Draft plan to meet Wiltshire's future housing needs ready for next stage after full council approval
We are now in the next phase of this key planning process when the report, along with the feedback we've received, goes to the Secretary of State for closer examinationToby Sturgis, cabinet member for planning
A draft plan which sets out how Wiltshire Council will provide sufficient housing to meet residents' needs in the future was agreed at full council today (10 July) and will now go to the Secretary of State for closer examination. Housing growth is a government priority and all local authorities have to prepare plans to identify sites for such development.
The draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan proposes to allocate new sites for housing and to help ensure the council maintains a five year housing land supply in each of Wiltshire's three Housing Market Areas (HMA) up to 2026.
The plan builds on the framework already provided by the Wiltshire Core Strategy for where development should take place.
Much of the housing growth for Wiltshire has already been delivered or identified and the proposed plan brings forward further sites, designed to ensure the scale of growth appropriate for Wiltshire is managed and directed in the most sustainable locations.
A 10-week consultation last year attracted 3,370 comments and 970 consultees. The draft plan was presented to the May cabinet but was deferred to allow for Wiltshire councilllors and town and parish council to consider the documents including the schedule of proposed changes.
Further proposed changes were agreed to the draft plan following cabinet last week. This means the overall level of growth proposed for allocation in the draft plan is 2,594 homes; with 1400 homes in the North and West HMA (13 sites), 270 homes in the East HMA (one site) and 924 homes in the South HMA (seven sites).
Toby Sturgis, cabinet member for planning said: "We are now in the next phase of this key planning process when the report, along with the feedback we've received, goes to the Secretary of State for closer examination. All local planning authorities have to plan for their housing needs so that is has sufficient homes for local communities now and in the future. This plan will also help ensure that development takes place in the most appropriate locations in Wiltshire and provides a strong defence against any speculative development applications."
The Secretary of State will appoint an inspector who will consider the plan alongside the council's schedule of proposed changes and all the submitted evidence, including the representations received through the formal consultation undertaken in 2017. These will be independently and robustly examined in terms of legal compliance and soundness. Once adopted, the draft plan will form part of the development plan for Wiltshire
In preparing the plan the council engaged with infrastructure providers including education and health to understand the facilities that will be required to support the proposals. The council also has a Wiltshire School Places Strategy to ensure sufficient school places are available for the future.
The draft plan also reviews existing boundaries around many of Wiltshire's settlements to ensure these are up to date.