The residents of Helsby have voted overwhelmingly in favour of adopting a new Neighbourhood Plan.

A steering group of residents and parish councillors have been working together to produce a neighbourhood plan for Helsby.

This is a planning policy document that will help to shape the future development of the village. There has been extensive consultation with local residents in 2014 and 2015 at every stage of the preparation of the plan, and this has shaped the final document.

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In August 2015 the Helsby Neighbourhood Plan and supporting documents were submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council by the steering group on behalf of Helsby Parish Council.

At the referendum held last Thursday (May 5), the residents of Helsby voted that Cheshire West and Chester Council adopt the Neighbourhood Plan by the following majority: Yes 911 votes; No 83 votes. The turnout was 25.8%.

What the new Helsby Community Sports Club will look like
What the new Helsby Community Sports Club will look like

The steering group left the following message on the parish council website: “Many thanks to all of the residents who made the effort to vote.”

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The Neighbourhood Plan sets out developments in sport, housing, employment and the environment.

In the run-up to the referendum, parish council chairman Terry O’Neill said the main objective was to make sure the area doesn’t get overdeveloped and as part of that, the steering group included things people want to keep such as a new community sports club.

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While final decisions will still be made by CWaC, the framework ‘will give local people the power to decide where new housing should go, how employment, retail and leisure facilities should develop and how the village should change’.

Cllr Brian Clarke, Cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, said: “Neighbourhood plans aim to give local people a greater say about what happens in their area and provide a vision for the future, so that it becomes a better place to be, now and for future generations.”