A Local Referendum over the proposed Datchet Neighbourhood Plan will take place within the Datchet Parish on Thursday 4 May – the same day as the Local Elections.
Under the Localism Act 2011, communities can help shape development in their areas through producing a planning document, known as a Neighbourhood Plan. Adopted Neighbourhood Plans become part of the Development Plan and the policies they contain are used to help decide planning applications.
The proposed Datchet Neighbourhood Plan has been produced by local people on the Datchet Neighbourhood Plan group, on behalf of the parish council, and an independent planning examiner has confirmed that (with some modifications) it should proceed to referendum.
With the formal Local Referendum period starting today (Wednesday 22 March), residents can view the proposed plan, independent examiner’s report and associated referendum documents here on the Royal Borough’s website.
A hard copy of the specified documents can also be inspected at the following locations during their usual opening hours:
- Maidenhead Library, St Ives Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1QU
- Datchet Library, Montagu House, 8 Horton Road, Datchet, SL3 9ER
- Datchet Parish Council Office, 1 Allen Way, Datchet, SL3 9HR
- The Bridge Café, The Green, Datchet, SL3 9EH
The simple yes/no referendum question will be: “Do you want the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Datchet to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
In line with national legislation, if more than 50 per cent of participants vote “yes”, then the Royal Borough will be asked to formally adopt the plan. Eligibility and other requirements to vote in a Local Referendum are the same as for the Local Elections. The total potential electorate for this Local Referendum is around 3,500.
Voters will have the usual range of options for casting their ballot – in person, by post, or by proxy vote. The referendum documents will not be available at the polling stations, so voters should inspect these before arriving if they choose to vote at a polling station.
The last date for registering to vote is Monday 17 April at 11.59pm. Registering to vote is easiest online via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Local Referendum polling cards for those already registered to vote in the parish will be dispatched shortly.
Due to a national legal change, for the first time you will need to show photo ID in order to vote at a polling station. A wide range of photo ID will be accepted, including passports, driving licences and cards with a PASS Mark. The Resident Advantage Card is not an accepted form of ID for voting.
If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, you can apply by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. Visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID or call 0800 328 0280 to find out more and apply.
The deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April. The deadline for receiving new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy or emergency proxies) is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
Further voter information and application forms to vote by post or proxy are available at https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote Paper copies of application forms can also be requested by contacting the local Elections Helpline via 01628 683868 or firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about eligibility to vote, visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk