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Council chiefs admit Upwell neighbourhood plan role unclear without referendum

A West Norfolk village’s vision for future development will be taken into account in forthcoming planning decisions, even though it hasn’t yet been approved by villagers.

Council chiefs admit they do not know what the implications could be for schemes in Upwell, but say they are acting in line with a central government decision.

A West Norfolk Council meeting on Thursday afternoon was told that the document had been examined by a government planning inspector.

Upwell village sign. (42741804)
Upwell village sign. (42741804)

The document is now due to be put to residents in a referendum to decide whether it should be adopted.

But such polls, together with other local elections, have been postponed until May 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis.

Because of that, development portfolio holder Richard Blunt said the document would form part of the process through which applications will now be considered.

However, Independent councillor Jim Moriarty questioned what the implications might be if the plan was rejected by residents, having been used in the process.

Mr Blunt said: “They (the Government) have made a decision and we don’t really know the consequences of it.”

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