Concern has been raised over a flyer spreading bogus information ahead of today’s planning referendum in Broughton Astley.
The leaflet, which appears to have been professionally produced, gives a false impression that people can stop new houses being built in the village by voting no in the ballot.
The referendum is actually asking people whether they want Harborough District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Broughton Astley when deciding on planning applications in the village.
The plan has been put together by the Broughton Astley Neighbourhood Steering Group - led by the parish council in consultation with the community - to decide were best to put at least 400 new homes which must be built in the village over the next 25 years.
Concerns about the flyer have been raised by a residents group in the village and Harborough Council.
Ken Larkins, leader of the Frolesworth Road residents group in the village, said he believes about 1,000 flyers have been delivered around the village.
He said: “The leaflet is bright red, professionally printed and gives a bold, but wholly incorrect message. It implies that the Harborough Council’s Core Strategy requirement to build at least 400 houses in the village can somehow be overturned.
“We are concerned that unless people take the time to find out the true situation, there may be a significant number of residents who vote ‘no’ under the mistaken impression they are demonstrating their dissatisfaction with the council and overturning planning consents already granted.
“This would be a spectacular case of ‘cutting off the nose to spite the face’.
“If we vote yes, our village plan will have legal weight in future planning decisions. If we vote no, developers would have a much easier task getting planning permission for future schemes.
“We are aware of at least five sites around the perimeter of Broughton which could potentially add a further 6,000 people to our already large population if they were to be granted planning permission.
“We have so far been unable to identify the origin of the leaflets. We would love to engage them in discussion to help clear their mistaken assumptions. Whoever it is, they have spent hundreds of pounds on a message which is factually incorrect and could damage our village’s future irrevocably.”
Polls for todays referendum open from 7am to 10pm at Broughton Astley Village Hall in Station Road and in Arkwright House, Orchard Road.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Stephen Williams visited the village last Thursday to find out more about the plan, taking a tour of the village before meeting students at Thomas Estley Community College.
Christine Lord, parish council manager, said she hoped the visit would highlight the importance of the vote to the village.