Residents have voted in favour of a Wallingford Neighbourhood Plan which aims to push sustainable developments, good health care services and encourage public transport use.

Five years in the making, the Wallingford Neighbourhood Plan has evolved from hundreds of comments made by residents, and through thousands of hours of work by volunteers.

Volunteers behind the plan say it is a forward-looking plan, developed by the community with policies to guide development, and improve the quality of life for everyone now and in the future.

On May 6, residents voted in favour of the new plan for Wallingford. More than 2000 people voted in favour of the plan and there were 232 votes against it.

The plan will give Wallingford more control over the planning of its neighbourhood. The new plan aims to keep new developments sustainable and ensure that new sites scheduled for development avoid flood risk areas.

It aims to improve facilities in the town and the overall visitor experience and tourism, it also has a clause to ensure there are good healthcare services available to the local community.

It is also a policy of the new plan to encourage the use of public transport and car alternatives such as cycling and walking; however, the plans also recognise that for some journey’s cars will still be needed.

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Wallingford town councillor Katharine Keats-Rohan explained the council is pleased the plan has passed referendum and by such a ‘convincing’ majority.

Ms Keats-Rohan said the neighbourhood plan is now something that will have to be considered by the planning authority.

She said: “It is also about the look of the town and how we can enjoy it, so we want to make sure there are ways we can be sustainable. We need to reduce car use, but that will mean we will need to have decent cycle ways and walkways.”

As a historian Ms Keats-Rohan is also pleased the plans protect the conservation area and also the design of houses.

She said: “We are not against 21st century design but it does have to be appropriate and in the right place.”

On May 22, the Wallingford Neighbourhood Plan will go to the South Oxfordshire District Council to be formally adopted.

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