A community goes to the polls today (May 30) as it seeks to rubber-stamp a new neighbourhood plan that will guide planning and design for the next 15 years.

The people of Harlesden will take part in a local referendum, which could see the area’s neighbourhood plan made into a statutory document.

If the majority of votes are in favour of the plan, it will be adopted by Brent Council and Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, which are the local planning authorities for the area.

This will guide development within Harlesden alongside other planning policies.

The plan was devised by the Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum, which has urged those eligible to vote to cast it in favour of the proposals.

In a statement, it said: “The plan outlines our vision to build a collaborative community that embraces the evolving cultural identity of Harlesden, while celebrating its rich history and heritage.

“The Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum aims to combat deprivation and increase the wellbeing of its residents by addressing the importance of affordable housing, a thriving local high street and local economy with increased access to opportunities in a safe and clean environment.”

It hopes to focus on more affordable housing for the area, reduce homelessness and the impact of traffic, and provide a new community hub.

The group’s chairman, Rev Leao Neto, explained that, while this document would only cover planning, it wants to develop an “exciting and unique offer for visitors and residents alike based on Harlesden’s cultural and artistic diversity”.

Those who are eligible to vote will have received a polling card – details of how to vote and the list of polling stations are available on Brent Council’s website.

Cllr Shama Tatler, responsible for planning and regeneration at the council, has encouraged everyone connected to Harlesden to have their say.

She said: “We’re building a future for everyone and we want to work with communities to create lasting areas where people want to live and stay.

“So, I really hope that residents in Harlesden make their voices heard in this referendum, as, if approved, it will set the future vision for the area.”