Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Monday November 30, 2020 Here we go again.

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WC cabinet to look at new Local Plan.

The on-line Cabinet meeting is tomorrow commencing at 10.00am.

 

Item 8 is 'Consultation to inform the Wiltshire Local Plan Review' and, not surprisingly, ncludes two section relating to the Trowbridge area. https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=13087&x=1 will get you to the agenda but you will need to click on the seventh bullet point of item 8 to find the Trowbridge suggestions.

I emailed the Spatial Planning lead last week asking "Hi, In the papers we are to look at, can you confirm that Hilperton is being regarded as a Large Village please. It seems to me that WC, as usual, is presuming Hilperton to be part-and-parcel of Trowbridge."

The reply was

"Dear Cllr Clark,

Thank you for your emails setting out your concerns about the proposals.

The papers to Cabinet recognise the status of Trowbridge as a Principal Settlement and Hilperton as a Large Village - see Appendix 1 ‘Emerging Spatial Strategy’ (starts at Page 81 of Agenda papers) and Appendix 3 ‘Empowering Rural Communities (starts at Page 777 of the Agenda papers) to the Cabinet Report.

The scale of growth proposed at Trowbridge has been informed by evidence within the ‘Local Housing Need Assessment 2019 Report of Findings (April 2019)’ prepared by Opinion Research Services. It is from this evidence base that the need to plan for 11,000 homes over the period 2016 to 2036 for the Trowbridge Housing Market Area is taken. Within the area are the other towns of Bradford on Avon, Warminster and Westbury.

Trowbridge’s status as a Principal Settlement indicates that it should continue to be a focus for growth over this period. The level of homes proposed over the next 20 year plan period is around 1,000 homes lower than the current Core Strategy period. Trowbridge’s past growth has taken place into adjoining parishes, which is recognised in the papers and the suggested preferred development sites are a continuation of growth to the south of Staverton and that which has taken place in Hilperton parish. This is because of the limited options at the town having appraised the reasonable alternatives e.g. due to Green Belt and sensitive bat woodland habitat. It is appreciated that site 5 wraps around Hilperton village but the proposals acknowledge the need to maintain the integrity of the village. You will no doubt have seen that there are no proposals for growth within the ‘Hilperton gap’.

In the light of these proposals at Trowbridge, the housing requirement for the Large Village of Hilperton is set to match the existing level of completions and commitments (see paragraph 48, Appendix 3 Cabinet Report - Page 785 of the Agenda papers).

By presenting proposed distribution of growth and possible preferred sites at the Principal Settlements now, we are providing the opportunity for people to consider these and put across their views ahead of the draft Plan being completed."

The 'good news' is that what remains of the Gap is safe, but it would seem that the people of Hilperton will have to battle again unless the parish is prepared to expand in the direction of Semington.

 

If/when approved tomorrow, the consultation is due to commence in early 2021 for a minimum period of 6 weeks.  The new plan is due to cover the period to 2036.