Local Plan Review
On Tuesday 1 December Wiltshire Council's Cabinet agreed the next steps for the Local Plan review including undertaking a round of consultation to enable people to comment and help shape the content of the draft Wiltshire Local Plan Review, with the draft plan due to be completed towards the end of 2021. This round of consultation builds on earlier engagement with councillors, council partners and the public undertaken since 2017.
To view the consultation content and understand how to comment, visit the Local Plan Review consultation page.
As part of the Local Plan Review consultation, taking place from Wednesday 13 January to Tuesday 9 March 2021, we are planning to host a series of live online consultation events for communities and other stakeholders. If you are interested in attending any of these events, complete the booking form. Each consultation event will close for bookings at 9am on the day of the event. If you would like to book on during the day of a scheduled event, see the contact us page.
These events will summarise the content of the consultation, explaining the proposals relevant to each area while also explaining how to make comments. Each event will be held from 7pm-8pm on the scheduled date. A summary of the event schedule can be seen below:
- Calne, Monday 18 January
- Corsham, Tuesday 19 January
- Royal Wootton Bassett, Tuesday 19 January
- Chippenham, Wednesday 20 January
- Tidworth and Ludgershall, Wednesday 20 January
- Malmesbury, Thursday 21 January
- Amesbury, Thursday 21 January
- Marlborough, Monday 25 January
- Bradford, Monday 25 January
- Westbury, Tuesday 26 January
- Salisbury, Tuesday 26 January
- Devizes, Wednesday 27 January
- Trowbridge, Wednesday 27 January
- Melksham, Thursday 28 January
- Warminster, Thursday 28 January
- Rural events, which include all other Wiltshire villages and settlements, Monday 1 February and Tuesday 2 February
If you would like to be kept informed at key stages of the progression of the Local Plan review, along with other planning policy notifications, you can do so by joining our planning policy mailing list.
To join this notification list, follow the link provided below, fill in your personal details and tick the 'Planning policy' option from the 'topics of interest' list. The 'areas of interest' do not relate to the planning policy mailing list.
If you would like further information about how the Spatial Planning department will treat your personal information, visit our Privacy notice page.
Understanding the Local Plan review
National policy states that the planning system should be genuinely plan-led. This plan led system places a Local Planning Authorities development plan at the heart of decision making.
In Wiltshire, the Local Plan includes the Wiltshire Core Strategy (incorporating Saved policies from District Local Plans), Chippenham Site Allocations Plan, Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan and Minerals and Waste. The Local Plan together with Made plans forms the Development Plan for Wiltshire.
The Wiltshire Core Strategy (and saved policies from district local plans), which form a substantive part of the development plan, are under review. This review is termed the 'Local Plan review'. The Local Plan review will set out a positive vision for the future of Wiltshire for the period to 2036 and a framework for addressing housing needs and other economic, social and environmental priorities.
The Local Plan, as a key component of the development plan, will be the basis against which planning applications are determined and neighbourhood plans developed. It is a legally required document containing planning policies and site allocations to deliver the Council's strategic priorities.
Drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community, the Local Plan provides a platform for local people to shape their future surroundings.
The current Local Plan is the Wiltshire Core Strategy. The Government requires every Local Plan to be reviewed at least once every five years. The Core Strategy was adopted in 2015 and is therefore being reviewed.
Maintaining an up-to-date plan supports growth, ensuring there is enough land for homes, jobs and the infrastructure necessary to support them. Having an up-to-date plan helps protect against speculative and unplanned development that might undermine sustainable and resilient communities.
The purpose of the review of the adopted Local Plan will be to assess the future levels of need for new homes (including market, affordable and specialist housing) and employment land over the period 2016-2036 and to provide an appropriate basis for housing, employment land and infrastructure provision over that period.
It will involve considering if the existing adopted development strategy remains relevant, identifying new site allocations relating to housing and employment together with supporting services and infrastructure.
It will not be the purpose of the review to change or remove strategic objectives or policies that remain in accordance with national policy and support the delivery of sustainable development.
The review will also include:
- targeted updating of existing Wiltshire Core Strategy development management policies to ensure their continued consistency with national policy;
- the introduction of further detailed development management policies as part of a review of the saved development management policies not replaced by the Wiltshire Core Strategy; and
- developing additional locally distinctive policies to plan positively for all town centres in Wiltshire consistent with national policy
The scope of the review has been amended to exclude the needs of Gypsies and Travellers, which will be addressed through a separate DPD. See the Gypsy and Travellers page for more information.
The Wiltshire Local Development Scheme (LDS) sets out the Development Plan Documents (DPDs) prioritised for production by Wiltshire Council and the timetable for their preparation that will, when complete, together with other adopted documents, comprise the Development Plan for Wiltshire.
