What is a Local Plan
A Local Plan sets out a vision and a framework for the future development of an area. It is drawn up by a Local Planning Authority in consultation with its community, providing a platform for local people to shape their future surroundings. It will look at, and define, how development including housing, business construction and infrastructure (roads and facilities, for example) can best benefit the area a council is responsible for.
In England, the 'plan-led' approach to the regulation of land and development, places Local Plans at the heart of the town and country planning system. Under this system, Local Plans form part of the statutory 'development plan' for an area, setting out planning policies and proposals for new development, and serving as the starting point for determining local planning applications.
Why we need a Local Plan
If we do not have a Local Plan, development will still take place but, without our own planning policies, we will be less able to ensure the schools, open spaces, and road upgrades that are needed to support development are part of the planning approval process.
Have your say
Following a series of consultations, informing a review of the Local Plan, a draft version is now moving to a final public pre-submission consultation this autumn. This is running from Wednesday 27 September, to Wednesday 22 November. See our current consultation page to find out how you can have your say on the draft Local Plan.
Wiltshire's Local Plan
In Wiltshire, our current Local Plan is the Wiltshire Core Strategy (WCS), adopted in 2015. This incorporates Saved policies from former District Local Plans, that were not replaced by the WCS, and will continue to be saved until replaced as part of the Local Plan Review process. It also includes the following plans and policies:
The Local Plan, together with Made plans (neighbourhood plans) form the development plan for Wiltshire.
National policy states that the planning system should be genuinely plan-led, and places a Local Planning Authorities' development plan at the heart of decision making. 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.
The Local Plan review
The Government requires every Local Plan to be reviewed at least once every five years. Wiltshire's Local Plan, the Wiltshire Core Strategy, was adopted in 2015, and is therefore being reviewed. This review is termed the 'Local Plan review'.
Regular reviews support growth, ensuring there is enough land for homes, jobs and the infrastructure necessary to support them. It also helps protect against speculative and unplanned development that might undermine sustainable and resilient communities.
Scope of the Wiltshire Local Plan review
The Local Plan review will:
- set-out a vision and framework for Wiltshire for the period to 2038, addressing housing needs and other economic, social, and environmental priorities
- assess the future levels of need, and an appropriate basis, for new homes (including market, affordable, and specialist housing), employment land, and infrastructure provision over that period
- consider if the existing adopted development strategy remains relevant, identifying new site allocations relating to housing and employment together with supporting services and infrastructure
- inspect existing Wiltshire Core Strategy development management policies to ensure their continued consistency with national policy
- introduce further detailed development management policies as part of a review of the saved development management policies not replaced by the Wiltshire Core Strategy
- develop additional, locally distinctive policies, to plan positively for all town centres in Wiltshire consistent with national policy
The Local Plan review will not:
- change or remove strategic objectives or policies that remain in accordance with national policy and support the delivery of sustainable development
- include the needs of Gypsies and Travellers, this has been removed from the scope of the review, and will be addressed through separate DPD. See the Gypsy and Travellers - planning page for more information
Timeline of the Local Plan review
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.
The anticipated timeline for the progression of the Local Plan review is summarised below.
|Review stage||Start date||End date|
|Initial consultation on the scope of plan||2017|
|Plan preparation (evidence gathering, informal consultation, and public consultation)||2018|
|Publication of plan for pre‐submission consultation and preparation for submission following consultation||2023|
|Submission to Secretary of State||2024|
|Examination (including hearing, and receipt of inspector's report)||2024|
quarter 4 end
Regulation 19 consultation autumn 2023
Wiltshire Local Plan Regulation 19 consultation (closed)
Wiltshire Council published the draft Wiltshire Local Plan, which is a development plan document, for a formal eight week consultation period. The consultation ran from Wednesday 27 September, to Wednesday 22 November.
This was an opportunity for all interested parties to have their say on the proposals. All comments are now being processed and will be made available in the months following the consultation. The outcome of the consultation will be reported to Cabinet and Council prior to submission to the Secretary of State.
This consultation represented the final stage before the Plan, its accompanying evidence, and all submitted comments are sent to a government Planning Inspector for independent examination. In accordance with the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (legislation.gov.uk), the Planning Inspector will consider all comments made within the consultation period. More information on the next steps will be published in due course.
