Residents vote in favour of Budleigh Salterton Neighbourhood Plan at September referendum

Residents of the small coastal town of Budleigh Salterton turned out in force to vote at a referendum held in Budleigh on 6 September 2017 to decide the future of a Neighbourhood Plan for their parish. Turnout for the event was excellent with 1395 residents (31.3% of those eligible to vote) choosing to attend and the plan was voted through by 94.7% of attendees, which was an exceptionally high result.

The plan sets out policies for the future of Budleigh Salterton, which is located in East Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the southern part of East Devon. The plan will be used to help inform future decisions about development and planning applications.

The Neighbourhood Plan was created by a steering group made up of members of the town council, local amenity groups and individuals from the wider community. Production of the Plan commenced in August 2015 and the steering group worked extremely hard to engage with their local community and to address some contentious local issues.

These issues included the need to protect local green space, promotion of high quality design in new development, retention of local services and facilities and the protection of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Plan provides local policies and proposals that meet local needs and aspirations and will be used, alongside the East Devon Local Plan, to determine planning applications. 

The question posed at the September referendum, and to which voters said yes, was: “Do you want East Devon District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Budleigh Salterton to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

Councillor Mark Williamson, East Devon District Council’s lead councillor for Neighbourhood Planning, said:

“I warmly welcome the news from Budleigh Salterton following the first Neighbourhood Plan referendum held in any East Devon town. The strong support of the plan highlights the excellent work by those responsible. The Plan will help to shape the future of this much-loved town for years to come.”

More information about the Budleigh Salterton Neighbourhood Plan can be found on the East Devon website.