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Young Leaders have their say on the future of Chippenham

40 young people from across Chippenham have shared their ideas and aspirations to help shape the Future Chippenham Masterplan.

Published 3 March 2022
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40 young people from across Chippenham have shared their ideas and aspirations to help shape the Future Chippenham Masterplan, a blueprint for a sustainable community with new homes and infrastructure built to last. 

The students from three local secondary schools took part in a series of workshops to share their views and give their input into the vision of their town.

The Future Chippenham programme creates a long-term sustainable plan for proposed new neighbourhoods to the south of the town which meet the local needs for homes and infrastructure. Student Council representatives of Sheldon School, Abbeyfield School, and Hardenhuish's School Parliament were invited to meet members of the Future Chippenham Team and offer their views about what the community needs to grow and thrive.

Each workshop brought together pupils from year seven to year eleven, and a host of topics were discussed, including sustainability, employment, health and wellbeing. These workshops were valuable in identifying the opportunities and challenges facing Chippenham's young people.

Students would like to see enhanced cycle, walking and bus routes, alongside state-of-the-art leisure and recreational spaces, creating a more sustainable town where residents (and tourists) can live, work and play.  

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: This has been a wonderful opportunity for young people to help shape the vision for their town and the kind of development that could come forward. It is widely acknowledged throughout Wiltshire that we need to retain young people so that they can live and work in the towns they grew up in, which is why it is essential they are involved in helping to shape Future Chippenham. I'm particularly delighted that so many young people engaged with us.

As a council we have to meet the government's housing targets for Wiltshire; this means there will be development. The Future Chippenham programme aims to provide infrastructure led development which is properly masterplanned to ensure the future needs of the community are met. Such development allows us to plan new integrated communities and by gaining the young people's perspective on these proposals, means they could benefit in the long terms from the new housing and/or employment giving them a reason to stay in Chippenham, so it's really important that we listen and take on board their comments.

Miss Jones, Head of Sixth Form at Abbeyfield School, said: We were delighted to be able to be involved with this scheme, and it was lovely to see our School Council representatives engaged in making decisions that will make a difference to themselves and future generations.

Mike Heffernan, Assistant Headteacher and School Parliament Lead at Hardenhuish School added: It was a great opportunity for us to engage in local issues and help shape future planning."
Ingrid Frater, Head of Year 12 at Sheldon School, commented: "The members of our student council are excited to see what developments lie ahead. It is great to see that young people's voices are being heard as part of this process.

The feedback from these workshops is being analysed alongside the feedback received from the recent visioning exercise with stakeholders and local residents and will help shape the final vision for the proposed Future Chippenham development.


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