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Ringwood Neighbourhood Plan approved as 83% of voters give their backing





RESIDENTS have voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of the Ringwood Neighbourhood Plan following a referendum last week.

The document, which will help to shape the future of the town, will be used by New Forest District Council and New Forest National Park Authority when it decides on planning applications.

The vote, held at the same time as the general election, saw 83% of residents in favour of the plan.

Residents voted in favour of the Ringwood plan
Residents voted in favour of the Ringwood plan

The results show 5,368 people voted yes, while 1,084 (17%) said no to the plan. Turnout was 58.93%.

Ringwood Town Council has welcomed the adoption of the plan, branding it a “significant achievement in shaping the town’s future development, laying the foundation for a vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive future”.

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."

Highlights of the plan include affordable housing, with priority given to smaller dwellings; sustainable practices, such as improving energy efficiency standards; preserving the town’s unique character and heritage; and increased funding.

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 document was discussed at a meeting of New Forest District Council on Monday, with members unanimously agreeing to adopt the plan.

Cllr Jack Davies said he was “very pleased” with the result and added: “Generally speaking the response from the people of Ringwood has been fantastic.

“It is a very good neighbourhood plan and I know Lymington and Pennington will be looking to see how it progresses as we have a very similar plan coming up.”

Cllr Steve Rippon-Swaine said the plan was “a culmination of a lot of hard work by a considerable number of people” which he believed had one of the highest voter turnouts for a neighbourhood plan.

Cllr Malcolm Wade explained Hythe and Dibden had been the first New Forest community to put together a neighbourhood plan and added: “I am very glad to see other communities following this.

“I think it is of benefit to all New Forest residents to have a plan.”



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