Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Council considers new Future Chippenham scheme with far fewer houses

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A new Future Chippenham scheme is being considered by Wiltshire Council in direct response to feedback received during the recent public consultation on the Future Chippenham distributor road route options.

The new scheme will be discussed by the council's cabinet next Wednesday (July 21).

The Future Chippenham consultation indicated that local people were concerned about the quantity of growth and in particular housing levels in the Chippenham area as well as transport, climate, and environmental issues.

In light of this feedback, a new scheme is proposed based on the southern section of the distributor road from the A4 through to the A350 junction at Lackham roundabout delivering between 3,800 to 4,200 new homes and associated infrastructure subject to the Local Plan review and agreement from Homes England.

This is around half of the 7,500 new homes by 2046 that the original plan intended to supply.

Cllr Richard Clewer, leader of the council (pictured) said: "I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to give their views on this recent consultation, the responses have certainly given us a lot to think about.

"We have carefully considered the feedback and the obligations under the funding agreement with Homes England and there are some significant risks to delivering the whole Future Chippenham programme such as the land assembly and levels of housing proposed in the Local Plan review. As a result, Cabinet is being asked to consider a scaled-back scheme that only covers the southern section of the distributor road.

"If the new scheme and the preferred route for the southern section is approved, it will then be taken forward through the development of a draft Framework Masterplan to guide the development of the site.

"Further representations will be submitted in support of the allocation, as appropriate, to the pre-submission consultation of the Local Plan review and agreement will be sought from Homes England.

"Whilst feedback on the northern section of the distributor road has been received, this is not being taken forward at this time."

The report being considered by Cabinet also covers:

  • Entering into legal agreements with third party landowners to secure the land required for the new road
  • Approving the Compulsory Purchase Order Strategy which will run alongside the land assembly discussions and be implemented as a last resort
  • Working on the Framework Masterplan for Future Chippenham which will involve a public consultation later this year
  • Progressing procurement of a Joint Venture delivery partner, subject to the Local Planning Authority bringing forward the Future Chippenham sites within its Local Plan review
  • Liaising with Homes England to agree revisions to the terms and conditions of the Grant Determination Agreement
  • Agreeing the principle of reinvesting Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) generated from the Future Chippenham programme back into Chippenham, including to support the regeneration of the town centre

Cllr Clewer added: "It is important we listen to people's views and the revised Future Chippenham programme still provides an opportunity to enable development that is infrastructure-led for the Chippenham areas subject to the Local Plan review and agreement from Homes England with the aim of delivering sustainable new communities and long-term vitality and viability of the town centre but on a scale that is more in keeping with the needs of Chippenham."