Neighbourhood planning is new. As the first plans reach the referendum stage, they are being scrutinised to see what lessons can be learned from them. The latest is the town of Thame in Oxfordshire.
Thame (population 11,000) began its Neighbourhood Plan around the same time as Faversham, in October 2011. In March 2013 the plan, and the way it was carried out, were deemed ‘exemplary’ by the independent inspector. The referendum was held on 2 May, alongside the local elections, with a turnout of just under 40%. The plan was voted in with a 75% majority (2779 for, 855 against).
Details can be found on the Thame town council’s website. Many of the documents are location-specific, but the Neighbourhood Plan Examiner’s Report and the Consultation Statement December 2012 make interesting reading for anyone involved in a Neighbourhood Plan.