Results from Neighbourhood Plan’s Public Consultation

We received great community feedback from our first public consultation on the draft Plan. The ‘Regulation 14 consultation’ was carried out between 28 February – 12 April 2022.

We are pleased to share with you the Consultation Results Report. The Report, written by Community First Wiltshire, sets out the headline results of the consultation. It also includes some selected comments by respondents. The Report can be viewed by clicking on the link:

Some headlines statistics from the Report are:

483 responses in total.

Overall response rate of 68%.

Good distribution of responses from postcodes across Chippenham, and surrounding areas.

77% of respondents agreed with the Plan’s Vision and Objectives.

90% average agreement rate across all policies, with an average disagreement rate of 10%.

Lowest agreement rate was for Policy H1 – Housing Mix and Types. 74% were in agreement with this policy.

101 respondents named their favourite Local Green Space. The highest number of mentions was for ‘LGS B – Baydons Wood, Baydons Meadow & Long Close’.

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group are currently reviewing all the comments received during the Regulation 14 Consultation. They will then make amendments to the Neighbourhood Plan based on these comments.

The Steering Group will publish their response to individual comments in due course. This is currently expected to be in September 2022, when the Neighbourhood Plan is formally submitted to Wiltshire Council.

The draft Neighbourhood Plan, as consulted upon at Regulation 14 stage, can be viewed by clicking on the link:

Consultation Begins on Draft Neighbourhood Plan

The Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, made up of Town Councillors and local community representatives, is undertaking its first public consultation on the Pre-Submission Draft Plan, inviting residents and town stakeholders to comment on it.

The consultation runs from the 28th February 2022 – 12th April 2022 and takes the form of a consultation questionnaire, through which the Steering Group hopes to receive feedback on its draft planning policies and Vision for the town.

Chippenham Town Council, who sponsor the Neighbourhood Plan, began the process leading to its preparation back in 2017. A councillor Working Party was set up in 2018, and the Steering Group commenced its work in 2019.

Councillor Desna Allen, Leader of Chippenham Town Council said,

“I’m extremely pleased that the Town Council took the decision in 2017 to commence the process and has provided funding since then to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for Chippenham. I encourage everyone to take time to read the draft plan and participate in the consultation. Once adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan will have a tangible positive impact on the future development for our town.”

An early public consultation, involving ‘road shows’ and a questionnaire survey helped define its vision and the main areas for the Plan to address. Topic Groups, comprising councillors and members of the public, were set up, bringing in a wealth of expertise and local knowledge to help gather evidence and develop specific policies within the Plan. The Steering Group liaised with various stakeholders, including Wiltshire Council, throughout the process.

The Neighbourhood Plan will be refined as a result of feedback received during this ‘Regulation 14’ public consultation, and there will be a further round of public consultation. An examination by a Planning Inspector will follow, with the final stage in the process being decided by residents of the town in a referendum. On approval the Neighbourhood Plan would provide local planning policies for the Parish and become a statutory component of the Development Plan, to be used by Wiltshire Council when determining planning applications in Chippenham.

Councillor Nick Murry, Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, commented:

“Almost four years of hard work has gone into the Plan’s preparation by Councillors, officers and members of the community. Steering Group members in particular have generously donated large amounts of their time, with dedicated support from the Town Council’s Head of Planning throughout.”

“The Steering Group have set out a vision for the future of the town, which seeks to capitalize on its history, accessible location, and its beautiful surrounding countryside, whilst also maintaining it as an attractive and vibrant, riverside Market Town in which to live, work and for people to visit. They Group have identified seven topic areas where we feel our planning policies can make the most difference to the development and use of land in the town: sustainability and climate change, green infrastructure, housing, town centre, transport, community infrastructure and the local economy. We hope this Draft Plan broadly meets with the community’s approval and I would very much encourage the Chippenham community to give us have their thoughts on the policies being put forward by the Plan.”

To read the draft Neighbourhood Plan and accompanying annexes (the Chippenham Design Guide, Chippenham Conservation Area Character Appraisal, Shopfronts Design Guide and Tree Planting Guide) and to take the consultation questionnaire please go to our ‘Consultation’ page of this website.