This webpage provides information on the consultation that was undertaken.
Drop-in events and webinar
As part of the consultation there were 16 drop in events at libraries and leisure centres across the county. A live webinar was also held on 10 October, a recording of which is available on our YouTube channel.
The webinar included a question and answer session. Due to the volume of questions that were received, it was not possible for all of them to be answered during the event. We have therefore published a document containing all of the questions that were submitted, and their answers.
The publication version of the Wiltshire Local Plan builds on the findings of earlier consultations, which can be found on our previous consultations page.
Closest event for residents of
Monday 2 October
3pm to 7pm
Amesbury Library, Smithfield Street, Amesbury SP4 7AL
Amesbury, Bulford, Durrington, Great Wishford, Porton, Shrewton, Tilshead and The Winterbournes
Monday 2 October
3pm to 7pm
Bradford on Avon Library, Bridge Street, Bradford on Avon BA15 1BY
Bradford on Avon, Holt, Westwood and Winsley
Tuesday 3 October
3pm to 7pm
Olympiad Leisure Centre, Sadlers Mead, Chippenham SN15 3PA
Chippenham, Christian Malford, Hullavington, Kington St Michael, Sutton Benger and Yatton Keynell
Wednesday 4 October
3pm to 7pm
Melksham Community Campus, Market Place, Melksham SN12 6ES
Melksham, Atworth, Bowerhill, Seend, Semington, Shaw and Whitley and Steeple Ashton
Wednesday 4 October
3pm to 7pm
The Nadder Centre, Weaveland Road, Tisbury SP3 6HJ
Tisbury, Mere, Fovant, Hindon and Ludwell
Thursday 5 October
3pm to 7pm
Devizes Library, Sheep Street, Devizes SN10 1DL
Devizes, Bromham, Market Lavington, Potterne, Rowde, Urchfont, West Lavington, Littleton Pannell and Worton
Monday 9 October
3pm to 7pm
Marlborough Library, 91 High Street, Marlborough SN8 1HD
Marlborough, Aldbourne, Baydon, Broad Hinton, Ramsbury, Pewsey, Burbage, Great Bedwyn, Shalbourne and Upavon
Monday 9 October
3pm to 7pm
Malmesbury Library, 24 Cross Hayes Lane, Malmesbury SN16 9BG
Malmesbury, Ashton Keynes, Crudwell, Great Somerford, Oaksey and Sherston
Tuesday 10 October
6.30pm to 8pm
Online webinar covering all of Wiltshire
Wednesday 11 October
3pm to 7pm
Springfield Community Campus, Beechfield Road, Corsham SN13 9DN
Corsham, Box, Colerne and Rudloe
Wednesday 11 October
3pm to 7pm
Royal Wootton Bassett library, 11 Borough Fields, Royal Wootton Bassett SN4 7AX
Royal Wootton Bassett, Cricklade, Lyneham and Purton
Thursday 12 October
3pm to 7pm
Atrium, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge BA14 8JN
Trowbridge, Hilperton, North Bradley and Southwick
Monday 16 October
3pm to 7pm
Calne Library, The Strand, Calne SN11 0JU
Calne, Derry Hill and Studley
Monday 16 October
4.30pm to 8.30pm
Leighton Recreation Centre, Wellhead Lane, Westbury BA13 3PT
Westbury, Dilton Marsh and Bratton
Tuesday 17 October
3pm to 7pm
Salisbury Library, Market Walk, Salisbury SP1 1BL
Salisbury, Alderbury, Broad Chalke, Coombe Bissett, Dinton, Downton, Laverstock and Ford, Morgan's Vale, Woodfalls, Pitton, Whiteparish, Wilton and Winterslows
Wednesday 18 October
3pm to 7pm
Tidworth Leisure Centre, Nadder Road, Tidworth SP9 7QN
Tidworth, Ludgershall, Collingbourne Ducis and Netheravon
Wednesday 18 October
3pm to 7pm
Warminster Sports Centre, Woodcock Road, Warminster BA12 9DQ
Warminster, Chapmanslade, Codford, Corsley, Heytesbury and Sutton Veny
How you could have your say on the Wiltshire Local Plan (the Plan)
When the Plan is examined by the Planning Inspector, they decide whether it complies with any legal requirements and whether it meets the 'tests of soundness'. To have the greatest impact, you should focus your comments on:
- whether the Plan been positively prepared; the Plan should be based on a strategy that looks to meet Wiltshire's development need and whether sufficient infrastructure is being provided
- whether the Plan is justified; the Plan should be the most appropriate strategy for Wiltshire, when considered against the reasonable alternatives
- whether the Plan is effective; the Plan should be deliverable during the Plan period, up until 2038
- whether the Plan is consistent with national planning policy; do you think there are parts of the plan that don't accord with government policy?
