Alford Neighbourhood Plan referendum later this month

Alford referendum
Alford referendum

A bid to stop Alford from expanding with “carbuncle” developments on the edge of the town is set to go to the polls this month.

The Alford Neighbourhood Plan, which also outlines how social housing should give priority to “local people”, will be put to a public referendum on May 23.

The scheme, which has been in the works since 2012 and will run until 2031, aims to guide future development.

If adopted, planning authorities will have to consider it in their decisions.

Social housing would have to consider a seven-tier priority list topped first by those who have lived in the area for more than five years, and bottomed by everyone else on the housing register.

Chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Group Rob Wilson explained: “We have suggested that most of the development that takes place should be within the confines of the town. That’s the difference it will make.

“Development should not take place if it’s more than 800 metres walking distance from the town centre.

“It would prevent peripheral development on the edge of the town, the likes of which Alford has seen over recent years. One of those places is a carbuncle on the edge of town.

“We’re not talking about stopping housing but lets have it on places that need regenerating. If we can keep people walking into town and footfall around shops then those shops are more likely to survive.

“Most people in the town do not feel that housing estates on the edge of town do anything for the settlement at all. In fact they detract from the town.”

Proponents of the plan say it will also support land designated for business and employment and protect Alford’s heritage, environment and sporting facilities.

The plan has been approved by a planning inspector and ELDC and, if approved by residents, it will become part of planning policy considerations until at least 2031.

• Voting will take place at the Alford Corn Exchange on May 23 from 7am-10pm.