First planning referendum held in Cumbria

New houses Ministers say the policy allows people to influence planning decisions

Related Stories

England's first local planning referendum is being held in Cumbria.

Voters in the Eden Valley are deciding whether to adopt a plan for housing and infrastructure drawn up by a group representing 17 parish councils.

The government says hundreds of other similar groups have expressed an interest in neighbourhood planning.

Under the legislation a group representing residents and businesses can draw up their own plan for housing and development.

Polling stations at 12 locations across the area are closing at 22:00 GMT on Thursday.

Influence decisions

If the plan is accepted, it will have legal force.

These neighbourhood plans cannot be used to block development outright, or override the strategic objectives of the local district council.

But ministers say they will provide an opportunity for people to influence decisions on where homes are built and what they look like.

Professional planning organisations, and even developers, mostly support the principle of neighbourhood planning, says BBC local government correspondent Mike Sergeant.

But some have said there might already be easier and faster ways for local residents to get involved, and help shape planning policy.

Such planning is a key part of the government's localism agenda.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Cumbria



Min. Night 7 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Salim Rashid SuriThe Singing Sailor

    The young Omani who became a prewar fusion music hit

  • Spoon and buckwheatSoul food

    The grain that tells you a lot about Russia's state of mind

  • A woman gets a Thanksgiving meal at a church in FergusonFamily fears

    Three generations in Ferguson share Thanksgiving reflections

  • Workers spray a road, previously occupied by pro-democracy protesters, after police completed their clearance of a major protest site in the Mongkok district of Hong Kong on November 26, 2014. In pictures

    A dramatic week at Hong Kong's Mong Kok protest camp

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • IslandsUnmapped places

    Will the age-old quest to capture uncharted land and space ever end?


  • All-inclusive holidaysThe Travel Show Watch

    With all-inclusive holidays seeing a resurgence are local trades missing out to big resorts?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.