Wiltshire Publications

Help shape Westbury’s and Wiltshire’s future

A CONSULTATION has been launched  on proposed changes to the Wiltshire Core Strategy which sets out how Wiltshire will grow and develop over the coming years. Proposed changes include the removal of the ‘saved’ Eastern Westbury bypass route, changes to the wind turbine installation policy, and increasing the number of houses locally.

The Wiltshire Core Strategy has been developed with communities over the last five years. Last summer it was scrutinised at public hearing sessions as part of its examination by an independent government inspector.

As a result, the council and the inspector have put forward modifications to some aspects of the plan. Local people, businesses and organisations are now being asked to comment on the proposed modifications and other matters, full details of which are available to view at www.wiltshire.gov. uk/wiltshirecorestrategyexam ination The consultation runs until Tuesday 27th May.

Campaign group The White Horse Alliance say they are pleased that proposed plans for the Core Strategy include the removal of the saved Eastern bypass.

Patrick Kinnersly, Secretary for the Alliance told White Horse News, “We are delighted that the inspector has made these recommendations calling for the saved Eastern bypass to be thrown out. We have been calling for it for a long time, argued for it to happen last year and since then, have complained to the inspector.

“We now have to be careful that Wiltshire Council does not sneak this route through the back door. We will be vigilant  and continue to protect the landscape around Westbury and the White Horse whilst campaigning for better transport provision across West Wiltshire.”

‘Campaign For A Better Trowbridge’ have joined with the White Horse Alliance and other local groups to object to an Eastern Westbury bypass.

They have argued that if a bypass for Westbury is ever built, then the people of Trowbridge need to be part of the discussion regarding the route because a road on the industrial side of Westbury, between Trowbridge and Westbury, would take lorries out of the Trowbridge suburbs and villages, as well as Westbury itself.

Ken McCall of Campaign for A Better Trowbridge said, “We are delighted that the planning inspectorate has understood that safe-guarding the route of a major road which has already been kicked out after a detailed and lengthy planning inquiry, is lunacy.

“Our council wasted about £5million of local money on the Eastern Westbury bypass and they didn’t appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State to reject it. Sneaking the same route in the Core Strategy via a back-door wasn’t fair or right, but luckily Wiltshire Council have been told to make amends”.

The Wiltshire Core Strategy inspector also proposed to delete Wiltshire Council’s distance rules for wind-turbines and include the consideration of cumulative effects of wind-turbines.

Additionally the inspector suggested increasing the housing numbers in the draft from 37,000 to 42,000. In distributing the additional new homes, the council has sought to maintain the distribution of growth within the Core Strategy, which has previously been widely consulted on and officers have assessed and identified which areas could accommodate and also deliver extra housing.

“The proposal for where these extra homes will be delivered are included as proposed modifications to the Wiltshire Core Strategy and forms part of the consultation.

Toby Sturgis cabinet member for spatial planning said, “Our vision is to create stronger and more resilient communities and by ensuring we have a robust development plan in place to manage growth – both in terms of housing and economic development – we can achieve this.

“We would like to thank everyone who has responded so far and anyone who is interested in helping us achieve the balance between ensuring our communities grow in a sustainable way, while protecting this county’s unique identity, should look at the document and provide comment. We encourage  people to get involved as it’s community engagement that continues to shape and inform this incredibly important strategy.”

• What do you think? Write to news@whitehorsenews.co.uk