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Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan

Adoption of the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan

Following Cabinet on 4 February 2020, the adoption of the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan was approved by Council on 25 February 2020.

For information, documents relating to the adoption of the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan can be found below:

The final Sustainability Appraisal Report and Habitats Regulations Assessment can be found by visiting the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats regulations Assessment section below.

Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy

Following Cabinet on 4 February 2020 the adoption of the  Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was approved by Council on the 25 February 2020. This document has been prepared to support the 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.

Purpose of the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan


The purpose of the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan is to support the delivery of new housing set out in the Wiltshire Core Strategy (adopted January 2015).

The plan addresses two key matters:

  1. Revise, where necessary, settlement boundaries in relation to the Principal Settlements of Salisbury and Trowbridge, Market Towns, Local Service Centres and Large Villages. Further information is available below
  2. Allocate new sites for housing to ensure the delivery of homes across the plan period in order to maintain a five year land supply in each of Wiltshire’s three Housing Market Areas over the period to 2026.

The plan presents proposals and associated policies designed to be in general conformity with the adopted Wiltshire Core Strategy and national planning policy. It considers sites in relation to the geographic area of Wiltshire, but excluding Chippenham which has been dealt with in a separate DPD.

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‘Settlement boundaries’ are essentially defined as the dividing line between areas of built urban development ('the settlement') and non-urban or rural development ('the open countryside'). At present, settlement boundaries exist at Wiltshire’s Principal Settlements, Market Towns, Local Service Centres and Large Villages, as defined by Core Policy 2 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy.

The existing ‘settlement boundaries’ were originally drawn up several years ago and included within the old District Council Local Plans. The Council did not review the extent of the boundaries to inform the Wiltshire Core Strategy (WCS) and relied upon the former district local plans. They would instead be reviewed as a part of preparing the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan.

The Council has undertaken a comprehensive review of the boundaries to ensure they are up-to-date and adequately reflect changes which have happened since they were first established. The Plan amends settlement boundaries where necessary. It is also the prerogative of local communities to review them through the preparation of neighbourhood plans.

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Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment

A Sustainability Appraisal Report has been published in stages alongside the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan.  The Final Sustainability Appraisal SA Report comprises a suite of documents which cover the different stages of the plan making process and can be found in the relevant section below.

The Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan has been screened for Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). The HRA screening concluded that no further assessment under Habitats Regulations was required as the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan is unlikely to have a significant effect on the integrity of European sites (Natura 2000). At stages in the Plan’s preparation the HRA has been reviewed to consider proposed changes to the Plan. The Final HRA therefore comprises three documents that can be found in the relevant section below.

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) is a process that is carried out as an integral part of developing the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan (WHSAP), with the aim of promoting sustainable development through the integration of social, environmental and economic considerations. The SA incorporates a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and is a requirement of national and European legislation and is subject to the same level of public consultation and scrutiny as the WHSAP.

This work has been carried out with Atkins Consultants so there is a second, objective view on the choices involved. The process is explained below.

Stage A: Setting the context and objectives, establishing the baseline and deciding on the scope.

Stage A of the Sustainability Appraisal process has been completed in the form of a Scoping Report. This stage sets the context and objectives, establishes the baseline and decides on the scope. It is a requirement at this stage to consult the statutory consultation bodies on the scope of the Sustainability Appraisal report. A Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report was prepared and consultation commenced on 12 May 2014. The consultation period ran for the required 5 weeks, and finished on the 16 June 2014. The responses received during this consultation period were taken into account to create the final Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report in August 2014. Appendix D explains the changes made.

The Sustainability Appraisal Framework is the conclusion of the Scoping Report and establishes SA objectives and decision aiding questions to help assess the environmental, social and economic effects of the proposed zones and areas. Applying the framework will inform decisions on which is the most appropriate option to include in the WHSAP.

Stage B: Developing and refining alternatives and assessing effect

The SA Framework was used to carry out an SA of all reasonable site alternatives identified in the site selection process. The SA of the reasonable alternatives is discussed in the main Sustainability Appraisal Report in Chapters 2 and 7 and in Annex I. The Sustainability Appraisal Report sets out the methodology, process and findings of the sustainability appraisal of the WHSAP and is accompanied by a Non-Technical Summary. Also, during the preparation of the WHSAP, a number of modifications were made to the Plan and these were also subject to sustainability appraisal – the results of these assessments are presented in SA Annex II (Assessment of Schedule of Proposed Changes), SA Annex III (Assessment of Further Main Modifications) and SA Annex IV (Assessment of Consolidated Schedule of Main Modifications).

