Residents will get the chance to vote on the new neighbourhood plan
- Credit: Archant
Residents in Huntingdon will go to the polls next month to vote in the neighbourhood plan referendum.
Those living in Huntingdon East ward will also be asked to take part in election of a town councillor for the ward.
Both votes will be taking place on September 19.
To vote in the referendum and by-election, residents of Huntingdon must be registered to vote in local government elections and be 18 or over on the day of the poll. Anyone not already registered to vote must do so by September 3 and can apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Poll cards are being delivered for these polls and polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm.
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Speaking to the Hunts Post last month, Cllr Tom Sanderson, who chaired the town council-based group which drew up the neighbourhood plan, said: "It will put the community in the driving seat a bit more."
The plan, which looks into areas including development and green spaces, has been submitted to an independent examiner and, after modifications, can now go to the vote. It will be used to influence future planning applications.
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Voters will be asked a single question: "Do you want Huntingdonshire District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Huntingdon to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"
Cllr Sanderson said the plan would also bring a bigger share of the building levy imposed on developers, with money going into a pot for community projects.
The district council expects to cover the extra costs of holding a referendum from a £20,000 Government fund.
The plan area ranges from Hinchingbrooke in the west, to Godmanchester, which has its own plan, in the south, to the St Ives junction in the east and Sapley in the north.
It has four main objectives: to promote the town's potential for investment and the opportunities it brings, to make sure the whole community is provided for, to protect and enhance where possible distinctive local features, and to ensure the community has a transport infrastructure which is fit for purpose.
A notice of election and notice of referendum will be published this week, Huntingdonshire District Council has said, and nomination papers for the by-election are available from the elections office at Pathfinder House, in St Mary's Street, Huntingdon, , or alternatively call on 01480 388129. Nominations close at 4pm on August 22.
If you are unable to vote in person on September 19, it may be possible to apply for a postal or proxy vote. The deadline for applications to vote by post is 5pm on September 4. The deadline for applications to vote by proxy is 5pm on September 11.
Further information about the referendum and by-election can be found at: www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/elections/upcoming-elections-and-results.