Voters to decide on blueprint for Mendlesham in referendum

Village Focus - Mendlesham  Pictured: Village sign
Village Focus - Mendlesham Pictured: Village sign
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Mendlesham’s “homegrown” plan for the future is soon to be put to a village vote.

A referendum will be held on March 2 on a neighbourhood plan which will help to shape developments for the next 15 years.

The question voters will be asked is: “Do you want Mid Suffolk District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Mendlesham to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

The council calculates that 1142 people are entitled to vote. For the vote to be decisive, at least 50 per cent of those eligible must vote, and more half must be in favour if the plan is to be confirmed.

As in a general or district council election, the polling station - in the Old Schoolrooms in Old Market Street - will be open from 7am-10pm and postal and proxy voting will be allowed.

The district council has capped the sum that can be spent on holding the referendum at £2429.

It has been more than four years since the first neighbourhood plan meetings were held and the steering group leader since then has been former parish councillor Terry Moore. “Now all we want is for people to get out and vote on March 2,” he said.

Mr Moore said that rather than call in professionals to prepare the plan - which was described as “an extremely well written, easy to read document” by a planning expert who conducted a final review - the steering group had involved residents at all stages and had kept the village aware of its progress.

Consequently he was confident that the final document - which anticipates the village growing by around 75 homes in the next 15 years - would reflect the views of most people living in Mendlesham. “The plan tries to maintain Mendlesham as a rural village. We don’t want to become a town,“ he said.

“The majority of people like Mendlesham as it is. They don’t want it to grow at a tremendous rate and outstrip our services. They like the peace and the quiet.”

For full details of the plan, go to www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/mendleshamnp. Anyone not on the electorial register has until Tuesday (February 14) to contact the council’s registration officer to qualify for a vote.