A referendum surrounding Ringwood's neighbourhood plan was held on the same day as the general election - and the results are in.

A neighbourhood development plan contains policies for the use of land in a designated neighbourhood area.  The designated Neighbourhood Plan Area is the whole of Ringwood Parish.

On July 4, 83.2 per cent of those voting in the referendum voted in favour of the plan.

In 2018, Ringwood Town Council decided to produce a neighbourhood development plan and a number of public consultations were undertaken from 2021 - 2023 on the draft neighbourhood plan.

READ MORE: Ringwood residents will vote on use of Neighbourhood development plan

Work on the Ringwood plan has been overseen locally by a steering group of town councillors and community representatives. The initial pre-submission neighbourhood plan was published in February 2023 for public consultation.

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.

New Forest District CouncilNew Forest District Council (Image: Newsquest)

New Forest District Council (NFDC) and the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) considered the recommendations and modifications contained in the examiner’s report at their respective meetings of May 13, 2024 (NFDC) and May 21, 2024 (NPA).

The planning authorities agreed that the legal requirements and basic conditions had been met.

As a result of more than half of voters voting "yes", the neighbourhood plan must now be 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 means that the plan will be used in the determination of planning applications for Ringwood Parish. 

Town Mayor, Cllr Rae Frederick said: The approval of the Ringwood Neighbourhood Plan is a remarkable achievement, and I would like to thank the dedicated councillors and volunteers from the local community who generously contributed so much of their time to make this happen. The Plan will serve as a blueprint for a sustainable and prosperous future, ensuring that Ringwood remains a wonderful place to live, work, and visit."

Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee, Cllr John Haywood, added: "We are thrilled with the positive response from the community. This Plan reflects the collective vision and aspirations of Ringwood’s residents and sets a clear direction for future development of the town."

The plan, its supporting documents can be viewed on NFDC’s website at newforest.gov.uk/ringwoodplan