Town agrees vision for development

Referendum
Referendum
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Penwortham has voted ‘yes’ to new policy that will help secure future development of the town

More than 90.2 per cent of people who voted in last week’s referendum were in favour of adopting the Neighbourhood Plan (NDP) for Penwortham.

Steve Caswell of Penwortham Town Council

Steve Caswell of Penwortham Town Council

The 37-page document was drawn up by a steering group from Penwortham Town Council, following consultation with residents. Key parts include new policies asking for 10 per cent of each new development to provide housing for retired people and at least 60 per cent of Middleforth’s shopping area given over to retail uses.

Steve Caswell, Penwortham town manager, said: “We are delighted in Penwortham that the NDP has been passed and will now be adopted by South Ribble Council as part of the local planning system. This means new developments in Penwortham will be built how the people of Penwortham have asked that they be built.”

The result also means 25 per cent of the Community Infrastructure Levy from new developments - up to £1.8m - will go directly to Penwortham Town Council, to be spent entirely within the town itself.

But critics have questionned the low turn-out of 15.27 per cent, and the cost of a referedum. South Ribble Council which ran the referendum, said the cost was £3,397.86 and was met by Central Government.

Mr Caswell said: “It is government policy to hold a referendum to adopt the plan as part of the planning system which is what we had to do. The turnout was as was expected for this kind of referendum but the 90 per cent in favour was a great result for us.”