AROUND 400 villagers in Heytesbury, Imber and Tytherington are being consulted on proposals to build up to 25 new homes in the parish.

The local parish council has sent out a questionnaire to residents asking if they would support proposals to build more open market and affordable housing.

In the introduction, the council says: “In an ever-changing economic climate, the people of Heytesbury, Tytherington and Knook have an opportunity to assess and contemplate the future of their Parish and consider its needs, particularly the provision of housing and the potential use of several different sites to accommodate any development."

The Future Planning Working Group (FPWG) has been tasked by the Parish Council with the specific role of identifying the potential future housing needs of the parish between now and 2036 in line with the 2021 Wiltshire Council Local Plan.

The working group is made up of six parish councillors and two non-members with experience of housing matters, planning and community engagement.

The council added: “Naturally, our residents’ views are paramount. The following pages outline the current expectation both locally in Wiltshire, and for us specifically as a Parish.

“Although the Parish Council do not ultimately make any decisions on planning, we would like to represent the views of our community for future consideration."

The consultation is running until August 12. The FPWG will then analyse the responses and report back to the council.

But two residents who are against proposals for more housing voiced concerns at a parish council meeting on Tuesday (June 28).

David Bond said the questionnaire was open to abuse as the numbering could determine the area where the questionnaires had been returned from and individuals recognised.

He also questioned why the Football Club had received a questionnaire and asked about the recommendation on the agenda to appoint an non-elected adviser to the Future Planning Working Group.

Luke Woods questioned the council on the appointment of non-elected members to working groups and said it was undemocratic.

Mr Woods said the position statement on housing was full of inaccuracies and asked "where is the transparency and honesty with the electorate".

In the 2021 local plan review, Heytesbury was outlined as a ‘large’ village and has an indicative requirement of 25 new homes to be built up to 2036 to help Wiltshire meet its housing needs target of 2,006 homes a year.  

In 2019, the parish council carried out a rural housing needs survey concentrating on households unable to afford accommodation on the open market.  

The results indicated a requirement over the three following years for eight subsidised social rented homes and three shared ownership/discount market homes.

The council says the new homes could be built on rural exception sites with a housing association provider, as community-led housing through a Community Land Trust, through agreements with developers, or by developers submitting speculative housing applications.

The document and a questionnaire is available here.