Above the Clouds

Wiltshire Plan Local Plan Consultations - Time to be heard!

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Wiltshire Plan Local Plan Consultations 

Introduction - It is hard to stress too much how important it is for us all to respond to these plans as they set the future direction for our county. Wiltshire Council needs to know that we care about the environment and that this needs to be loud and clear in their plans. It may appear complicated to respond but .. please don't be put off - We hope that this page is going to help to make easy for your voices to be heard.

 

 Comments must be submitted by 5pm on 8th March

So.. what are these consultations about? - Well.. a lot! amongst other things it looks at where the proposed 46,000 new homes and roads might be built:

  • Emerging Spacial Strategy - (what does that mean!!) its about How growth and all those additional new homes will be  is distributed around the county 

  • Levels of growth, potential locations for development 

  • 'Empowering Rural Communities' paper - looking the framework for rural communities to meet housing needs.

  • 'Addressing Climate Change and Biodiversity Net Gain through the Local Plan'  - To be fair this paper looks quite good but seems to be standing on its own and ignored by the rest of the document.

How Can I respond? - Here is the LINK to the relevant page on Wiltshire Council's website. The website looks very unfriendly and uninviting, but, when you get the hang of it, it is quite easy to find what you are looking.  

There are over 30 different forms that can be completed but please don't let this put you off. Even if you just complete one for your area, you will be helping to press home the message about climate change.

You can either complete the online forms or download a word version and send it in via E mail. Please NOTE that the online forms cannot be saved so you have to complete them in one go!

What should I say?

We have prepared some useful content for a general E mail responses which can be viewed on the LINK

 

Here are some bullet points that might help:

 

The Plan must include specific measures to reduce emissions, including:

  • Planning for new housing developments where there is genuine need, rather than being driven by out-dated, top-down targets;

  • Avoiding building houses where this creates car dependency and people will need to commute long distances to their places of employment;

  • Introducing planning policies that require housing and commercial development to be built to zero carbon standards in settlement designs that are genuinely sustainable, avoiding building on greenfield sites wherever possible;

  • Reassessing major road schemes based on realistic projections of future traffic volumes taking into account local and national climate change policies and longer- term changes in work patterns as a consequence of COVID-19;

  • Creating a planning framework that promotes renewable energy generation, including making specific provision for onshore wind generation (the lowest cost form of electricity generation), which is not currently mentioned anywhere in the Plan;

  • Encouraging a significant shift away from private cars to public and active transport, investing in cycling and walking infrastructure and improving infrastructure for electric vehicles;

  • Protecting and enhancing the carbon absorption properties of the natural environment (that of our natural capital and carbon sinks), including significant increases in tree planting, also helping to improve biodiversity;

  • Protecting the best and most versatile agricultural land, which helps sequester carbon and ensure local food production and future food security, including the Council’s own County farms;

  • Introducing planning policies that require climate change impact assessment of all proposed developments, in advance, against the Council’s carbon reduction targets.

 

This Local Plan is the best, and last, chance for Wiltshire Council to introduce a policy framework that comprehensively addresses the urgent need for material, year on year reductions in carbon emissions, in line with the Council’s democratic and legislative obligations.  I believe that the current proposals for the Local Plan must be completely rewritten on this basis.

This page is being developed - please come back soon for advice and more information about the WC's Local Plan Consultations that we must all respond to!

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Tel  - 07825253848