Wiltshire Publications

Wiltshire Council Core Strategy gets green light from Government

A blueprint which sets out how Wiltshire will grow and develop over the next 12 years has been backed by the Government.

Wiltshire Council’s priorities for building homes and creating jobs has been signed off by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate and can now be formally adopted and used to steer development and growth across the county.

The Wiltshire Core Strategy, which has been developed in conjunction with local communities over five years and has heard from hundreds of organisations, business and residents during public consultation, was given the stamp of approval by senior planning inspector Andrew Seaman on Monday 1st December.

The inspector’s report, along with the Core Strategy, will now go to Cabinet on Tuesday 16th December with a recommendation that it be approved by Full Council in January and adopted by Wiltshire Council.

Toby Sturgis, cabinet member for planning said, “We are delighted that years of hard work in creating a robust development plan has paid off. It will act as a blueprint for the next decade on how we manage planning applications and the growth of homes and jobs for the people of Wiltshire.

“We would like to thank everyone who took part in the process. It is going to be a vital framework to steer the growth of Wiltshire while protecting our identity and heritage.”

Over the summer of 2013 the Wiltshire Core Strategy was, as part of its examination by an independent government inspector, scrutinised at public hearing sessions.

As a result of the examination process, a number of modifications were proposed by Wiltshire Council and the inspector. Further periods of consultation about these modifications were carried out in the autumn of 2013 and earlier this year.

The inspector also proposed increasing the housing numbers in the draft Wiltshire Core Strategy from 37,000 to 42,000.

In planning the delivery of these additional 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 deliver extra housing.

Other changes include the removal of the Westbury bypass policy and modifications to the standalone renewable energy installations policy in relation to wind turbines.

Alistair Cunningham, associate director for economic development and planning said, “The final report delivered by the Planning Inspectorate means that the Government examination of the Wiltshire Core Strategy has closed.

“The council, both members and officers, now have a clear set of guidelines which they can use to assess the proposals for development in Wiltshire.”