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Wiltshire Core Strategy

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What is the Wiltshire Core Strategy?

The Wiltshire Core Strategy is the most important part of the Local Development Framework (LDF), a suite of planning policy documents that will eventually replace the four local plans covering Wiltshire.

The Wiltshire Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) will cover the whole of Wiltshire (excluding Swindon) and sets out the council's

  • spatial vision,
  • key objectives, and
  • overall principles for development in the county.

The key objectives of the spatial vision will be derived from an analysis of the county's characteristics, a review of the council's own corporate plans and priorities, and national planning guidance. At its heart will be the delivery of viable and vibrant communities based on the principle of sustainability.

The core strategy will outline a sustainable spatial strategy for future development in the county and include:

  • key principles of development
  • the location of strategic sites for new housing and employment development
  • policies with which planning applications will be assessed
  • a key diagram displaying the spatial aspects of the core strategy


Stages of preparation Timeline
Submission of Wiltshire Core Strategy to the Planning Inspectorate 10 July 2012
Wiltshire Core Strategy - Focussed Consultation 20 September 2012 - 1 November 2012

Summer 2013

Please see examination page

Wiltshire Core Strategy -Schedule of Proposed Modifications 27 August - 9 October 2013
Adoption Spring / Summer 2014


Wiltshire Council, following approval from council, submitted the Wiltshire Core Strategy Pre-Submission document part of the council’s Local Development Framework to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 10 July 2012 for independent examination.

The Core Strategy Pre-Submission document including proposed changes and supporting documentation submitted to the Secretary of State is available to view on the dedicated Wiltshire Core Strategy Submission webpage which forms the central point for all information regarding the submission of the Core Strategy

Public examination

Details of the public examination are available on the examination page which will be continually updated throughout the examination period with latest developments and documents issued by the inspector.

Next steps

The next steps for the Wiltshire Core Strategy have now been communicated by the Planning Inspector, Andrew Seaman BA (Hons) MA MRTPI.

Pre-hearing meeting

The inspector has requested a pre-hearing meeting on the 28 February 2013, ahead of formally publishing the matters to be debated. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for procedural and administrative matters to be explained and discussed, together with the form and content of the hearings and the anticipated timetable. Prior to the meeting, the Inspectorate will write to all those who submitted representations on the core strategy. The Inspector will take into account the representations submitted on the core strategy as far as they relate to soundness considerations and it is likely that a number of informal debates will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector, these are termed hearing sessions.

Examination in Public Hearing Sessions

The inspector has also proposed that the hearing sessions will commence in early May 2013 – the duration and start date are to be confirmed following the pre-hearing meeting, but it is likely to last five weeks with a break for half term.

The purpose of the Examination in Public (EiP) is to consider if the Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) complies with the legal requirements and is 'sound'.The Inspector assesses the whole document for legal compliance and soundness – this means dealing with the main issues which go to the heart of the DPD, and not getting involved unnecessarily with the details of the plan.

Hearing sessions are based on the Inspector’s definition of matters and issues, and are not driven by the representations. The sessions will be inquisitorial, with the Inspector probing the issues as opposed to an adversarial approach. Those who have sought changes to the DPD and signalled a wish to be heard must be invited to the hearings. If essential, additional parties who did not ask to attend, may be invited by the Inspector to contribute specialist expertise and knowledge.

Consultation on the Schedule of Proposed Modifications (including Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment Addendums) 27 August 2013 to 9 October 2013

The Schedule of Proposed Modifications sets out the council's proposed modifications to the Core Strategy. Comments were invited on these modifications and on updates to the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment Addendums which have been produced in response to these modifications. Further infomration and the documents are available on the examination webpage.


The Planning Inspectorate aim to submit a draft report to the council in a timely manner after the close of the sessions. It is estimated that we shall receive the Inspector's report early 2014.

Final steps

If the Inspector recommends modifications, these will be subject to a period of consultation prior to the adoption period.

Should the Inspector find the plan sound then the council can move to adoption which requires full council agreement. Once adopted, the council is obliged to take decisions in accordance with the policies of the plan. On the current timetable, adoption is expected in Spring / Summer 2014.

Further information

Information on previous stages in the development of the Wiltshire Core Strategy as well as the evidence base that supports the emerging Wiltshire Core Strategy can be found via the links below.

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Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: spatialplanningpolicy@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01225 713223
Out of hours:
Postal Address:

Spatial Planning Team
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN

In Person:

Last updated: 28 August 2013



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Spatial Planning Team
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN