THE BOSCOMBE and Pokesdown Neighbourhood Plan has been given a resounding yes from residents.

Although the vote had only around a 14 per cent turnout, people voted 94 per cent in favour of the plans with around 2,000 yeses.

Harry Seccombe, chairman of the Boscombe and Pokesdown Neighbourhood Plan team, said: “We are very pleased that over 2,000 people in Boscombe and Pokesdown came out and endorsed our neighbourhood plan.

“Over four years the community has crafted a vision for a brighter and better vision for Boscombe which is now enshrined in planning law.

“As Bournemouth's first neighbourhood plan, we hope that many other areas will follow our example and strengthen planning law in their own areas so that future generations will benefit.”

The area’s neighbourhood plan focuses on heritage, housing and the high street, and one of its leading policies is to retain all old buildings of architectural merit and renovate historic shopfronts to protect the area’s heritage.

Around half of new builds in Boscombe and Pokesdown will need to have three or more bedrooms, which will help to encourage young families to move to the area

Another policy will prevent any new houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs) being built to prevent overcrowding and a minimum room sizes will need to be matched to that of the national standard, for new homes.

Now that the Neighbourhood Plan has been successful, Harry wants to help see through the beginning of the project before shifting his focus to a Community Land Trust in Boscombe and Pokesdown to help build more affordable homes in the area.

Mr Seccombe added: “This has been an amazing journey that has also seen other projects initiated from the work completed. Many congratulations and thanks must go out to everybody who got involved.”

Boscombe East and Pokesdown ward councillor Andy Jones, who has been heavily involved in the process to deliver the neighbourhood plan, said he was grateful for everyone who came out and voted.

He said: "It is a great outcome. An awful lot of time, effort and hard work over the past three or four years, particularly the steering group but also members of public who came along to engagement events and people who emailed and tweeted their opinions in to say what the plan should look like.

"From my point of view it was about giving local people ownership over a part of the planning process.

"This is the first neighbourhood plan in Bournemouth. It has taken a long time and there were a lot of stages. We are lucky to have people with the expertise to bring it all together."