As an example, you may feel that part of the Plan does - or does not - meet one (or more) of the 'tests of soundness'. This may relate to issues such as (but not limited to) highways, flooding, ecology, landscape or archaeology. For more information about making a representation and definition of 'soundness', see the frequently asked question 'What is Regulation 19 and what can I comment on?'
Online consultation portal
Comments (known as 'representations' in this context) could be submitted online using the council's consultation portal. This was the recommended route, and the simplest, as it allowed you to comment directly on the Plan as you look through it. Access to the portal and instructions on how to use it are below.
Submitting comments (representations) via the consultation portal was as follows:
- follow the link to the consultation portal (above)
- navigate and read through the Plan using the navigation pane
- to comment, click on the green speech bubble on the part of the Plan you wish to comment on (the form will pop-up on your screen for you to complete). You can add multiple comments on separate sections of the plan should you wish to do so
- there is an option to upload attachment(s) to your comments at the end of the representation form, should you wish to
- when you are finished, make sure you submit your comments by clicking 'complete' and then 'submit' (you will receive an email if you have any representations you are yet to submit, to prompt you to finish them)
- you will receive an email once your comments are submitted
We also prepared a short video demonstration on how to submit comments: Local Plan consultation - how to submit a comment (youtube.com).
Email or post
All comments submitted, via the portal or otherwise, will be made publicly available. See your personal details, for information.
View the consultation documents
The easiest way to view the Plan, and submit your comments directly, was on the consultation portal:
You could also view the Plan on our ArcGIS mapping platform, where we created interactive maps that illustrate each of the policies, and made available a series of stories taking you through the chapters of the Wiltshire Local Plan.
There were also a number of other supporting documents that have helped to inform the preparation of Wiltshire Local Plan, these are provided below:
Sustainability Appraisal Annex 1
Sustainability Appraisal Annex 2
Sustainability Appraisal Annex 3
Habitats Regulations Assessment
Employment, housing, and town centres
Viability and infrastructure
Wiltshire Open Space Assessment
Wiltshire Open Space Assessment appendices
Wiltshire Renewable Energy Assessment
Duty to Cooperate Statement 2023
Equalities Impact Assessment
Hard copies of the Plan and supporting documents are available
Hard copies of the Plan, and supporting documents, were also available to view, during the consultation period, at the council's main offices and a selection of libraries and community hubs, as detailed below. You could also request individual copies, for which printing and postage costs applied, see below for details.
The council's main offices are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The Council House
The draft Plan, the draft Sustainability Appraisal Report (incorporating requirements of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004), and the draft Habitat Regulations Assessment, were made available to view at the following libraries and community hubs during normal opening hours.
- Amesbury Library
- Bradford on Avon Library
- Calne Community Hub and Library
- Chippenham Library
- Springfield Community Campus
- Devizes Library
- Malmesbury Library
- Marlborough Library
- Melksham Community Campus
- Pewsey Library
- Royal Wootton Bassett Library
- Salisbury Library
- Tidworth Library
- Tisbury Library
- Trowbridge Library
- Warminster Library
- Westbury Library
Hard copies of the Plan, and supporting documents, could be provided to individuals if requested. Printing and postage costs were payable by those requesting this service, these costs were as follows:
- for Wiltshire Council members, town and parish councils, and Wiltshire residents: printed copies of the Local Plan and of the 'planning for' documents were available at £10 for a colour copy, or £5 for a black and white copy. All other prices for documents were available on request, based on the size of the document
- for all other organisations and non-Wiltshire residents: printed copies of the Local Plan and of the 'planning for' documents were available at £40 for a colour copy, or £20 for a black and white copy. All other prices for documents were available on request, based on the size of the document
To order these printed copies, you needed to contact email@example.com.
