor and Steering Group Member, Patricia Douglas, said: “This is a really positive outcome that has allowed the community to voice their opinion about development in their area. Throughout this process, which has been ongoing for the last three years, a local vision has been created by way of extensive consultation, during which the whole community has had the opportunity to participate in and share their ideas when it comes to future development in Elkesley.”
The next referendum on a Neighbourhood Plan in Bassetlaw will take place on Thursday 3rd December in Harworth and Bircotes.