Grovehill residents vote in neighbourhood plan in referendum

Grovehill residents have voted in a new neighbourhood plan to help determine how it grows in the future.

Wednesday, 21st February 2018, 5:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st February 2018, 6:29 pm
The plan stipulates what kind of development would be best for Henry Wells Square

Hundreds of voters headed to the polling booth last Thursday (February 15).

Residents were asked on the ballot paper whether they wanted Dacorum Borough Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Grovehill Future to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.

The Neighbourhood Plan sets out the potential redevelopment of the estate up until 2030.

The plan has been in the pipeline for five years, and puts focus on enabling growth on the estate, utilising underused spaces, as well as improvements to Henry Wells Square and blocks of garages.

In March last year the plans were submitted to Dacorum Borough Council before being scrutinised by an independent inspector.

After some very minor amendments, a referendum date was finally set.

And for campaigners behind the plan, it was well worth the wait.

There was a 77 per cent yes vote, with 657 out of 852 votes agreeing to adopt the neighbourhood plan, with 194 voting against and one spoiled ballot paper. The turnout was 15.36 per cent out of the 5,548 eligible voters.

Mike Devlin is the chairman of the Grovehill Future Forum steering group which put together the plan.

He told the Gazette: “Given the subject I was reasonably happy with the turnout, and I am very happy with the positive result that was posted.

“We have put so much effort into this over the years. We will be meeting in the next week to think of some of the smaller things involved with the plan that we could put into action before any major developments.

“This has all been about creating an extra planning document that means our conditions have to be met.”