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Consultation Begins on Draft Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan

28th February 2022 / News archive

Consultation Begins on Draft Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan

The local community and Chippenham Town Council have finished preparing the first draft of the Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan, which will contain planning policies to guide future development in the town in the period up to 2036.

The Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, made up of Town Councillors and local community representatives, is undertaking its first public consultation on the Pre-Submission Draft Plan, inviting residents and town stakeholders to comment on it.

The consultation runs from the 28th February 2022 – 12th April 2022 and takes the form of a consultation questionnaire, through which the Steering Group hopes to receive feedback on its draft planning policies and Vision for the town.

Chippenham Town Council, who sponsor the Neighbourhood Plan, began the process leading to its preparation back in 2017. A councillor Working Party was set up in 2018, and the Steering Group commenced its work in 2019.

Councillor Desna Allen, Leader of Chippenham Town Council said, “I’m extremely pleased that the Town Council took the decision in 2017 to commence the process and has provided funding since then to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for Chippenham.  I encourage everyone to take the time to read the draft plan and participate in the consultation. Once adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan will have a tangible positive impact on the future development for our town.”

An early public consultation, involving ‘road shows’ and a questionnaire survey helped define its vision and the main areas for the Plan to address. Topic Groups, comprising councillors and members of the public, were set up, bringing in a wealth of expertise and local knowledge to help gather evidence and develop specific policies within the Plan. The Steering Group liaised with various stakeholders, including Wiltshire Council, throughout the process.

The Neighbourhood Plan will be refined as a result of feedback received during this ‘Regulation 14’ public consultation, and there will be a further round of public consultation. An examination by a Planning Inspector will follow, with the final stage in the process being decided by residents of the town in a referendum. On approval the Neighbourhood Plan would provide local planning policies for the Parish and become a statutory component of the Development Plan, to be used by Wiltshire Council when determining planning applications in Chippenham.

Councillor Nick Murry, Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, commented: “Almost four years of hard work has gone into the Plan’s preparation by Councillors, officers, and members of the community. Steering Group members, in particular, have generously donated large amounts of their time, with dedicated support from the Town Council’s Head of Planning throughout.”

“The Steering Group have set out a vision for the future of the town, which seeks to capitalize on its history, accessible location, and its beautiful surrounding countryside, whilst also maintaining it as an attractive and vibrant, riverside Market Town in which to live, work and for people to visit. The Group has identified seven topic areas where we feel our planning policies can make the most difference to the development and use of land in the town: sustainability and climate change, green infrastructure, housing, town centre, transport, community infrastructure, and the local economy. We hope this Draft Plan broadly meets with the community’s approval and I would very much encourage the Chippenham community to give us have their thoughts on the policies being put forward by the Plan.”

To read the draft Neighbourhood Plan and accompanying annexes (the Chippenham Design Guide, Chippenham Conservation Area Character Appraisal, Shopfronts Design Guide, and Tree Planting Guide) and for more information about our Plan please visit the Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan website: www.chippenhamneighbourhoodplan.org.uk

There will be paper copies of the questionnaire available at the Town Hall, Chippenham Museum, and Stanley Park Sports Ground alongside the draft plan. Due to a large number of appendices, these will only be available at the Town Hall.