A PLAN which will affect how Whitchurch looks for years to come has been given the thumbs up by council chiefs.

The Whitchurch Neighbourhood Plan (WNP) was put before a Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) cabinet meeting on October 10, where it was recommended by councillors for approval.

The Neighbourhood Plan had already received the thumbs up from residents of the town, who unanimously voted for the new plan to be implemented with 92.71 per cent of the 1,096 people who voted in the referendum on September 14 agreeing BDBC should adopt it.

The question asked at the referendum was: “Do you want Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Whitchurch to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

Cllr John Izett said at the meeting: “I think it is fantastic and the people of Whitchurch have worked fantastically well and there has been a great level of support. It is something to the add to the long history of Whitchurch.”

The plan outlines what kind of development the town needs in the future and where it should go.

Cllr Mark Ruffell said at the meeting: “I would like to congratulate the local community of Whitchurch in creating this plan as it is significant.

"92 per cent of residents voted in favour of this plan which shows tremendous support.”

Cllr Ruffell added in the report presented to cabinet: “I highly commend all of the hard work completed over recent years by the local community to get the plan to this stage. Neighbourhood Planning enables local communities to have a real say over the future of their area and ensure that development meets their needs.”

The final stage of the process is approval at a meeting of BDBC’s full council.

The cabinet report reads: “In light of the referendum result (more than 50 per cent of the votes cast are in favour of the plan), the WNP should be ‘made’ by the council.

“The WNP will be used in the determination of planning applications that fall within the parish of Whitchurch.

"Its effectiveness will be monitored annually and the need to review the WNP in due course will be considered as part of this process.”

Full council next meets on Thursday, 26 October.