PEOPLE living in the Dobwalls and Trewidland area of South East Cornwall are being given the chance to ‘shape the future’ of their neighbourhood in a referendum.

A public vote on the Dobwalls and Trewidland Neighbourhood Development Plan is due to be held on Thursday, April 4.

Cllr John Dunn, the chairman of Dobwalls Parish Council, said: “After a number of years we are nearing the end of our project to create a neighbourhood plan. The volunteer members of the plan’s steering group have worked tirelessly to produce this comprehensive plan covering the period up to 2030. Now, everyone who is entitled to vote should exercise their democratic right and do so.”

The plan has policies on numerous aspects of life in the area – housing, planning, health, education, community facilities, green infrastructure, business, employment, jobs, communications, transport, the landscape, biodiversity, heritage, roads and open spaces.

Copies of the main plan document have been placed in Dobwalls Memorial Hall, Dobwalls United Church Hall and Trewidland Village Hall.

The referendum polling stations in Dobwalls Memorial Hall and Trewidland Village Hall will be open from 7am to 10pm.

Anyone on the electoral register in Dobwalls Parish and the Trewidland Ward of St Keyne and Trewidland Parish can vote. Every voter must bring along photographic identification, otherwise they won’t be able to vote. The deadline for voting by other means, such as postal or proxy, has passed.

The referendum, being held by Cornwall Council, asks the question: “Do you want Cornwall Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Dobwalls and Trewidland to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

Voters have to put a cross - X - in the “yes” or “no” box on the ballot paper. It is said that if more people vote ‘yes’ than ‘no’ then Cornwall Council will adopt the Neighbourhood Development Plan, it will become part of Cornwall’s Development Plan and the council will use it to help decide planning applications in Dobwalls and Trewidland. If more people vote ‘no’ than ‘yes’ then planning applications will be decided without referring to the Neighbourhood Development Plan as part of Cornwall’s Development Plan for the local area.

The counting of the votes will take place shortly after the polling stations close and the outcome will be officially announced.