Regulation 19 is part of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (legislation.gov.uk). It says that, before submitting a draft Local Plan to the Government's Planning Inspectorate for independent examination, the council must publish a draft of the Local Plan and formally invite comments (known as 'representations' in this context) on it. This version of the Local Plan is known as the Publication Plan.
The Regulations make clear that the council must invite representations, not just from consultation bodies like the Environment Agency, Natural England and Historic England, but also from residents and businesses in the area covered by the Local Plan. The Regulation 19 consultation presents the opportunity to comment on the content of the Local Plan, within a specific remit. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, as amended, states that the purpose of the examination is to consider whether the Plan complies with the relevant legal requirements, including the duty to co-operate, and is sound.
The focus for this consultation, therefore, related to receiving representations on:
- Legal Compliance - does the plan meet the legal requirements made under various statutes?
- Soundness - has the plan been positively prepared, is it justified, effective, and consistent with national policy?
- Meets the Duty to Cooperate - has the council engaged and worked effectively with neighbouring authorities and statutory bodies?
Following the end of the consultation period, the council will process, summarise, and consider the main issues raised. It will submit the Plan, accompanying evidence, and all submitted comments (known as 'representations' in this context), to the Secretary of State, who will appoint an Inspector to undertake an independent examination. The Inspector will assess whether the Plan meets the relevant legal requirements, complies with the Duty to Cooperate, and is sound.
If you wish to take part in the independent examination hearing session(s) you must outline why you think this is necessary in your representations at this Regulation 19 stage. The Inspector will decide the most appropriate procedure to hear from members of the public who would like to participate in hearing(s). This may be in writing, or they may invite you to attend and speak at the hearing sessions.
It is vital that you express your wish to engage in the examination at this stage. Not doing so may mean that you do not have the ability to write to or speak at the hearings. You can always change your mind later, but without indicating a potential wish now, there is no way for the Inspector, or their Programme Officer, to know to contact you.
Contact us for more information
If you would like any further information on the Plan, proposed submission documents, or any of the supporting documents, please contact us.
To ensure an effective and fair examination, it is important that the Inspector and all other participants in the examination process are able to know who has made comments (known as 'representations' in this context)on the plan. The council will therefore ensure that the names of those making representations can be made available (including publication on the council's website) and taken into account by the Inspector.
The council therefore cannot accept anonymous representations - you must provide us with your name and contact details. Address details will not be made publicly available. All personal data will be handled in line with the council's Spatial Planning privacy notice.
Following Cabinet approval on 1 December 2020, we held a consultation on the Wiltshire Local Plan review between 13 January 2021 and 9 March 2021.
The consultation was not on a draft Local Plan but on key components to inform one, including proposals for the scale and distribution of housing and employment growth across Wiltshire. It also sought views on the role of the Local Plan in helping the county adapt to and mitigate for climate change.
A report to Cabinet on 29 June 2021 provided an initial summary of the main issues that were raised through the consultation and the next steps.
A full consultation report has been prepared, along with all submitted responses, and is available on our Local Plan consultation statement (2021) page.
Live online consultation events - PowerPoint presentations and Q&A responses
As part of the 2021 Local Plan review consultation, we held a series of live online consultation events for communities and other stakeholders. These events summarised the content of the consultation, explaining the proposals relevant to each area while also explaining how to make comments.
Further information on the 2021 consultation can be found on our Local Plan Review consultation 2021 page.
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, a 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 downloaded here: .
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.
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 a to 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.
Further information be be found on the Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework webpage.
Join our mailing list
To be kept informed at key stages of the progression of the Local Plan review, along with other planning policy notifications, you can join our planning policy mailing list.
To join, follow the link 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.
For further information on how the Spatial Planning department treat your personal information, visit our Privacy notice - Spatial Planning and Data Protection page.
Privacy notice - Planning
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 - Public Protection.
For more information on how the Spatial Planning department use your personal information, see: Privacy notice - Spatial Planning and Data Protection.
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 copied or scanned and uploaded to our website. Personal information other than the name of the person making the comments will be redacted, including e-mails and postal addresses. 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