Agenda item

Chippenham Housing Infrastructure Fund Bid

    Report by Executive Director Alistair Cunningham OBE.


The Leader invited questions and statements from the public on the Chippenham Housing Infrastructure Bid submitted by the Council, to a which a decision from government was expected in late 2019.  The Bid was designed to prepare the ground to enable necessary growth in Chippenham, and was an opportunity to forward-plan development in Chippenham.


Mr Peter Cousins asked questions as set out in the agenda supplement. Verbal responses were provided and are attached to these minutes.


The Leader indicated questions had been received from Mr Chris Caswill, and that he would be provided with a written response. In response to questions, the Leader agreed to refer the matter of whether these responses would be published to the Constitution Focus Group. 


Ms Anne Henshaw asked questions as set out in the agenda supplement. Verbal responses were provided and are attached to these minutes.


Supplementary questions were asked about whether old and new developments in Wiltshire would integrate; the Leader confirmed that forward planning would ensure walking and cycling routes link developments and deter the use of cars. In response to another question it was confirmed future plans on the Chippenham Housing Infrastructure Fund would go through the Full Council or Scrutiny as appropriate, however as the HIF bid had only recently been submitted to government and was not yet approved, involvement from these bodies was not provided at this stage. An update would be provided in due course.


The Leader invited questions from Adrian Temple-Brown who asked how to educate councillors and the public about the climate emergency and consider this alongside planned development. The Leader advised there was a requirement on the council to build 45,000 homes, however it would consistently apply the climate emergency message and plan house building that decreased the impact on the environment.


Cllr Thorn supported the idea of forward-planning development however suggested a report on the wider implications for Chippenham would have been useful. It was also commented that communications about the benefits of the HIF funding could have been clearer. In response, the Leader advised that more information would be provided if the bid was successful. It was also confirmed it was likely that Wiltshire Council would likely be the roadbuilder.


The Leader invited all councillors to speak. In response to questions he confirmed consultation with parishes would take place in the future. The Leader also advised the road infrastructure was not intended to be a fully dualled road that would draw increased traffic in. Questions were raised over the support that was available for increased housing in the Melksham area and it was commented that the council could not bid for funding to support the A350, but there were plans to relieve the impact of traffic in Melksham, and also similar problems in Westbury. It was agreed that walking and cycle routes should be factored into new development in the county.




To note the application for the Housing Infrastructure Fund has been made and if successful:


a) accepting the grant will require negotiation as to its terms and conditions


b) the commitment required will be in the very long term


c) a great deal of work will need to be done with many different stakeholders to make delivery possible


d) a programme of engagement and communications with all parties will be necessary to ensure all views are heard and represented


Reason for decision:


Although the HIF bid is not due to announce its result until the end of 2019 it is important that the Council begins to consider how best to prepare the ground for delivery, in anticipation that its application may be successful.


The views of many different stakeholders in and around Chippenham need to be accounted for as soon as possible, and a great deal of early preparatory work needs to be done now for the Council to be able to accept the grant, and deliver successfully within the timescales indicated.



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