RESIDENTS in Calne voted in favour of a neighbourhood plan during last week’s referendum, but councillors are disappointed with the turnout.

The referendum asked residents of Calne and Calne Without parishes if they want Wiltshire Council to use the neighbourhood plan to help decide the outcome of future planning applications.

Over the last few years, the people of Calne have been consulted on what they would want the neighbourhood plan to include, such as the location of future housing developments.

A total of 3,391 people voted in favour, compared to 247 against the use of a neighbourhood plan. The turnout was 23.36 per cent.

Calne Neighbourhood Plan steering group member Cllr Alan Hill expressed his delight at the result, but is disappointed more people didn’t turn out to vote for something that affects the whole town.

“I am delighted that the result was positive,” he explained. “I think it will be very helpful to Calne and the surrounding areas to have the neighbourhood plan as secondary legislation, to ensure that any future development is in accordance with the wishes of the community.

“I am disappointed, it would have been nice to have more people turn out. Although the turnout is disappointingly low, I don’t think a larger turnout would have created a different result.”

Mayor, Cllr Tony Trotman, echoed the views of Mr Hill, and thought the lack of votes may have been because the leaflets explaining the referendum were sent out late and didn’t reach everyone.

He said: “I will admit that not so many people knew about it, but we have been talking about it for four years now and it is a culmination of what we want for the town.”

Cllr John Boaler, said: “I’m very pleased that residents have voted in favour. It will make it easier for the local council to resist unwanted and speculative development, and to control what is built.”