Above the Clouds

Chippenham Urban Expansion HIF Bid

This page provides WCA members with information relevant to the Chippenham Urban Expansion HIF Bid.

 

Wiltshire Council's £75M bid was approved in principle, but opposition has been mounting and the funds are not committed by Homes England yet. This massive scheme is for a new road around Chippenham meeting the A350 at both ends, to "unlock" prime farmland including irreplaceable County Farms for up to 7,500 new homes and 1M sq ft of commercial development.

 

We feel it is unsustainable development, making for high car dependency, and will worsen Wiltshire's carbon budget instead of helping the county become carbon neutral by 2030. There are many alternatives for low-car or car-free housing in our towns and public transport corridors. Wiltshire Council should be pursuing these and challenging the government's inflated housing targets instead.  

There is more to come here, watch this space... and  please email us any further suggestions using the button below.

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Future Chippenham Consultation - please respond before 12th March

Wiltshire Council are currently consulting on what is being termed the 'Future Chippenham' project, and are asking for responses to 'three road route options for the proposed distributor road'.  The 'Future Chippenham' page is here, where you can find FAQs, details and recordings of previous webinars, and the consultation form itself.  There is a highly polished 'You Tube' video here depicting the road options, and featuring some very questionable claims about green, and other, benefits.

There  will be a further webinar at 11am on Saturday 20th February. You can register through EventBrite here.  Submit questions in advance to futurechippenham@wiltshire.gov.uk.

This consultation is open until 5pm on Friday 12th March, but proceed cautiously - the council seems to be framing this project as inevitable with choices to be made around the route and mitigation of ill effects but not the building of the road in itself.  

Not all questions need to be answered, and the suggestion is to answer Qs1 and 2 (your details) then skip to Q5 and answer 'Other' and detail your objections in the Q6 box, then repeat them for Q8-10, omitting Q7 (your preferred route option), and similar for the Pewsham connecting roads.  Or simply email a full response to futurechippenham@wiltshire.gov.uk.

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Chippenham and the Local Plan Review

Wiltshire Council's Local Plan Review consultation period is also underway (closing on 9th March), so now is the time to ensure significant opposition to the scale and impact of the developments proposed is registered.  

The draft Local Plan document for Chippenham is linked here, and Site Selection report here.  The presentation given at the consultation event for Chippenham is linked here.  Housing targets and the 'preferred sites' presented in the combined documentation pave the way for the 'Future Chippenham' developments, if agreed.

WCA have produced some suggested responses to this consultation which address our shared concerns across Wiltshire, and these are being made available here.

 

For now a Word version of the consultation document and instructions for responses are here (note you can email rather than be restricted to set fields in the online form to spatialplanningpolicy@wiltshire.gov.uk.) 

 

You may also want to check out the other information linked below.  The CAUSE Wiltshire site (link below) has a detailed response to the emerging Local Plan for Chippenham, which is very informative.

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CAUSE Wiltshire

The CAUSE Wiltshire - Campaign Against Urban Sprawl to the East (of Chippenham) - website is linked here.

This includes progress and support for the campaign to date, key background documents and maps, information and reports on the ecological importance of the site, and a useful critique of the draft local plan, under the 'Take Action' page.

There is also a petition to sign and share as a first, quick action.

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HIF Bid Documents and Appendices released under FOI

An introduction to the Housing Infrastructure Fund is here

The bid submitted in March 2019 which was successfully awarded the £75M of funding to build the infrastructure for the 7,500 houses in prospect is available (minus appendices, and slightly redacted) towards the bottom of the Future Chippenham page.

 

Some appendices obtained via FOI request are available by following links below, under Appendix number.  A full list of the Appendices is here.

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Local Context - Chippenham's Neighbourhood Plan

The website for Chippenham's emerging Neighbourhood Plan is linked here.

There are useful documents linked from the 'Reference Library' page.  A few are also linked below:

Chippenham Neighbourhood plan Community Survey Report (March/April 2020)

CNP Climate Change & Sustainability Survey Report (March - April 2020)

Chippenham Housing Needs Assessment (May 2020)

The Neighbourhood plan Steering Group and advisers have also produced the report in this Agenda pack (see pages 19-37) to Chippenham Town Council to inform responses to the Local Plan Review Consultation.  

2015 Housing Sites Review

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The following documents from 2015 are still relevant to developing the proposed sites.

 

The Residents Association of Tytherton Lucas in Bremhill Parish (between the rivers Avon and Marden) commissioned this damning review by a Devizes consultancy of the landscape and visual impact of the Chippenham Eastern Expansion Area proposed by Wiltshire Council but thrown out by the independent Inspector. It concluded, "Development within the flood risk areas or settings of the Rivers Marden and Avon will not be acceptable. The extensive... proposals will have significant adverse landscape and visual effects and are not acceptable and should be rejected" and "if a strategic allocation is to be made, it is recommended that proposals for the Eastern Link Road are deleted." 

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Flooding is and will be a big issue in the low-lying land South and East of Chippenham. This 2015 witness statement gives detailed evidence and says, "Developing to the East of Chippenham is raising the odds on Chippenham Town and Monkton Park flooding and causing serious damage to property, and putting lives at risk. The evaluation by Wiltshire Council of the flood risk to Chippenham and upstream has lacked evidence, and is therefore unsound..."

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