A REFERENDUM will be held in Bembridge, in a bid to give the community greater influence on development in the village.
Residents will have the opportunity to vote on the Bembridge Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP), which sets out local policy for dealing with planning applications. If it wins enough support, the neighbourhood plan will be incorporated into Isle of Wight Council planning policy.
The council executive agreed last Tuesday to a referendum, likely to be held on July 24. It will be funded by a £20,000 government grant.
Policies in the plan include supporting marine development, open spaces and affordable homes for younger families.
The executive also agreed to adopt the Niton and Whitwell Parish Plan — another scheme aimed at increasing local control over planning policy — as a supplementary planning document, to be incorporated into the wider Island Plan.
Executive member for planning Cllr Jonathan Bacon said: "A neighbourhood plan is more complex than a parish plan. The Bembridge neighbourhood plan is the first to come to this stage in the wider South England area. It’s a major milestone in IW planning policy.
"This shows how communities can grasp the nettle and create planning policy when, in the past, we have heard they feel they have no influence or control over planning policy."