Petworth neighbourhood plan was backed by the people in the town at the referendum held last Thursday at the Leconfield Hall.
The results of the polling showed that 77 per cent of all those who voted said ‘yes’ and agreed that the plan should be used in all future planning applications in Petworth over the next 15 years, with 662 voting in favour and 191 against.
After the results were announced Chris Kemp, chairman of Petworth Town Council, which led the work of the neighbourhood plan, said: “We are absolutely thrilled by the result, which is a major achievement and vitally important for the future of new housing development in Petworth. By voting in favour of the neighbourhood plan, our parishioners have, for the first time ever, taken control of how development happens and their elected town council has a huge say in the outcome of local planning applications.
“It also means we get to work more closely with the South Downs National Park Authority who have supported us throughout the process and totally understand the environmental and wellbeing sensitivities of Petworth’s setting in a national park.
“I would like to thank the people of Petworth for their support not just at the referendum but over the last three years for providing the valuable feedback necessary to create the plan. The next stage is to form a new working group dedicated to collaborating with the various landowners and statutory bodies to make the plan a reality and better serve our growing community.”
Douglas Cooper, neighbourhood plan steering group chairman, added: “I would like to thank the 30-strong team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to facilitate the process, the South Downs National Park Authority and our planning consultants Nexus for their guidance and support throughout. Most importantly, thanks are due to the residents and businesses who all participated wholeheartedly in every stage.”