A SIMPLE question will determine Felpham’s future.
The yes or no vote by residents next month is the result of two-and-a-half years of preparation of the area’s neighbourhood plan.
The villagers become the first in the Bognor Regis area when they go to the polls on July 2 to decide whether or not to accept the plan.
They will be asked: “Do you want Arun District Council to use the neighbourhood plan to help to decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
A simple majority of votes will decide. Failure to agree will leave the area at the mercy of individual planning proposals.
Cllr Glenn Powell has headed a committee of ten parish councillors and lay members set up by Felpham Parish Council to draw up the plan.
“It’s important people vote on the neighbourhood plan. It will be a template for the future. It will protect our open spaces. It will help control future development,” he said.
Polling cards were distributed earlier this month. Polling stations will be open from 7am-10pm.
A series of consultations has taken place to ensure the neighbourhood plan reflects how residents want to see their area develop in the next 15 years and which aspects they would like to see emphasised.
The first public meeting on the plan was held in 2012.
“The plan is the first piece in the puzzle of the future of Felpham,” he said.
“It will be a live document and will evolve over the next 15 years. We will review it every three to five years.
“It will be the community’s plan which will be ‘owned’ by the parish council.”
The document includes policies to support local shops and businesses, deal with flooding, keep the character of Felpham and plan for an ageing population.
Sufficient health services, managing footways and cyclepaths and improving traffic management are also covered.
Rachel Searle, Felpham Village Conservation Society’s chairman, said the plan would enhance Felpham for the future.