An area of Lewisham is holding a referendum to determine how planning decisions affecting the community are made in the future.

The Grove Park Neighbourhood Plan, drafted by a volunteer-led group, sets out a “positive vision” for sustainable, green development in the area, which would affect how Lewisham Council considers planning applications.

Residents will be able to vote on in favour or against the proposals on August 26.

A spokesperson Grove Park Neighbourhood forum said: “Our neighbourhood plan sets out a positive vision and policies to ensure our neighbourhood develops sustainably, protecting our community facilities, our heritage assets, and our wildlife corridors.

News Shopper: The Baring Hall, which was threatened by development in 2011 (Wiki)The Baring Hall, which was threatened by development in 2011 (Wiki)

“Our biggest asset is the continuous green corridor that runs from the South Circular and out into the Kent countryside.

“Our neighbourhood Plan sets out a vision to create a district Park - The Railway Children Urban National Park - so that the railway cutting that once inspired children's author Edith Nesbit (who lived on Baring Road) to write The Railway Children, will be protected for future generations to enjoy."

The entire Grove Park ward, as well as parts of the Downham and Whitefoot wards, are covered by the plan.

Neighbourhood planning referendums give communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area.

Residents created the forum after successfully opposing an application to demolish the historic Baring Hall Pub and replace it with a block of flats in 2011.

The incident highlighted the need for an overarching policy to shape the area.

They went on to begin the process of setting up a neighbourhood forum and creating a neighbourhood plan.

In 2014, the Mayor of Lewisham designated Grove Park as both a neighbourhood forum and a neighbourhood area, laying the ground for a referendum.

The full neighbourhood plan subject to referendum, and information about voting can be found here.

Have you got a story for us? You can contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletters to get updates sent straight to your inbox.