Wiltshire Council has initiated an eight week period of public consultation to inform the preparation of the Wiltshire Local Plan Review; the consultation began on Wednesday 13 January and will end on Tuesday 9 March 2021.
The current Local Plan, adopted in 2015, is the Wiltshire Core Strategy. The Government requires every Local Plan to be reviewed at least once every five years. The topics under review include:
- How growth (additional new homes and employment land) is distributed around the county (‘Emerging Spatial Strategy’ paper)
- Levels of growth, potential locations for development and place shaping priorities for each of the county’s main settlements (documented in a series of ‘Planning for’ papers for each Market Town and Principal Settlement)
- Improving the framework for rural communities to meet housing needs (‘Empowering Rural Communities’ paper)
- The opportunity to inform proposals about how the council’s planning policies can be shaped to address climate change and biodiversity net gain (‘Addressing Climate Change and Biodiversity Net Gain through the Local Plan – raising the ambition’ paper)
Our concerns, as always, are for biodiversity, climate change and their effect on our environment. We see this period of consultation as an opportunity to help direct policy at a time of accelerating and possibly dangerous environmental change. Please join us in this.
The consultation is supported by an enormous number of documents, some containing hundreds of pages. These can be seen further down the Review Consultation page and viewed or downloaded as pdfs. Be selective: pick your way through, don’t get sidetracked; if the links don’t work, contact the relevant planning team by calling 0300 456 0100 and asking to be put through to a member of the spatial planning team.
As usual, it is not easy to add your own voice to this Byzantine system: there is  an online comment form and  a Word document comment form that can be downloaded and either emailed, or printed and posted, and  although it doesn’t say so, you can always comment by letter.
There is an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
and a postal address: Spatial Planning, Economic Development and Planning, Wiltshire Council, County Hall, Trowbridge, B A14 8JQ. The council’s customer services number is 0300 456 0100: from there you can be put through to the spatial planning team.
We will return to this subject in the next six weeks or so, as we pick our way through the documentation and try to structure our response around the needs of our Nature Reserve and the wider community.
Pictures by DKG