Agenda item

Wiltshire Local Plan Review - Publication of draft Plan for consultation

*      Report of the Chief Executive



Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management and Strategic Planning presented the report seeking Cabinet’s endorsement to recommend to Full Council that the pre-submission Draft Wiltshire Local Plan Review be formally published for a final stage of consultation; and set out the arrangements for the consultation and next steps.


Cllr Botterill reported that the Plan is one of the most significant strategic documents for the council and will pave the way for sustainable growth up to 2038. Updating the Plan is a key priority and will ensure that Wiltshire benefits from plan-led development that best meets the growing needs of Wiltshire communities. He emphasised that the Plan is evidence based, with significant engagement with the local community and statutory consultees and has responded to changes in national planning policy. The Plan addresses Wiltshire’s need for new homes, jobs and infrastructure between 2020 and 2038 and noted that it is based on 36,740 homes, a reduction of 8,890 compared to the 45,630 number of homes consulted on in 2021.


The Cabinet noted that the council has reached the final consultation stage, where representations are invited on soundness and legal compliance, which is known as the Regulation 19 stage. Publication of the Pre-Submission Draft Plan for consultation is proposed to start towards the end of September 2023 for a period of at least 6 weeks in line with legislation and the council’s adopted statement of community involvement. Following the consultation, once the outcomes have been considered a further report will be brought back to Cabinet and Council, so that the Plan can be approved for submission to an independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State and examined in public.


Questions were received on time from the following:


·       Richard Curr

·       Nick Parry

·       Hannah Anderson-Jones

·       Richard Walker

·       Andrew Nicolson


The Leader acknowledged that the questions had received written responses which had been published on the Council’s website as a supplementary agenda prior to the meeting.


Mr R Smith, a member of the public, spoke in relation to this item. Mr Smith spoke positively about progress with the Local Plan but asked that Cabinet treats the published Local Plan as a ‘Regulation 18’ Plan to give the local community the opportunity for a further round of consultation, before the Council eventually moves to Regulation 19 stage. In response, Cllr Botterill stated that the Plan had already been subject to extensive consultation and that further delays at this stage would not be appropriate. He confirmed that the Local Plan would be subject to further consultation in the autumn at Regulation 19 stage and that the local community would have the opportunity to participate in the examination next year.


In addition to the above questions, a large number of statements and questions were received after the deadline from the following residents of Salisbury, which included concerns  about the allocations at Harnham (Sites  8 and 9), loss of greenfield land, inadequate road infrastructure and traffic generation arising from proposals:


·       Geraint Dingley

·       Dean Hillier

·       Rupert Parson

·       Carla Moors

·       Anne Whiting

·       Ellie Butcher

·       Phil and Ann Ray

·       Melanie Galpin

·       Kirsten Webster

·       Tim Guy

·       Lynn and Andrew McLachlan

·       Judith Burns

·       Alastair and Frances Barrett

·       Andy Galpin

·       Jeremy Court

·       Simon and Fiona Thomas

·       Annabelle Hepburn

·       Dr Polly Jacobs and Neal Jacobs

·       Sally and Graham Exton

·       Andrew and Sarah Robertson

·       Lynette Walsh-Evans

·       Andrew Chadwick

·       Trevor Wilson

·       Jo Throp

·       Will Throp

·       Andy Chisholm

·       Susan Simmonite

·       Henk Leerink

·       Dr Katie Pearce

·       Matt Ravenhill

·       Geoff Goodwin

·       Kate Higson

·       Richard and Julie Mackie

·       Katie Cash

·       Colette White

·       Keith and Frances Williamson

·       Frank Perks

·       Jonathan and Stephanie Snow

·       Kelvin and Melanie Farmaner


Responses to these questions are attached as an appendix to these minutes.


Cabinet members drew attention to the Design Guide and the importance of good design that is appropriate to a local area and how this compliments policy within the Plan, highlighted the public health issues included throughout the Plan, the need for villages to flourish, the need for affordable housing and the safeguarding of local employment land.


Cllr Graham Wright, Chair of the Climate Emergency Task Group confirmed that the Task Group received a briefing on 29 June 2023, and considered the areas of the Plan connected with the work of the Task Group. They welcomed the Plan and were pleased with the progress in developing policies associated with climate change and sustainable development.


A number of comments were received from Members about: supporting the development of affordable housing in villages; welcoming policies associated with tackling climate change; greater engagement with Members and residents through Area Board meetings; general development of settlements including large and small villages and reason for 20% of housing growth at these; the support required to review and update Neighbourhood Plans; Policy 96 in relation to water resources and its justification; the impact of the allocation at Laverstock on iconic views; lack of reference to agricultural run off for water pollution; and engaging with local groups in relation to rights of way management.


In response to the above points raised by Members, Cabinet Members and officers: highlighted that the Plan has vision and pushes the boundaries; the sustainability of expanding existing settlements where infrastructure exists rather than developing entirely new settlements, referred to recent member briefings on the Plan; planning in rural areas, the need for an evidence-based process, confirmed that resources would be available to support Neighbourhood Plans; the impact of developments can be mitigated to some extent, referred members to supporting documents including the Revised Spatial Strategy; agriculture is outside scope of the Plan and a function of the Government; and engaging local groups for rights of way management issues is supported.




That Cabinet:


(i)             Endorses the Wiltshire Local Plan Review - Pre-Submission Draft Plan at Appendix 1 subject to amendment in (iii).


(ii)           Recommends to Full Council on 18 July 2023 that the Wiltshire Local Plan Review - Pre-Submission Draft Plan at Appendix 1 (subject to modification in (iii)) be approved for publication in line with Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended), for a period of at least six weeks public consultation.


(iii)         Authorises the Director for Planning, in consultation with the Director for Legal and Governance and Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management and Strategic Planning, to: make any necessary minor changes to the Pre-Submission Draft Plan before it is published; and to enable the finalising of the associated evidence documents for publication alongside the Plan; and to make arrangements for, and undertake statutory consultation.


Reason for Decision:


To ensure the council continues to make progress in updating its Local Plan, in line with the timescale set out in the recently approved Local Development Scheme and statutory requirements.

Supporting documents: