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Gillingham could have a Neighbourhood Plan if residents give it the go ahead.

Councillors agreed at North Dorset District Council’s Cabinet meeting on 29 May to go ahead with the referendum on the town’s plan.

A local referendum will take place on 12 July, with local residents going to the polls to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposals.

The plan was drawn up by local people, and agreed by the town council.

Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area. For example the plan can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built or where important green spaces might be protected.

If the plan is supported by the local referendum it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

Councillor David Walsh, North Dorset District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: ‘A tremendous amount of work has gone into shaping this plan and I thank everyone who has been involved with the project so far.

‘Residents now have the opportunity to shape their community through the Neighbourhood Plan, as modified by the independent examiner.

‘Anyone who wishes to vote, needs to ensure they are on the electoral register.’

How to vote

The referendum will be held on 12 July. You have to be registered to vote by 26 June to vote in the referendum.

Details of where residents can vote have been advised on the poll cards which have already been sent out.

To vote by post or proxy in this referendum, you will need to have filled in an application form and sent it to the Electoral Registration Officer. Postal and proxy vote application forms are available online at dorsetforyou.com/how-to-vote or by contacting the district council.

Applications to vote by post must be received by 5pm on 27 June and the postal packs will be with voters by the 1st of July. To vote by proxy, application forms should be received by 5 pm on 4 July.

The question which will be asked in the referendum is:

‘Do you want North Dorset District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for the parish of
Gillingham to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’

The referendum asks you to vote yes or no to this question.

The proposed plan and Examiner’s Report can be viewed online or at Gillingham Town Council’s Office or at Gillingham Library.


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