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Wiltshire core strategy

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Adopted Core Strategy

The Wiltshire Core Strategy Development Plan Document (‘the Plan’) was formally adopted by Wiltshire Council on 20 January 2015. The Plan provides a positive and flexible overarching planning policy framework for Wiltshire for the period up to 2026.

The Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State on 10 July 2012 for examination and the Inspector’s Report was published in December 2014. The Inspector’s recommended main modifications have been included in the Adopted Plan.

The Wiltshire Core Strategy replaces the South Wiltshire Core Strategy as well as a number of policies from the former District Councils Local Plans.

Wiltshire Core Strategy - Report on the Examination into the Wiltshire Core Strategy

The Planning Inspectorate has issued the report into the examination of the Wiltshire Core Strategy. The report is available to read below.

The Inspector’s report concludes that the Wiltshire Core Strategy provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the county over the plan period, up to 2026, providing a number of modifications are made to the Plan to ensure it is sound and legally compliant. Most of the modifications recommended in his report are based on proposals put forward by the Council in response to points that have arisen over the course of the examination. The changes do not alter the thrust of the Council’s overall strategy.

“These modifications cover a wide range of matters and include:

An increase in the minimum number of houses to be provided over the plan period, from 37,000 to at least 42,000 and revisions to their distribution;

A commitment to partially review the Core Strategy to enable an adequate development plan basis for decision making over the plan period to 2026;

A commitment to produce additional Development Plan Documents to ensure the effective delivery of necessary development. Such documents will include a Housing Sites Allocation DPD, a Gypsy and Traveller DPD based upon updated needs evidence and a Chippenham Site Allocation DPD;

The creation of two different affordable housing targets across the county to reflect development viability;

Clarification of the approach to be taken towards renewable energy to be consistent with national policy;

Clarity of the approach to be taken towards natural and heritage assets to be effective and consistent with national policy.”

(Page 3, Non-Technical Summary, Wiltshire Core Strategy - Inspector’s Report December 2014)

Overall, the Inspector considered that the Council has sufficient evidence to support the strategy and can show that it has reasonable prospects of being delivered.

You can read the PDFWiltshire Core Strategy Inspectors Report The Inspectors report 1mb and PDFcovering letter covering letter 54kb.

The Council will now consider the adoption of the Core Strategy at Cabinet on 16 December and make a recommendation to a special meeting of Full Council being planned for 20 January 2015.

Fact Check

The Core Strategy Inspector has submitted his report to the Council for fact–checking. This is not the final report and is not for publication but provides council officers a 2 week period to check for factual and typographical errors. It is anticipated that the final report will be issued towards the end of November.

Examination of Wiltshire Core Strategy Development Plan Document

Further to the Hearing session held on 30 September, the Council has now received further correspondence from the Inspector in his 18th Procedural Letter (PDFInspectors 18 Proceudral Letter 6 Oct 2014 EXAM 116 75kb)

Supplementary Hearing Session – Tuesday 30 September 2014

The Inspector held a supplementary Hearing Session on Tuesday 30 September 2014 at the Civic Centre, St Setephen’s Place, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AH which commenced at 09.30am.

The agenda for the supplementary Hearing was limited to the two bullet pointed items in the Inspector’s 17 Procedural Letter (EXAM 110) concerning the Council’s recently submitted Housing Land Supply Paper (EXAM 109) and the issue of 900 homes to the west of Swindon.

Participation was limited to those who appeared at the original Matter 4 Housing Hearing in the Summer of 2013.

The Hearing is due to conclude that day after which time the Inspector will finalise his Report and conclude the Examination. Further written statements are neither requested or required.

PDFHousing land supply statement 2014 EXAM/109 3mb

PDFEXAM/110 Exam 110 88kb

The Agenda for the Supplementary Hearing session (30th September) can be found below:

Agenda

Schedule of Proposed Modifications (including Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment updates) April 2014; Inspector’s Proposed Modifications April 2014; and implications of National Planning Practice Guidance.

In December 2013 the council received the tenth procedural letter from the Inspector, which sought the views of the council on a number of matters. The council’s response has resulted in further ‘main’ and ‘minor’ proposed changes to the Wiltshire Core Strategy. The council has also proposed changes to the Wiltshire Core Strategy as a result of the responses received during the consultation that closed in October 2013.

A further round of consultation took place for six weeks from 9am Monday 14 April to 5pm Tuesday 27 May 2014 to give all interested parties the opportunity to comment on the following proposed modifications (changes) before the Inspector completes his report. (This consultation is now closed and the output reports from this can be found below)

The proposed changes are set out in the Schedule of Proposed Modifications (April 2014) document. The Inspector has also proposed main modifications in relation to Core Policy 42, Core Policy 48 and Appendix D (set out in PDFEXAM/97A Inspector’s Proposed Modifications, April 2014 459kb).

Representations were invited upon the ‘soundness’ and legal compliance of the modifications (changes) only and should not relate to other matters. Now the consultation has ended the Inspector will consider the responses received on the ‘main’ modifications and assess whether they raise any issues of ‘soundness’ or legal compliance.

