A NEW petition to stop the planned distributor road and housing in the south of Chippenham has been launched. 

The 38Degrees petition, which has gathered nearly 200 signatures since it launched, claims that there is no mandate for the Future Chippenham scheme. 

A statement on the petition says it was clear from the consultation results that the people of Chippenham “object strongly to excessive development that would destroy the Wiltshire countryside”. 

The statement adds: “This number of houses far exceeds Chippenham's projected housing needs which can, we believe, be met by building on existing brownfield sites. Why is Wiltshire Council showing such a complete disregard for the climate crisis and ignoring its own climate strategy?”

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Helen Stride, who set up the petition said: “It’s not only important for people to get involved, it’s essential. Democracy is not working for the people of Chippenham and the surrounding area, so we have to find other ways to make our voices heard. 

“With Wiltshire Council we are witnessing a very cynical form of local government. 

Wiltshire Council is threatening to destroy our countryside even though we have strongly opposed this. 

“They are threatening to build on green fields, a road and thousands of houses which we do not want nor need. They are showing a total disregard for us – and for the climate catastrophe that is looming. Petitions provide us with one of a number of ways to fight back.”

Leader of Wiltshire Council, Richard Clewer said: “We are aware of this petition and once It has been submitted to the council it will be considered in line with our democratic processes.

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"Whilst I share concerns about green field house building, as a council we are required to meet the government’s housing targets for Wiltshire; there will be development. 

"The Future Chippenham programme aims to provide infrastructure led development funded by the council and the government to enable proper master planning to ensure the needs of the community are met. Such development allows us to plan new integrated communities rather than developers simply building isolated ‘cookie cutter’ housing estates. 

"The Future Chippenham Southern option we are promoting could potentially meet Chippenham’s housing needs well beyond the next Local Plan period (which runs up to 2036). However, any options for development remain dependent on the outcome of the Local Plan review; this process will determine the allocation of sites for development. 

“If the Future Chippenham programme is to proceed, subject to that review, it will depend upon agreement with Homes England who are forward funding infrastructure for the agreed development.”