THE parishes of Calne and Calne Without are taking part in a referendum next month into the Neighbourhood Plan, which gives the community an extra say on future developments in the area.

But residents have been left confused about what exactly they are voting on, as polling cards were put through doors before information was made readily available.

Cllr Alan Hill said: “It is confusing and complex. The problem is we hadn’t had our letters out yet so people were receiving polling cards and saying, we have to vote but what is this all about?”

Parishioners will be asked to vote on Thursday, February 1 on whether they want Wiltshire Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications.

The Calne Community Neighbourhood Plan has been developed through a number of public consultations over the years, and the responses to these consultations regarding local issues have formed the basis of the plan.

This means that if the community votes for Wiltshire Council to use the Plan, it will become part of planning legislation and the community’s views will be aired and considered by developers.

Cllr Hill said: “People should have their say in these cases. Throughout the last three years, people have been asked a number of questions relating to things like transport, infrastructure, ecology, green space and housing.

“People created the plan.”

For example, land for housing has already been allocated for about 1,500 houses until 2026, and following consultations, the community agreed further housing developments might be appropriate if significant benefits would result from it, for instance the building of a road, or a school, and this will be taken into account if the Plan is accepted.

To find out more, documents are available to see in Calne Community Hub and Library.