This LDS has been revised in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic to delay the start of the consultations planned for summer 2020 to the end of the year.
This version reflects the changing timescale for the production of the Wiltshire Local Plan Review to accommodate a further round of public consultation and the intention to undertake a separate DPD for Gypsies and Travellers.
The anticipated timeline for the progression of the Local Plan Review has been summarised below:
- Initial consultation on the scope of plan: Commenced November 2017
- Plan preparation (including evidence gathering and informal consultation, with public consultation commencing Quarter 4 2020): Over the period Quarter 1 2018 to Quarter 4 2021.
- Publication of plan for pre‐submission consultation: Commencing Quarter 4 2021
- Submission to Secretary of State: Quarter 3 2022
- Examination (including hearing and receipt of Inspector's report): Commencing Quarter 4 2022
- Adoption: Quarter 2 2023
Work undertaken so far
Local planning authorities are legally required to co-operate with each other over issues that cross administrative boundaries.
Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council are working together on an ongoing basis. In 2017 the intention was for ato guide the overall pattern of development across the wider area of the two councils, setting out a distribution of new jobs, homes and infrastructure to inform the councils' individual local plan reviews.
The National Planning Policy Framework in 2019 placed more emphasis on the role of a Statement of Common Ground. It became clear there was likely to be some overlap between the intent of the proposed Joint Spatial Framework and the intent of the new format Statement of Common Ground.
The authorities are, therefore, preparing a Statement of Common Ground which will establish the existence or otherwise of unmet needs for housing or economic development and lay the foundations for joint working between the two authorities.
During 2019 a series of workshops were held with Town and Parish Councils, as well as Developers to provide updates on the Local Plan Review process. The focus for these sessions was largely centred on how the overall housing numbers could be distributed across Wiltshire in line with the Settlement Strategy set out in the adopted Wiltshire Core Strategy. In addition, the Developer Forum meeting looked at the issue of development viability and market signals.
Reports on these events can be found below:
Following the Issues and Options Consultation in Autumn 2017, a number of parish events were held in Autumn 2018 to help develop our thinking further on planning for new homes to 2036. Specifically, the events helped to address the following questions:
How can approximately 44,000 homes be distributed across Wiltshire, with a focus on Wiltshire's market towns and principal settlements, to maintain the role and function of those places and promote sustainable development?
How can policies within the Local Plan support proportionate housing growth outside named market towns and principal settlements (the rural area) and support the role of neighbourhood plans?
A report on the events can be found below:
An initial consultation asked about the issues the Local Plan review should address in order to plan for the period to 2036. The consultation documents were prepared to stimulate discussion on how the review of the Wiltshire Local Plan should be carried out. The consultation documents along with the outputs from the consultation can be viewed below. An explanatory leaflet was produced as part of the consultation and that can be.
A report on the Issues consultation, including a summary of the actions that were taken to raise awareness of the consultation and a summary of the comments received, can be found below. As part of the awareness raising process, informal consultation events were held and reports of these events can also be found below (this included meetings with Town and Parish Councils and a Developer Forum with developers and landowners).
During the consultation, comments were invited on the Sustainability Appraisal Draft Scoping Report. Following consideration of comments, the final Scoping Report has been produced and can be viewed below.
The initial consultation asked about the issues the review should address in order to plan for the period to 2036. The consultation documents included:
These were prepared to stimulate discussion on how the review of the Wiltshire Local Plan should be carried out.
Information collected through public consultation will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
For more information on how the Council uses your personal information visit: Privacy notice
For more information on how the Spatial Planning department use your personal information see thePrivacy notice.
Comments submitted as part of a consultation will be made public but your personal data will not be published.
Comments submitted via email or other means will be scanned/copied and uploaded to our website. Personal information other than the name of the person making the comments will be redacted including e-mail and address. In order to enable us to do so personal information should be clearly distinguished from the comments, preferably by use of the form provided or by use of a cover sheet. Please be aware that any personal information contained within the body of the comment, including that may be inferred, may not be redacted.
Subject to the above, comments received:
- Will be made available for public inspection, and cannot be treated as confidential;
- Will be available to view on the Council's website for the duration of the Local Plan review process;
- Will be used by the Council to inform the review of the Wiltshire Local Plan;
- Will be retained by the Council until such time as the Review of the Local Plan is superseded by other Development Plan Document(s);
- Will be stored in electronic format within the Council's consultation portal and servers (hard copy letters, where received, will be stored at the Council's offices or secure storage facility);
- May be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration as part of the Local Plan review examination;
- May be summarised and presented in summary form.