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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.

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 is undertaking 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.

This further round of consultation will take place for six weeks from 9am Thursday 27 September to 5pm 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.


Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council are pausing further consultation on the review of their Local Plans until the Government finalises revised planning guidance.  The Wiltshire Local Plan Review (LPR) and the Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework (JSF) will guide the overall scale and pattern of development looking to 2036. Consultation was carried out at the end of 2017 on the proposed scope of work. 

The following Spring, however, the government consulted on a draft version of a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and revisions to the accompanying Planning Practice Guidance (PPG).  The revised NPPF will have implications for plan making and the work undertaken by Swindon and Wiltshire.  The government is intending to publish its final updated NPPF ‘in the summer’ which would fall during the proposed options consultation on the JSF. 

The Council is reviewing the local plan timetable published in the Wiltshire Local Development Scheme 2017 and as soon as further information is available it will be made available via the Wiltshire Local Plan Review and Swindon & Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework webpages.


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: 28 September 2018 | Last reviewed: 28 September 2018