A LONG awaited neighbourhood plan is set to be passed by district council bosses today.

In July, residents of Burnham went to the polls to vote for a plan on how the town will be shaped, which will influence future planning decisions.

The plan had been in the pipeline for four years, with discussions first starting in 2013.

It sets out how issues such as housing, infrastructure, flooding, parking and schooling should be approached.

In total, 1,432 people voted yes in favour of the plan, and 204 voted no, during the referendum held on July 20, a turnout of 26 per cent.

Independent examiner Andrew Ashcroft’s proposed changes were also approved by Maldon District Council in May.

In the agenda for the full council meeting tonight, the final plan has been recommended for approval.

It includes proposals of new amenity spaces for the north of the town, expansion of education facilities and reassessing the size of the train station car park.

There are also proposals to improve the road, rail and bus routes to and from Burnham.

Once the plan is “made” by the council, the decision statement and the required documents will be published on the Maldon District Council website, and the Burnham Town Council and Burnham Neighbourhood Development Plan websites.

Copies will be made available for inspection at the district and town council offices.

The report concluded: “The Burnham-on-Crouch Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) successfully passed its referendum on July 20, with an 87 per cent yes vote. It is proposed the plan is now ‘made’ by the council.

“Once made, the NDP becomes part of the development plan for the district, and will be used to assess planning applications submitted within the civil parish area of Burnham-on-Crouch. “Neighbourhood Plans provide opportunities for greater involvement of residents in the planning of their area.

“They provide development opportunities for staff to foster partnerships between the council and those communities.

“Neighbourhood Plans have the potential to improve the environment where plans are being produced.

“The adoption of the Burnhamon-Crouch Neighbourhood Plan will help reduce the impact on the environment from inappropriate development.”

At a Burnham Town Council meeting shortly after the result, Ron Pratt, chairman of the steering group behind the plan, thanked those who had worked on it.

He said: “I would like to offer huge thanks to everyone past and present who helped draw up and bring this neighbourhood plan into practice.

“It was a long, hard old slog, but it’s finally happened after many months of hard work, and this will be a great result to those who have stuck with it until the bitter end.”

The plan is also dedicated to Ian Sisterson, a stalwart from the neighbourhood who had worked on the plan up until his death last year.