The people of Old Windsor will be invited next week to vote on a new village plan that could influence how future developments affect residents' lives over the next 14 years.

A forum made up of five parish councillors has spent years working on the Old Windsor Neighbourhood Plan. It has now been approved by a Government examiner as suitable to present in a referendum to villagers - each of whom will be able to vote 'yes' or 'no' next Thursday at two polling stations.

More than 50 per cent of voters will have to say yes to the plan before it can be adopted by the Royal Borough as a basis for planning decisions affecting Old Windsor till 2033.

Old Windsor parish council chairman Jane Dawson was one of five who worked on the plan. She said: "We have consulted people all along the line, held questionnaires, attended events and village carnivals so that people could give us their input."

The finalreport stresses the need for new one and two bedroom developments to address the needs for older people wanting to downsize and younger families who want to stay in the community.

It comes out firmly against 'cramming' and says new homes should be adequately spaced, reflecting the size of existing homes - with the extensive area of open space separating the village from nearby Windsor town scrupulously maintained.

The report presses the need for new developments to be supported by proper infrastructure - with serious concerns expressed about the ability of the sewerage treatment works on Ham Island to cope.

Fears about flooding are raised with calls for all future development be scrutinised to pinpoint possible risk it might add to surrounding areas

It also presses for the maintenance and protection of the village's wildlife and biodiversity.

Although many of the points it makes could be seen as common sense - the report presses for the maintenance and protection of the village's wildlife and biodiversity - having them enshrined in an officially sanctioned plan will add weight to future planning refusals if they are challenged by developers.