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Planning policy

Introduction to Planning Policy

Planning policy documents are produced to inform decisions when approving or rejecting planning applications as well as to outline a vision for when and where future development in the area should take place.

All of the planning policy documents within one local planning authority area are collectively known as the Local Plan. These documents are prepared to implement plans that help address needs and opportunities in relation to housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure as well as forming a basis for safeguarding the environment and securing good design.

Within Wiltshire there are a number of planning policy documents that collectively form the local plan and these document can be viewed further down the page.


The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a key part of the government's reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible. The NPPF sets out the government's planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied, vastly simplifying the content and reducing the quantity of planning policy pages. The NPPF acts as guidance for Wiltshire Council both in drawing up plans and making decisions about planning applications.

To support the NPPF the government produced National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) which is published and regularly updated online. The NPPG adds further context to the NPPF and replaces thousands of pages of guidance that was previously published in separate documents.


Latest News

Please see below information on selected recent news that we feel may be of interest to you.

Wiltshire Council is consulting on a Draft Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which has been prepared to support the Draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan and the Wiltshire Core Strategy.

It is a strategy for considering the impacts of development in the Trowbridge area on the Bath and Bradford on Avon Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and sets out an approach for mitigation to avoid significant adverse impacts.

Consultation documents

The Draft Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy SPD can be viewed and downloaded via the supporting documents tab in the consultation portal, further information on how to comment can be found below.

Hard copies of these documents will also be available during normal opening hours at: Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon and Westbury libraries; and the main Council office in Trowbridge (County Hall).

How to comment

Comments are invited on the Draft Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy SPD from Thursday 21 February until 5pm Thursday 21 March 2019.

Comments can be made:

If responding by post, please use the comment forms that are available here and from the listed libraries above and the Trowbridge Council office (County Hall).

Next steps and further information

All comments received during the consultation period will be taken into consideration before the SPD is finalised and presented to the Council’s Cabinet and subsequently Full Council for adoption.

Should you require further information on the consultation, please email: spatialplanningpolicy@wiltshire.gov.uk or telephone 01225 713223.


Local planning authorities, including Wiltshire Council, are required to publish a brownfield land register for their area and to maintain and review it at least annually. A brownfield land register sets out previously developed land that a local planning authority considers appropriate for residential development.

The Brownfield Land Register (Part 1) 2018 can be found here.


Last autumn Wiltshire and Swindon began a review of their Local Plans in the form of a consultation on the issues to be considered to plan for the period to 2036. The consultation was in accordance with the authorities respective Local Development Schemes and based on national guidance contained in the National Planning Policy Framework 2012.

Since then, in July 2018, the Government published a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF2018). The Wiltshire Local Plan/Swindon Borough Plan will now be prepared in accordance with this latest policy and the introduction of a standard methodology for calculating how many new homes to plan for.

This has resulted in a change from the programme included in the Local Development Scheme published in 2017.
A provisional high-level programme for the review of the Wiltshire Local Plan is set out on the Local Plan Review page, focusing on consultations and statutory stages of plan making. This is a programme which remains coordinated with that of Swindon Borough Council for the review of their local plan.

It is anticipated that a formal update to the Local Development Scheme will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet in early 2019 drawing on the outputs of the continuing joint working with Swindon Borough Council.


Local planning authorities are legally required to co-operate with each other over issues that cross administrative boundaries. 

Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council are working together on an ongoing basis and in 2017 produced the Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework: Issues Paper.  The intention was for the Joint Spatial Framework to guide the overall pattern of development across the wider area of the two councils, setting out a distribution of new jobs, homes and infrastructure  to inform the councils’ individual local plan reviews.

The Councils are continuing to work together to respond to new guidance on joint working in the NPPF 2018 which places more emphasis on the role of a Statement of Common Ground.  There is likely to be some overlap between the intent of the proposed Joint Spatial Framework and the intent of the new format Statement of Common Ground. 

The authorities are, therefore, preparing a Statement of Common Ground which will establish the existence or otherwise of unmet needs for housing or economic development in one or both of the authorities to determine whether or not there is a need for a joint spatial framework to be prepared over and above the statement of common ground.

It is anticipated that the council’s will be able to clarify the position early in 2019.

Further information about the published Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework Issues Paper is available here.