The council will also take into account any consultation comments made on the ‘minor’ modifications. These changes do not need to be considered by the Inspector but can be made by the council on adoption of the Core Strategy.

The Schedule of Proposed Modifications and Inspector’s Proposed Modifications were to be read in conjunction with the Wiltshire Core Strategy Pre-Submission Document (February 2012) WCS/01  and the previously consulted on Schedules of Proposed Changes (September 2012 EXAM/04 and August 2013 PDFEXAM/56 EXAM/56 1mb). A ‘tracked changes’ version PDFEXAM/34b EXAM/34B 21mb (April 2014) of the Core Strategy that contains all the modifications to the Core Strategy submitted to the Inspector has also been made available.

The council also produced an update to the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) based on its own Schedule of Proposed Modifications.  Comments can also be made on these updates during the consultation period. The council has also produced a number of documents, which can be referred to in commenting on the Schedule of Proposed Modifications.

The Inspector had also requested that the council invites comments on the implications that the recently published National Planning Practice Guidance may have on the Wiltshire Core Strategy.

The main consultation documents are as follows:

The following documents also provide the context for the proposed modifications to the Core Strategy:

Output Report for April 2014 Consultation

Procedural letters and recent examination documents

Examination documents

The core strategy has been informed by a number of documents. These documents are available in the core strategy document library. This library contains Position Statements and Statements of Common Ground which were produced for the examination process.

The Inspector

Planning Inspector; Andrew Seaman BA (Hons) MA MRTPI has been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of the Wiltshire Core Strategy.

The role of the inspector is to consider the soundness of the strategy based on the soundness criteria set out in paragraph 182 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework) published on 27 March 2012. The relevant soundness criteria are whether the Wiltshire Core Strategy is:

  • Posively prepared (based on a strategy that seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development)
  • justified (the most appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence)
  • effective (deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities) and
  • consistent with national policy (enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the framework).

The inspector will take into account the representations submitted on the Wiltshire 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.

Following the closure of the examination, the inspector will prepare a report to the council with precise recommendations; these recommendations may include modifications to the Local Plan, if such a request is made by the council.

A set of PDFguidance notes guidance notes 137kb have been prepared by the inspector to help people understand the process. Any queries about the examination process should be directed to the programme officer who will be happy to assist.

Inspector contact with Wiltshire Council

There may be times when it is necessary for the inspector to seek clarification from the council to assist his understanding of the task at hand. The inspector and the council are never in direct communication but instead queries are channelled through the programme officer, Mr Ian Kemp. For transparency purposes, and in an effort to keep representors fully informed of such dialogue, correspondence between the inspector and the council can be found within the examination documents section of the core document library.

Programme and venue

The hearing sessions took place from 7 May 2013 until 19 July 2013 at the Civic Centre, Trowbridge, BA14 8AH. The programme for the sessions can be found here:

The programme officer

The programme officer, Ian Kemp, will act as the contact point for any person who has made representations at the submission stage, and as a liaison between the inspector, the council and examination participants.

He will act independently on behalf of the inspector to organise and manage the administrative and procedural matters of the examination process and is the first point of contact for any questions relating to timetabling or procedural matters. All statements will also be submitted through him.

Any matters that anyone wishes to raise with the inspector should be submitted via the programme officer.

Contact details:

Ian Kemp
49 All Saints Place
Bromsgrove
Worcestershire
B61 0AX

Telephone: 01527 837 920
Mobile: 0772 300 9166
Email: idkemp@sky.com

Consultation on the Schedule of Proposed Modifications (including Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment Addendums)

This consultation took place for a six week period from Tuesday 27 August 2013 to Wednesday 9 October 2013 inclusive. It is now closed.

The Schedule of Proposed Modifications sets out the council's proposed modifications to the core strategy. Comments were invited on these modifications and were also be made on updates to the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment Addendums which have been produced in response to these modifications.

  • PDFEXAM/56 EXAM/56 1mb - Schedule of Proposed Modifications in Plan Order (August 2013)
  • EXAM/57 - Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report Addendum (August 2013)
  • EXAM/58 - Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) Report Addendum (August 2013)

The Schedule of Proposed Modifications should be read in conjunction with the following:

  • WCS/01 - Wiltshire Core Strategy Pre-Submission Document (February 2012)
  • EXAM/04 - Schedule of Proposed Changes (September 2012)
  • STU/227 - Monitoring Framework for the Wiltshire Core Strategy (August 2013)

The council have also produced a tracked changes version of the core strategy containing all of the proposed changes (EXAM/04) and proposed modifications (EXAM/56) being considered by the Inspector:

Please note that comments are only invited on change/modification references that begin with PS, SOCG, or HS.

The Wiltshire Core Strategy policies maps and other core strategy maps (EXAM/65) have been updated to reflect these modifications.

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Last updated: 20 February 2017

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