A NEIGHBOURHOOD plan for Twyford has won support of most villagers.

A referendum gave 83 per cent approval to the Twyford Neighbourhood Plan which the parish council has drawn up to control development.

The public vote followed years of preparation and several drafts, after environmental appraisal and independent examination.

The referendum question was a “take it or leave it” choice for the residents. Did they want the plan to be used in determining planning applications in Twyford in the future or not? Voters turned out in good numbers and voted yes by a large majority, said the parish council.

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The plan contains the usual list of topics but as a parish in the South Downs National Park, natural beauty comes top of the list for protection.

Twyfordians value their vibrant community, so that too has to be safeguarded and provided for in the plan. One of the great problems is the cost of housing, which means that people born and brought up in the village are priced out. So that objective is tackled by the plan insisting on small houses with limits on floor areas and numbers of bedrooms. There are limits on the size of extensions too. Affordable housing is to be at 50 per cent, in line with the South Downs National Park.

There is one new housing site proposed; this is for 20 houses, and it is to be in the middle of the village, next to the parish hall and doctors surgery. More car parking is to be provided as an extension to the parish hall car park. The long-term problem of flooding from the Hazeley winter bourne, seasonal stream, is to be tackled too, with help from Hampshire County Council, the city council and the landowner and the parish council hopes, from the National Park.

Twyford is a working village and provision is made for further growth of the local businesses and employers.

The plan area is bordered by Colden Common, Shawford, Compton and Winchester, and is designed to link to the city council’s own emerging local plan which will guide and control development until the 2030s.

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The parish council says the Twyford Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared by local people for local people and that once adopted, it will have real teeth in deciding planning applications.

Twyford’s is only the second neighbourhood plan to pass its referendum in Winchester district (Denmead is the other); the South Downs National Park has over 50 now adopted.

Chris Corcoran, chairman of the working group and a parish councillor, paid tribute to the dedication and the perseverance of his team: “This has been hard work over a long period but the vote in favour makes it all worthwhile”.

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