Haddenham says YES to neighbourhood plan

Haddenham plan campaigner Keith Milmer
Haddenham plan campaigner Keith Milmer

Haddenham has voted a resounding yes to its neighbourhood plan which will be used to guide development in the village.

The turnout for the vote was was 51.3 per cent and 86% voted in favour of the plan.

Keith Milmer, who led the yes campaign, said there had been ‘determined’ efforts by developer Lightwood Strategic to persuade residents to vote against the plan.

But he added: “A small but significant group of residents also campaigned for a no vote, which is perfectly reasonable in a democratic process of course.

“The most important issue for me was ensuring that debate among the local community remained focused on the planning issues and not allowed to deteriorate into personal attacks, simply because individuals held differing views.

“Some campaign literature sought to raise question marks about the integrity of the neighbourhood plan team, and this was highly undesirable.”

He added: “Haddenham is now a very large village but it maintains a close-knit community spirit. So it was very important that robust debate did not damage relationships going forward. Now that the referendum is behind us, I hope sincerely that this has been achieved.”

The Neighbourhood Plan will help shape the number, style and location of new housing in Haddenham as well as guiding future community projects.

Once the Plan had been approved by an independent inspector and AVDC, and offered up to Haddenham residents in the referendum, the parish council had to remain impartial as a corporate body.

This newspaper has contacted Lightwood Strategic for a comment.