There will be paper copies of the questionnaire available at the Town Hall, Chippenham Museum and Stanley Park Sports Ground alongside the draft plan. Due to the large number of appendices, these will only be available to view at the Town Hall.

Public Consultation Coming in Early 2022

With 2021 almost over, it may have seemed rather a quiet year for the Neighbourhood Plan. However, behind the scenes we have been beavering away to pull together, and make finishing touches to, our Draft Neighbourhood Plan for its first public consultation (Regulation 14 consultation).

Unfortunately due to the time, complexity and resourcing of Neighbourhood Plan work there will be a short delay to our project timeline. However, we look forward to sharing our work and hearing your views in early 2022. Please check back in with us in the New Year for an update…

Thank You To Our Topic Groups

The Neighbourhood Plan ‘Topic Group Phase’ has now drawn to a close and we would like to thank all topic group members for their time, effort and knowledge in contributing to gathering evidence and helping to develop draft policies.

We have been lucky to have had such a diverse and skilled groups of volunteers, and the collaborative team process will undoubtedly result in a Neighbourhood Plan for Chippenham which is more robust and better able to deliver the wishes of the Chippenham community with regards future development of our town.

The next phase of the Neighbourhood Plan will involve the Steering Group honing and refining the policies and preparing a first draft of the Neighbourhood Plan for public consultation in the spring of 2021.

Survey Results Revealed

We are very grateful to the local community for responding to our online Community Survey in March/April despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 400 of you responded to detailed questions on community infrastructure, green infrastructure, transport, economy, housing, and climate change & sustainability issues in Chippenham.

We were also grateful for your responses to our supplementary Climate Change & Sustainability Survey, and responses from targeted stakeholders to our Business Survey, Community Groups & Organisations Survey, and Community Infrastructure Providers Survey.

Amongst other things there were clear messages from you on improving pedestrian and cycle routes in the Town and reducing the carbon footprint of new buildings. You showed how much you value our green spaces in the Town – with John Coles Park being your overall favourite venue or location.

To find out more, and view our survey results, please click on the links below. There is a useful Summary of Findings towards the beginning of each Report:

Community Survey Report

Climate Change & Sustainability Survey Report

Community Groups & Organisations Survey Report

Community Infrastructure Providers Survey Report

Business Survey Report

The survey results will provide evidence for our 7 Topic Groups as they draft planning policies over the next month.

Finally, we would like to thank Community First Wiltshire who did a great job for us managing the surveys and writing the Reports.

Community Survey – Make A Difference From Your Armchair!

Are you currently stuck at home twiddling your thumbs? Do you want to do something useful for your local community from your living room? Then please spare us 20 minutes of your time to complete our Community Survey.

Our survey questions have been created by members of the local community currently engaged in one of our 7 Topic Groups. The questions are based around the topics of: Housing, Community Infrastructure, Green Infrastructure, Transport, Economy, and Sustainability & Climate Change. It is part of an evidence gathering exercise will which enable Topic Group Members to start formulating some draft planning policies for the Town.

Please click on the link below to complete the survey:

We also have another survey on Climate Change & Sustainability. So for those of you who have additional time, or have an interest in this particular issue, please click on the link below:

The surveys will be live until 23rd April 2020.

Community Workshops on Housing Design

Our Housing Topic Group will be hosting three interactive community workshops on housing design, which they will then use as evidence to formulate future housing design planning policies for the Neighbourhood Plan.

The Topic Group have identified three housing estates in Chippenham: Charter Road, Pewsham, and Hill Rise. They would like to hear the views of residents from these estates to understand what makes these estates good or bad places to live.

Please come along to one of our events and give your views:

8 February – Charter Road estate @ Chippenham Town Hall

22 February – Pewsham estate @ Cafe Spero, Wood Lane

29 February – Hill Rise estate @ St. Paul’s Church Hall

All events run from 9.30am (for a 10am start) to finish at 12.30pm. Refreshments will be provided.