Stage C: Prepare the Sustainability Appraisal Report

A SA Report has been published alongside the WHSAP to explain how reasonable site alternatives and proposed policies were assessed, as well as the conclusions reached.

The Final SA Report comprises a suite of documents which cover the different stages of the plan making process.

Stage D: Seek representations on the Sustainability Appraisal Report from consultation bodies and the public.

Throughout the process the WHSAP Draft Sustainability Appraisal Report has been made available to view. During the periods of consultation on the WHSAP, the Draft SA Report was available alongside for comment. These periods of consultation included the consultation on the draft Sustainability Appraisal which took place alongside the Pre-submission draft of the WHSAP from July – September 2017, Consultation on Further Main Modifications September until October 2019 and the Focussed consultation on the Schedule of Proposed Changes and associated evidence documents December 2018 to 5pm January 2019.

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Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan Examination

Inspector
Steven Lee BA (Hons) MA MRTPI was appointed by the Secretary of State to hold the Examination.

Programme Officer
Ian Kemp was the Programme Officer, an impartial officer of the Examination and works under the direction of the Inspector.

Document Library
To view Wiltshire Council's Wiltshire Housing Sites Allocations Plan Document Library, please use this link.

Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan Community Engagement

An important part of developing the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan was to engage with the local community and wider stakeholder and listen to the views they expressed. Throughout the plan's preparation outputs from consultations and engagement were reported and these can be found below.

Following the Examination in Public (April 2019) the Inspector wrote to the Council on 10 June 2019 with his post hearing findings and advice. In response to his letter the Council consulted on a Schedule of Further Main Modifications (FMMs).

Consultation on the Schedule of FMMs, along with the Revised Sustainability Appraisal and updated Addendum to the Habitats Regulation Assessment were published for a 6 week period of consultation starting 9am on 12 September until 5pm on 25 October 2019.

The consultation can be found on the examinations page or on the council's consultation portal.

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A consultation was undertaken for six weeks from 9am Thursday 27 September 2018 to 5pm Friday 9 November 2018. A report on the consultation can be viewed here. An appendix to the main report setting out details of all representations made can be viewed here.

While the consultation was widely advertised, following the close of the consultation it was identified due to a technical error some consultees on the council’s database were not directly written to about the consultation. To correct this, the council has written to the consultees concerned (who had not already responded) to provide them with the opportunity to comment over a six-week period starting Tuesday 11 December 2018 to 5pm Tuesday 22 January 2019. Following the close of the targeted consultation, the council produced an Addendum to the November 2018 Consultation Report, which summarised the further responses that had been received.

The addendum report can be viewed here. An appendix to the addendum report setting out the details of the representations made can be viewed here.

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The Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State on 31 July 2018.

For more information on the examination, please go to the Examination Page.

The documents submitted to the Secretary of State can be viewed here.

Copies of representations made during the pre-submission consultation are summarised in document WHSAP/12 Regulation 22 (1) (c) Report Consultation Statement Appendix Q Schedule of Representations.

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Wiltshire Council published the draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan, along with accompanying evidence reports, for formal consultation during a 10 week consultation period, which ran from Friday 14 July 2017 until 5pm on Friday 22 September 2017.

The draft Plan and supporting evidence documents are available to view and download by following this link. They can also be viewed via the consultation portal.

Copies of all comments are now available to view via this link to the consultation portal.

Following the consultation, the council is now considering the comments received before submitting the draft Plan and supporting evidence to the Secretary of State for examination.  All comments received during this consultation will be passed on to the appointed independent Planning Inspector at that stage.

The draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan was approved by Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet on 20 June 2017. To view the papers that went to cabinet please follow this link.

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Informal consultation with parish and town councils and other stakeholders on a draft methodology and initial findings relating to the identification of housing allocations (February – March 2015). This has been followed up with a targeted consultation of Parish Councils with Large Villages (June – August 2015).

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Informal consultation with parish and town councils on draft proposals for revised settlement boundaries.

The council undertook an informal consultation with Parish and Town Councils whose area includes settlements with existing boundary lines. The decision to solely engage at this stage with Parish and Town Councils was taken because they are elected to represent their respective communities and have detailed knowledge of their local area.  However, in the interests of openness, the consultation material was made publicly available. The informal consultation ran for an 8-week period, from Monday 28 July until Monday 22 September 2014.

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Formal public consultation on the scope of the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations DPD. Close

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Last updated: 9 March 2020 | Last reviewed: 9 March 2020