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Local Plan Review

What is the Wiltshire Local Plan

A local plan forms part of the development plan for the future of the local area, drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community.  By law, all planning applications for new development must be determined in accordance with the development plan unless material circumstances indicate otherwise.

Wiltshire Council has to maintain up-to-date plans to support growth, so there is enough land for homes, jobs and the infrastructure necessary to support them. Having an up-to-date plan helps protect against speculative and unplanned development that might undermine sustainable and resilient communities.

The Wiltshire Local Plan currently comprises a number of documents which in combination plan for the future development of the local area. They are the Wiltshire Core Strategy, the Chippenham Site Allocations Plan and various mineral and waste plans.

Made neighbourhood plans are also part of the development plan but not part of the local plan.

Latest Updates

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 as amended by the Localism Act 2011 requires the council to prepare and maintain a Local Development Scheme (LDS). The LDS is a three year rolling project plan for producing the local development framework (LDF).

The LDS has now been reviewed and includes the following:

  • An updated timetable for the production of the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations DPD. It will identify, where necessary, new sites for housing, to provide surety of delivery over the plan period to 2026. It will also include a review of the settlement boundaries in the Wiltshire Core Strategy.
  • A new timetable and scope for a Wiltshire Local Plan Review which incorporates the previously proposed partial review of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and Gypsy and Traveller DPD.

The 2019 Local Development Scheme is available to download on the LDS webpage.

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Reports on the Issues Consultation from November – December 2017, including an overview of the informal consultation events which were held, can be found further down this page.

During the consultation, comments were invited on the Sustainability Appraisal Draft Scoping Report. Following consideration of comments, the final Scoping Report has been produced and can also be viewed further down this page.

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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 below, 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.

Provisional Programme for the Wiltshire Local Plan Review

Informal consultation on scale of growth
Q4, 2018
Informal consultation on sites
Q1, 2019
Start of Regulation 19 Pre-submission consultation on draft Local Plan
Q4, 2019
Submission to Secretary of State to commence examination
Q3, 2020

The informal consultation will be with Town and Parish Councils, Wiltshire Councillors, Duty to Cooperate bodies and infrastructure providers.

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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.

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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.

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

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If you have land which you would like the Council to consider for development please let us know.   Please note that sites that already form part of the Wiltshire Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment 2017 will be part of the evidence used to inform the Wiltshire Local Plan Review and do not need to be re-submitted.

Further information is available here.

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Helping to shape Wiltshire's plan to 2036

Wiltshire Council is reviewing the Wiltshire Core Strategy adopted in January 2015 (to be recast as the Wiltshire Local Plan) which identifies land for development for the period to 2026.  A review is required as the Government encourages local planning authorities to review their Local Plans every five years, and in order to prepare the review in good time, it is necessary to commence work now.

An initial consultation asked about the issues the review should address in order to plan for the period to 2036. The consultation documents included:

Both were prepared to stimulate discussion on how the review of the Wiltshire Local Plan should be carried out.  At this stage no decisions have yet been made on the future locations for growth and development. Further information on this consultation can be found further down this page.

Informal Consultation Oct-Nov 2018

Following the Issues and Options Consultation in November December 2017, a number of parish events were held in October 2018 to help develop our thinking further on planning for new homes to 2036. Specifically, the events helped to address the following questions:

  1. How can approximately 44,000 homes be distributed across Wiltshire, with a focus on Wiltshire's market towns and principal settlements, to maintain the role and function of those places and promote sustainable development?
  2. How can policies within the Local Plan support proportionate housing growth outside named market towns and principal settlements (the rural area) and support the role of neighbourhood plans?

A report on the events can be found below.

Issues Consultation Nov-Dec 2017

A report on the Issues consultation, including a summary of the actions that were taken to raise awareness of the consultation and a summary of the comments received, can be found below.

As part of the awareness raising process, informal consultation events were held. This included meetings with Town and Parish Councils (November 2017) and a Developer Forum with developers and landowners (December 2017).

During the consultation, comments were invited on the Sustainability Appraisal Draft Scoping Report (please see further down the page for more information). Following consideration of comments, the final Scoping Report has been produced and can be viewed below.

Following the Issues and Options Consultation in November – December 2017, we held a number of parish events in October 2018 to help develop our thinking further on planning for new homes to 2036. Specifically, the events helped to address the following questions:

  1. How can approximately 44,000 homes be distributed across Wiltshire, with a focus on Wiltshire’s market towns and principal settlements, to maintain the role and function of those places and promote sustainable development?
  2. How can policies within the Local Plan support proportionate housing growth outside named market towns and principal settlements (the rural area) and support the role of neighbourhood plans?

A report on the events can be found below.

