Future Chippenham continues with southern only scheme without HIF funding
Cabinet agreed yesterday (13 December 2022) to withdraw from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) and to continue with its aspiration to deliver a road route and housing development to the south of Chippenham
Cabinet agreed yesterday (13 December 2022) to withdraw from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) and to continue with its aspiration to deliver a road route and housing development to the south of Chippenham.
This reflects the ongoing risk of delivering the Future Chippenham programme within the HIF funding period and the council believing promotion only of the southern scheme would reduce its risks. Ultimately it was not possible for Homes England and the council to reach an agreement on a southern only scheme which comprises a southern section of the distributor road from the A4 through to the A350 junction at Lackham roundabout delivering around 4,050 new homes and associated infrastructure subject to the Local Plan review.
Wiltshire Council will now liaise with Homes England to progress the necessary legal documentation to carry out the mutually agreed exit on mutually agreed terms.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of the council, said: "Since the HIF funding was awarded late 2019, we have been working closely with Homes England and we have a good relationship with them which will continue. Although it is disappointing to have made this decision, it is the right thing to do as it is no longer possible for the council to deliver the Future Chippenham programme within the HIF funding period without exposing the council to further significant financial risk.
"A key aim of ours is to deliver vibrant well-connected communities. As we have said before doing nothing does not mean that nothing will happen, it just means developers will build cookie cutter estates and the development will not be masterplanned. We still want to use our land to deliver a quality residential development subject to the Local Plan review. So, Cabinet have agreed to continue working with developers to the south of Chippenham to put the council, as landowner and developer, in the best position possible to secure a site allocation in the Local Plan review to develop land to the south of Chippenham."
Cabinet also agreed to recommend to the next Full Council the capital financing of the unfunded costs of the Future Chippenham programme as well as agreeing to make a budget allocation of £0.500m in 2023/24 to support the work to promote the council sites in the Local Plan review.
In addition, Cabinet authorised entering into an agreement with the developer of Rawlings Green to provide access over land in the council's ownership at Darcy Close to enable the development to take place.