Do you live in South Woodham Ferrers or Writtle and have thoughts about how your local area can be improved? Is it important for you to see better parks and green areas? Or perhaps you want to see more sustainable housing in your community? Now is the chance for residents in these two areas to have their say by taking part in an upcoming planning referendum for their neighbourhood.

The referendums for South Woodham Ferrers’ and Writtle’s Neighbourhood Plans are being held on Thursday 21 October 2021.

What’s a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood plans are when town and parish councils, or other organisations, take the lead in making development decisions for their local area, that fit with the community’s needs. This can include creating development plans, community plans and planning orders. The City Council will help them to create the plans, and make decisions at key stages.

South Woodham Ferrers Town Council and Writtle Parish Council have developed neighbourhood plans which they think will benefit the local community – and now residents get the chance to vote on them.

South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan

The plan for South Woodham has been created by the town council and covers the whole town. It focuses on improving the town centre, movement around the town, existing and new parks and green areas, and high quality building design.

Residents that go along to vote on the 21 October will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question: “Do you want Chelmsford City Council to use the neighbourhood plan for South Woodham Ferrers to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

Writtle Neighbourhood Plan

The Writtle Neighbourhood plan, drawn up by the parish council, focuses on the environment, village character, development and transport. It also proposes principles for development for land at east Chelmsford (Warren Farm) which have already been allocated in the wider Local Plan.

Residents will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question: “Do you want Chelmsford City Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Writtle to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

What’s a Local Plan?

A Local Plan sets out the vision for future development in the borough. Chelmsford’s Local Plan was adopted in May 2020. It helps planning applications and other planning decisions be decided and is a local guide to what can be built where.

Who can vote

You will only be able to vote in either of these planning referendums if you are registered to vote in either the South Woodham Ferrers Town Council area, or Writtle Parish Council area. You’ll have received a poll card already if you’re registered to vote in either referendum.

If you are not currently registered to vote, and wish to vote in one of these referendums, you need to register on the GOV.UK website by midnight on Tuesday 5 October 2021.

Find out more about the upcoming referendums, including reading the South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan or reading the Writtle Neighbourhood Plan. Get involved on Thursday 21 October by visiting your nearest polling station to vote.

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