Examiner Recommends Plan for Referendum

Posted March 5, 2024

The Examination of the Neighbourhood Plan has concluded, with the Independent Examiner recommending that the Plan proceed to public referendum. The Examiner resolved that, subject to making the modifications outlined in his Report, the draft Neighbourhood Plan meets the ‘Basic Conditions’ These are the legal requirements for a neighbourhood plan.

The Local Planning Authority (LPA), Wiltshire Council, have subsequently agreed with the Examiner’s recommendation in their Decision Statement of 4 March 2024. This also lists the modifications that will need to be made to the Draft Plan before it can go to referendum.

The referendum, where all residents in Chippenham will have the opportunity to vote on whether to adopt the Plan, is likely to be held in May 2024. If more than 50% of those voting in the referendum vote in favour of the Plan then it will become formally adopted by LPA as a development plan document. It will be used in conjunction with the Wiltshire Local Plan to determine future planning applications in Chippenham.

The Examiner, in his Report, commented that:

‘Chippenham Town Council is to be congratulated on their extensive efforts to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for their area that will guide development activity over the period to 2038.’

He went on to explain:

‘The Neighbourhood Plan proposes a local range of policies and seeks to bring forward positive and sustainable development in the Chippenham Neighbourhood Area. There is an evident focus on safeguarding the very distinctive, local character of the area whilst accommodating future change and growth. The Plan has been underpinned by extensive community support and engagement. The social, environmental and economic aspects of the issues identified have been brought together into a coherent plan which adds appropriate local detail to sit alongside the Wiltshire Core Strategy.’

You can read the Examiner’s Report in full, as well as Wiltshire Council’s Decision Statement, in the ‘Plan Documents’ section of the website. Please keep checking the ‘News’ section of the website to find out the date of the referendum.