Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Friday December 22, 2023 My December e-newsletter

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News from Ernie Clark.

A very merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy New Year too.

For a change, this month seems to be a ‘good’ one, on balance, for Hilperton. Very appropriate for December!

The McDonalds planning application has been refused, as has the application for about 40 houses adjacent to the ‘rugby club’ roundabout. Neither refusal used reasons including the objections raised by myself and the parish council but, if an appeal is lodged against either refusal, these reasons could still be brought in to play.

Also good news is the revised NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) issued a day or two back. Paragraph 226 states that an authority taking a Local Plan to inspection, and which has reached Reg. 18 or 19 stage, needs to have only a four year housing land supply (HLS) rather than five years. Wiltshire Council (WC) falls into this category and currently has about 4.6 years HLS. This should put an end to at least one appeal currently lodged in the parish, and to what I have publicly described as ‘planning anarchy’.

The parish council has agreed to the purchase of two SIDs (Speed Indicator Devices) and the clerk has been delegated to get them ordered and installed. Hopefully this will by the end of February.

The narrowing of Trowbridge Road (and the imposition of a 20mph speed limit), and the closure of Devizes Road to motor traffic, is, I understand, going to be decided by the WC cabinet member next month.

The ‘not good news’ is that Barratt Developments has submitted their plans for outline permission on the Maxcroft Farm site off Marsh Road. The parish council will be considering its response at the 16th January meeting. As the site is not allocated for housing by either WC, or in the Hilperton Neighbourhood Development Plan, and is outside the designated ‘village boundary’, the site is considered to be ‘open countryside’ and so the new NPPF HLS figure should see the application refused. Perhaps Barratt will even withdraw it?