Chippenham can't cope with 'unlimited' number of new homes, says town council

Coun Peter Hutton, vice-chairman of Chippenham Town Council's planning committee

Coun Peter Hutton, vice-chairman of Chippenham Town Council's planning committee

First published in News

Fears about 'unlimited' numbers of houses being built in Chippenham have been raised by the town council over the latest consultation round over the Core Strategy being prepared by Wiltshire Council.

Last year the Wiltshire Core Strategy, developed with communities over the last five years, was scrutinised at public hearing sessions and modifications were put forward.

Wiltshire says Chippenham should have a minimum of at least 4,510 houses built in coming years but the town council says this has not been "adequately justified" and cannot be supported by the existing road network or other services.

In a statement Coun Peter Hutton, vice-chairman of the town council's planning committee said: “Chippenham Town Council considers itself to be a proactive and responsible planning consultee representing the views of its local community and engages with a wide variety of partners and organisations to ensure a positive future for the development of the town.

"Whilst the town council continues to be supportive of an appropriate and sustainable scale of growth, councillors are concerned about the impact the potential of unlimited housing numbers could have on future resources, the current highways infrastructure and the ability to deliver quality services to its local residents.

“The [town] council wants the revised Core Strategy to take into account that any future development needs to demonstrate a positive outcome for both the new and existing communities, therefore delivering the needs and the aspirations of the town council and its residents.

"The National Planning Policy Framework states that key planning documents ‘should provide a practical framework within which decisions on planning applications can be made with a degree of predictability and efficiency.’

"The town council’s response stated that this cannot be achieved with the proposed amendments, which stipulate a minimum number of houses thereby embedding unpredictability in terms of numbers and inefficiency in terms of the planning authority having to defend against speculative applications from developers.

"The town council planning committee did not find Wiltshire Council’s proposals for Chippenham to have a minimum number of houses of at least 4,510 to be sound, as they felt this was not adequately justified or effective for delivering properly planned development."

Comments (4)

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12:25pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Blanche Terraine says...

A general shortage of housing inflates the cost of accommodation: simple supply-and-demand economics. If not Chippenham, where? The town has the biggest cul-de-sac in Britain at Monkton Park and the highest concentration of cement for miles around in Pewsham. Maybe they should not have been allowed to be built. Ask the people who live there.
A general shortage of housing inflates the cost of accommodation: simple supply-and-demand economics. If not Chippenham, where? The town has the biggest cul-de-sac in Britain at Monkton Park and the highest concentration of cement for miles around in Pewsham. Maybe they should not have been allowed to be built. Ask the people who live there. Blanche Terraine
  • Score: 1

1:41pm Thu 12 Jun 14

allthedecentnameshavegone says...

Planning to build a "minimum of at least 4,510 houses" is very different from being asked to plan for the "potential of unlimited housing numbers". Is this just scaremongering and sensationalism or are these people incapable of understanding the difference?
Planning to build a "minimum of at least 4,510 houses" is very different from being asked to plan for the "potential of unlimited housing numbers". Is this just scaremongering and sensationalism or are these people incapable of understanding the difference? allthedecentnameshavegone
  • Score: 6

5:29pm Thu 12 Jun 14

melkshamwizard says...

i would like someone to tell me were these number of houses needed come from,i suspect the big house building firms are having a big say in this,were are the people coming from to fill these houses.
i would like someone to tell me were these number of houses needed come from,i suspect the big house building firms are having a big say in this,were are the people coming from to fill these houses. melkshamwizard
  • Score: 1

4:57pm Mon 16 Jun 14

googolplex says...

There are significant questions regarding the way in which Wiltshire Council developed and consulted on their core strategy.

The consequence of changes in Government planning policy and the lack of a core strategy has meant that the County is now seen as an easy target for developers making speculative planning applications.

The current core strategy raises a number of important issues that do not appear to have been adequately addressed.

What sort of housing should be built.?
Where should it be built? and
What infrastructure will be provided to support the new housing?.

There is little doubt that new houses are required.

The following data is from 2012 :

The average (median) income in Wiltshire is £19,952
The gross annual income needed for a mortgage is £54,863
The ratio of House prices to incomes is 12 to 1
The average (mean) weekly private sector rent is £161
Projected % increase in households 2013 - 2021 is 6.7%
Households on waiting lists 17,108

In the south west 23% of young adults aged 20-34 are living with their parents.

Salaries have risen 10% in the last ten years
House prices have risen 55% in the last ten years

It has been estimated that every new home built brings in £77,000 into the regional economy and creates 1.8 jobs directly.

The market will not deliver 'affordable' housing, only Wiltshire Council has the opportunity to do so.

Wiltshire Councillors need consider whether they have the capacity, ability and drive necessary to resolve the conflicting pressures from developers, local communities and the many thousands of people that need affordable housing.
There are significant questions regarding the way in which Wiltshire Council developed and consulted on their core strategy. The consequence of changes in Government planning policy and the lack of a core strategy has meant that the County is now seen as an easy target for developers making speculative planning applications. The current core strategy raises a number of important issues that do not appear to have been adequately addressed. What sort of housing should be built.? Where should it be built? and What infrastructure will be provided to support the new housing?. There is little doubt that new houses are required. The following data is from 2012 : The average (median) income in Wiltshire is £19,952 The gross annual income needed for a mortgage is £54,863 The ratio of House prices to incomes is 12 to 1 The average (mean) weekly private sector rent is £161 Projected % increase in households 2013 - 2021 is 6.7% Households on waiting lists 17,108 In the south west 23% of young adults aged 20-34 are living with their parents. Salaries have risen 10% in the last ten years House prices have risen 55% in the last ten years It has been estimated that every new home built brings in £77,000 into the regional economy and creates 1.8 jobs directly. The market will not deliver 'affordable' housing, only Wiltshire Council has the opportunity to do so. Wiltshire Councillors need consider whether they have the capacity, ability and drive necessary to resolve the conflicting pressures from developers, local communities and the many thousands of people that need affordable housing. googolplex
  • Score: 2

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