Ringwood residents will be invited to take part in a referendum which will decide whether the Ringwood neighbourhood development plan will be used to assess planning applications in the area. 

The neighbourhood development plan contains policies for the use of land in Ringwood Parish. 

The question which will be asked in the Referendum, which is on Thursday, July 4, is: "Do you want New Forest District Council and New Forest National Park Authority to use the neighbourhood plan for Ringwood to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”  

Residents will be asked to vote either "yes" or "no" to this question.  

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If more than half of those voting in the referendum vote ‘yes’ to the question above, then the Neighbourhood Plan must be ‘made’ (adopted) by New Forest District Council and New Forest National Park Authority, and the neighbourhood plan will be part of both planning authorities’ development plans.

This referendum comes after Ringwood Town Council decided to produce a neighbourhood plan in 2018, and a number of public consultations were undertaken between 2021 - 2023 on the draft neighbourhood plan.

Work on the Ringwood neighbourhood development plan has been overseen locally by a group of town councillors and community representatives. The initial pre-submission neighbourhood plan was published in February 2023 for public consultation.Salisbury Journal: Ringwood residents invited to take part in referendum to determine use of neighbourhood plan.

An independent examiner was appointed, and his report was received in February 2024. The report concluded that the Ringwood plan met the basic conditions and other legal requirements, subject to modifications.

Where a neighbourhood plan is given consent by local people, they also benefit from 15 per cent to 25 per cent of the community infrastructure levy revenues arising from the development that takes place in their area.

The plan, its supporting documents, and further details on eligibility to vote can be viewed on NFDC’s website at newforest.gov.uk/ringwoodplan.