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South Bank & Waterloo neighbourhood plan approved in referendum

London SE1 website team

Planning decisions in the South Bank and Waterloo will have to take account of new policies drawn up by local people after residents and businesses approved a neighbourhood plan at a referendum held on Thursday.

The plan – drawn up by South Bank and Waterloo Neighbours (SoWN) – is the product of an eight-year process which began when the coalition Government introduced neighbourhood plans as part of the Localism Act.

The SoWN plan covers an area spanning the South Bank from Lambeth Bridge to Bernie Spain Gardens, coming inland as far as St George's Circus.

Most of the plan area falls within Lambeth, with a small portion in Southwark.

Both councils will have to take account of the plan when making decisions on developments in the SoWN area. It provides another layer of policy below the London Plan set by the Mayor and the policies set at borough level.

Lambeth Council oversaw the referendum on behalf of the two authorities, with Lambeth chief executive declaring the result at 11pm on Thursday after the count at Oasis Academy Johanna in Waterloo.

758 residents voted in favour of adopting the plan, with 68 voting against. This was a turnout of just 10 per cent.

In the business referendum, there were 32 votes in favour with 3 negative votes.

"We're very happy with the result and very relieved that it's gone in our favour," SoWN chair John Langley told SE1.

"Clearly the weather conditions today didn't help, but it's a very decisive vote and we are very happy with it.

"I think the strength of the neighbourhood plan is first of all in the number of people coming together to put it together.

"It's a very complicated area and it involved 500 people giving evidence and doing research."

• The full plan is available to read at www.sowneighbours.org

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