Falmouth is having a referendum to help decide on the future of development in the town.

It will give residents the choice whether or not to approve the Neighbourhood Plan, which has been in preparation since 2015.

Residents have also been invited to comment on the draft plan in a consultation period ending on October 17.

If it is approved in the referendum due to be held in early 2020, Cornwall Council will consult the plan for future planning applications.

Its current form focuses largely on protecting Falmouth's green spaces and preventing further conversion of homes into houses in multiple occupation (HMO).

The plan was submitted to Cornwall Council on July 15 and a six-week consultation period began on Thursday September 5.

After this consultation, the plan will be assessed by an independent examiner who will make sure that it meets procedural and legal requirements.

A referendum date will then be arranged to give residents the final say.

As well as attempting to protect green spaces and prevent development of HMOs and purpose-built student accommodation, the plan proposes a number of improvements for Falmouth.

It aims to support the regeneration of the town centre with improved pedestrianisation, improvement of the shuttle bus service, increased parking in Quarry Car Park, the development of Church Street car park into a high quality public space and build-to-rent, non-student development among other things.

The plan also includes a number of policies focusing on reducing the town's negative impact on the environment.

These include encouraging walking, cycling and public transport; encouraging energy-saving design and avoiding development in areas likely to be affected by sea level rise.

Residents can read the draft plan in full by visiting planforfalmouth.info and can make comments by emailing planning@cornwall.gov.uk citing reference number PA19/00022/NDP, or by writing to: The Head Planning & Sustainable Development (Neighbourhood Planning), Cornwall Council, 3rd Floor North, Zone B, Pydar House, Pydar Street, Truro, TR1 1XU.

Questions about the Neighbourhood Plan can be addressed to: admin@planforfalmouth.info.