THE FARNHAM Neighbourhood Plan stormed to a thumping referendum win in the early hours of Friday morning - with a huge 95.5 per cent of voters backing the community-led planning blueprint.

Nine years in the making, it is the second time the town plan - setting a blueprint for development in the town up to 2032 - has stormed through a public vote.

In 2017, 88 per cent of voters backed the first iteration of the plan, just months before it was sent back to the drawing board after the government upped the region’s housing target.

It is hoped the revised plan is here to stay, however, with Waverley Borough Council now duty-bound to adopt the plan as a key policy for determining planning applications in the town area.

The document earmarks sites for a total of 2,780 new homes; including space for 450 homes on top of the 2,330 already catered for in the first plan.

But it’s not all about housing, as the plan incorporates a grand total of 32 policies, which also strive to protect and enhance biodiversity, neighbourhood centres, public open spaces and sports provision.

All of which combined, it is hoped, will prevent speculative development and rogue appeal decisions in the town area – including Badshot Lea, Boundstone, Hale, Heath End, Rowledge, Shortheath, The Bourne, Upper Hale, Weybourne and Wrecclesham – once and for all.

Read more interviews and analysis from the count floor in next week’s Herald, on sale Thursday, March 19.

The referendum results in full:

Electorate: 31,063

Votes cast: 7,848

Turnout: 25.3 per cent

Yes: 7,472

No: 356

Rejected papers: 20