To help formulate planning policies for future housing design, in the second part of the workshop we want to hear your views on: climate change, nature, scale & density, safety, community, play, social justice & equity, landscape setting, built design, affordable housing, retail & services, materials, streets & movement, and green spaces.

We look forward to seeing you there…

RE-SCHEDULED: Renewable Energy Strategy Workshops

The Neighbourhood Plan is offering the community a chance to have a say on what sort of renewable energy developments it would like, where it would like them, and what criteria they must meet in order for planning permission to be given.

Renewable Energy Strategy workshops will be held at Chippenham Town Hall and organised by the Centre for Sustainable Energy

The first workshop will be held on Saturday 15th February 2020 (9.30am-4.30pm). This will be followed by a 2hr evening weekday workshop (date tbc) to bring together views after everyone has had a chance to think about and discuss outcomes from the workshop with other people. Tickets for the follow-up workshop will be released after the 15th February workshop event has taken place.

The event is free to attend for a maximum of 20 participants, but is ticketed. Participants should be able to attend both events. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and are available through Eventbrite. Please click on the link below to order a ticket:

The workshops will be highly participative. Coffee, tea and a light lunch will be provided.

Project Outputs:

• Spreadsheet indicating the likely range of renewable energy outputs that might be achievable and acceptable to people in the local community

• Annotated map indicating favoured locations for particular technologies

• Report summarising discussions and notes from the workshops with favoured criteria for renewable energy policies

Your views matter, so come and have your say!

You don’t need to be an expert to contribute.

Meeting our Topic Groups

The Topic Group Phase of the Neighbourhood Plan officially kicked off at the weekend, with an Induction Event held at the Town Hall for all Topic Group Members. These are volunteers from the local community who will be helping to shape the Plan during this important stage.

The purpose of the Induction Event was to provide basic training on neighbourhood planning for the 43 Topic Group Members that have joined. It was also an opportunity for them to meet each other for the first time, meet Town Council Officers, and meet Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Members.

Councillor Nick Murry, Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group opened the event. He explained how the public had helped shape the Plan’s Vision for the Town and how it would be the Topic Groups role to breathe life into this by developing an effective set of policies, with the support of the Town Council’s Planning Officer and Neighbourhood Plan Consultant.

Commenting on the event, Cllr Murry said:

“It was fantastic to see so many enthusiastic volunteers, with such wide ranging experience, getting stuck into this crucial phase of the Plan. I am looking forward to working with them.”

He continued,

“I’d also like to add a big thank you to the Steering Group and its support staff, and to all the Town Councillors who’ve given up their time to get the Neighbourhood Plan to where it is. It is in my view, a shining example of local democracy in action.”

The 7 Topic Groups are: Housing; Community Infrastructure; Green Infrastructure; Town Centre; Transport; Economy; and Sustainability & Climate Change, which will be a cross cutting theme throughout the Plan.

This Topic Group phase will last for around 6 months, with each Topic Group meeting monthly, and reporting back to the Steering Group thereafter. The remit of each individual Topic Group will be to look at the gaps in current planning policy (to see where the Neighbourhood Plan can add value). They will then gather evidence to justify planning policies, and begin to draft planning policies.

The Topic Groups will be working with the Chippenham community to help further develop a shared vision for the Town. It is hoped that this will foster community spirit and empower the local community to take more ownership over what happens in their neighbourhood.

Call for Topic Group Members

The Neighbourhood Plan has now reached an exciting stage – we are reaching out to the local community looking for volunteers to join one of our seven Topic Groups.

The Topic Groups that will be set up are:

-Sustainability/Climate Change
-Community Infrastructure
-Green Infrastructure
-Town Centre

Topic Groups will hold their first meetings in September 2019. Topic Group Members will need to attend at least one meeting a month (but it could be more) for around 3-6 months, and will be supported by professional Town Planners who will help with the technical aspects of the subject matter.

We are looking for committed volunteers, who may have skills in one or more of the above topics, and who want to make a difference to Chippenham’s future. If this sounds like you, and you are interested in joining a Topic Group, please fill in the short application form below and return to us by Tuesday 25th June 2019.