In July 2018, the council submitted the draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan (the Plan), along with a ‘Schedule of Proposed Changes' and supporting evidence to the Secretary of State for independent examination. Planning Inspector, Steven Lee BA (Hons) MA MRTPI has been appointed to undertake the examination.

In August 2018, the council received a procedural letter from the Inspector.  In response to that letter, the Council ran a consultation on the ‘Schedule of Proposed Changes' to the Plan, along with the revised Sustainability Appraisal, update to the Habitats Regulations Assessment Addendum, and associated evidence documents.

The consultation took place for six weeks running from Thursday 27 September until Friday 9 November 2018 to give all interested parties the opportunity to comment on the published materials before the Inspector commences the formal public hearing sessions.

For more information please visit the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan webpage.


As part of the ongoing Local Plan Review work taking place, following the initial scoping consultation held in 2017, an Employment Land Review 2017 has been prepared to inform the review of the Wiltshire Core Strategy. It updates the Wiltshire Workspace and Employment Land Strategy published in 2011.  There will be an opportunity to comment on the content of the report as part of the next Local Plan Review consultation. More information on the Local Plan Review can be found on the following webpage.

You can view and download the 2017 Employment Land Review by following the links below:


Wiltshire Council undertook a survey amongst residential boaters on the Kennet and Avon Canal in the summer of 2017. The purpose of the survey was to improve information on the accommodation needs of boaters. The below report will form part of the evidence base for the Wiltshire Local Plan review which is now underway and scheduled to conclude in 2021, as set out in the 2017 Local Development Scheme which can be accessed here.

  • Read the Boaters Survey here

Comments or questions can be directed to the Spatial Planning Team at 01225 713223 or spatialplanningpolicy@wiltshire.gov.uk.

For further information on gypsy and traveller documents, please visit our Gypsy and Traveller webpage.


There are strict regulations on what personal information we can collect and store, how we can use and process that personal data, who we are allowed to share with, and who we must pass data to when ordered to do so.

You have rights in respect of your data which include the right to request your personal information from us; we must reply to you within strict timescales giving you the information you asked for, or tell you why we cannot give it to you.

Economic Development and Planning at Wiltshire Council take your privacy very seriously and will keep your personal data secure. To view our Privacy Notice and Data Subject Information Notice please visit our Data Protection webpage.


Local Plan

The Local Plan acts as a critical tool in guiding decisions about individual development proposals, with the Local Plan acting as the starting-point for considering whether applications can be approved.

In Wiltshire, the Local Plan includes the Wiltshire Core Strategy incoporating saved policies from district local plans, Chippenham Site Allocations Plan, Minerals and Waste Plans and made Neighbourhood Plans.

Emerging Plans

A number of plans are currently in preparation, you can find information on the latest progress of these plans through the links below. Plans currently in preparation include:

  • Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan (WHSAP)
  • Wiltshire Local Plan Review (LPR) including Swindon & Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework (JSF)
  • Neighbourhood Plans (NP)

Other Planning Documents & Information

Within this section you will find information on a range of other documents that are produced by Wiltshire Council along with useful information including:

On this page you will find the following information:

  • Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment: Information on how to submit a site is also contained on this webpage.
  • Housing Land Supply Statement
  • Housing Land Availability Report
  • Infrastructure Delivery Plan

The brownfield land register sets out previously developed land that a local planning authority considers appropriate for residential development.


The Wiltshire LDS sets out the Development Plan Documents (DPDs) prioritised for production by Wiltshire Council and the timetable for their preparation that will, when complete, together with other adopted documents, comprise the Local Plan for Wiltshire.


National legislation and policy require councils in England to provide for the accommodation needs of travellers. Further information on any Gypsy and Traveller planning policies and assessments can be found via this webpage.


The SCI sets out the process and methods for community involvement for different types of plans and for different stages of plan preparation.


In May 2015, the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) came into force locally in Wiltshire. We adopted a CIL charging schedule, Regulation 123 list, Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and an instalments policy for the payment of CIL.


Economic Development and Planning at Wiltshire Council take your privacy very seriously and will keep your personal data secure. Our data protection page contains information on how and why Spatial Planning may collect and process your personal data in our role as a data controller.

Our data protection page enables you to view our Privacy Statement and Data Subject Information Notice.


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Last updated: 20 February 2019 | Last reviewed: 20 February 2019