THE electorate in Blackrod have overwhelmingly backed the use of a local plan in development decisions after a referendum on the future shape of the area.

The referendum, held last Thursday at the same time as other elections, was on whether to adopt a neighbourhood plan described as a ‘community led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of the area’.

Blackrod voters were asked to mark yes or no to the question ‘do you want Bolton Council to use the neighbourhood plan for the Blackrod area to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’.

There were 1,595 people who voted yes and 145 no votes which means more than 92 per cent of those who voted were in favour.

The plan sets out what type of housing should be built, how public transport should be improved and which heritage sites should be protected.

The poll was due to be held in May 2020 but was postponed at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.

A steering group was formed and in 2019 they signed off the plan after a public consultation.

The plan sets out a framework for development and conservation until 2033.

The document says it hopes ‘Blackrod can maintain its distinctive character, while still retaining its village feel’.