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The consultation paper sets out the proposed scope of the Wiltshire Local Plan Review and explains that it will include a discussion about the new homes, employment land and associated infrastructure needed to support growth over the period 2016 to 2036.  It also considers where an update of existing Wiltshire Core Strategy development management policies may be needed to ensure their continued consistency with national policy; how to consolidate older ‘saved’ policies from former Wiltshire district council local plans; and bespoke policies to plan positively for each town centre in Wiltshire.  It included three specific questions on which comments were invited. (The questions include reference to the relevant sections of the consultation paper.)

  1. Do you agree with the proposed scope of the Wiltshire Local Plan Review set out in Section 4?  If no, please explain why and how it should be amended.
  2. Do you agree with the conclusions of the policy assessment set out in Appendix 2 and the proposed recommendations?  Please explain your answer.
  3. Are there other planning policy issues that the Council should consider within the Local Plan Review?  If so, what are they and why should they be included?

In 2015, papers were prepared and consulted upon as part of a consultation on the scope of the then proposed partial review of the Wiltshire Core Strategy. The work carried out then has been subsumed into the wider Wiltshire Local Plan Review and has been reviewed to ensure it is up to date and in accordance with latest policy and guidance. Further details about the consultation in 2015 are available here.

Further information about the review of new jobs, homes, and infrastructure can be found in the consultation document ‘Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework Issues Paper’.

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Local planning authorities are legally required to co-operate with each other over issues that transcend administrative boundaries.  A range of different issues cross over the boundaries of Swindon Borough, Wiltshire and other councils and the appropriate means to deal with them varies accordingly.  Several issues will benefit from direct co-operation between Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council.

Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council are therefore working together to prepare a Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework.  The Issues Paper was prepared to stimulate discussion and included specific questions on which the council invited comments.

The Joint Spatial Framework will guide the overall pattern of development across the wider area of the two councils, setting out a distribution of new jobs, homes and infrastructure. It will provide evidence to inform the councils’ individual local plan reviews. Decisions over detailed site allocations will be made through the councils’ individual local plan reviews.

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

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In accordance with the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (EAPPR) Wiltshire Council also produced a Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report. At this stage the Council is legally required to consult statutory consultees as defined by Regulation 4 of the EAPPR but widened the consultation to seek the views of the Wiltshire Community in line with Wiltshire Council’s Statement of Community Involvement adopted July 2015.

The Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report proposes a Sustainability Appraisal Framework, including objectives and decision aiding questions, to be used in the assessment of draft policies and proposals as part of the plan making process. Sustainability Appraisal promotes sustainable development through better integration of sustainability considerations in the preparation and adoption of plans.

The Draft Scoping Report and supporting Appendices are available to download below.

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Comments were invited on all the consultation documents and supporting evidence during a six week consultation period, which ran from 9:00am on Tuesday 7 November 2017 until 5:00pm on Tuesday 19 December 2017.

All comments recieved as part of this consultation are currently being processed. Once processed they will be available via the consultation portal.

  • For comments relating to the Joint Spatial Framework Issues Paper follow this link.
  • For comments relating to the Witlshire Local Plan Review Consultation Paper follow this link.

Please scroll down and click on the "all comments" tab to view comments.

Further Information  

An explanatory leaflet was produced as part of the consultation and that can be downloaded here.

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The information collected through this public consultation will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

For more information on how the Council uses your personal information visit: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/privacy

If you are making comments you are encouraged to so through our consultation portal. Comments made though the portal will be made public on the portal but your personal data will not be published.  

Comments not submitted using the Objective portal will be scanned/copied and uploaded to our website.  Personal information other than the name of the person making the comments will be redacted including e-mail and address. In order to enable us to do so personal information should be clearly distinguished from the comments, preferably by use of the form provided (add link) or by use of a cover sheet. Please be aware that any personal information contained within the body of the comment, including that may be inferred, may not be redacted.

Comments received, including contact details, by email or via consultation software, may be shared with or copied to Swindon Borough Council for the purpose of preparing the Swindon Borough Local Plan review, including the Joint Spatial Framework.

Subject to the above, comments received:

  • Will be made available for public inspection, and cannot be treated as confidential;
  • Will be available to view on the Council’s website for the duration of the Local Plan review process;
  • Will be used by the Council to inform the review of the Wiltshire Local Plan;
  • Will be retained by the Council until such time as the Review of the Local Plan is superseded by other Development Plan Document(s);
  • Will be stored in electronic format within the Council’s consultation portal and servers (hard copy letters, where received, will be stored at the Council’s offices or secure storage facility);
  • May be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration as part of the Local Plan review examination;
  • May be summarised and presented in summary form.
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Last updated: 23 April 2019 | Last reviewed: 23 April 2019