The minister responsible for planning has shown his support for neighbourhood plans ahead of a referendum in Uppingham.
Town residents today (Thursday) have the chance to vote on whether or not to accept a proposed neighbourhood plan for their area.
The document would act as a guide to help Rutland County Council determine planning applications for the next decade.
Minister for Planning and Development Nick Boles (Con) has given his backing to the Uppingham plan and all like it.
Quoted in the plan itself, Mr Boles said: “Voting no for a neighbourhood plan does not mean a vote for no development, but for no control over development.”
People can vote at Uppingham Town Hall in High Street East from 7am to 10pm. The plan can be seen in full online at www.uppinghamneighbourhoodplan.info.
Anyone living in the parish of Uppingham, along with a small part of Ayston, will be eligible to vote.
Should the majority of residents vote in favour, the plan will be adopted by Rutland County Council and will be used as a guide to help determine future planning applications in the area until 2026.
The plan has been drawn up over two years by a task group from Uppingham Town Council.
The aim of it is to address key issues in the town, such as deciding the best sites to propose for new housing and employment, setting out planning policies to guide all forms of new development, and shaping the design and appearance of new buildings.
Residents and businesses have been involved throughout, and a final draft was published after a six-week public consultation.
The plan has a number of key objectives, including protecting Uppingham’s heritage, strengthening community spirit, improving the town’s retail offering and attracting public and private sector investment.
The plan also aims to help create jobs and add an extra 170 homes at least, with new developments including green spaces.