Swindon Borough Local Plan 2026

Local Plan review

The Council is in the early stages of the Review of the Swindon Borough Local Plan to extend the plan horizon beyond 2026.

To further understand the issues to be addressed through the review of the Local Plan and which policies should be modified and how, the Council carried out a six week public consultation between 7 November and 19 December 2017. At this stage in the process no decisions have been made on the future locations for growth and development beyond that contained within the adopted Local Plan.

Swindon and Wiltshire joint spatial framework

Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council are working together on an ongoing basis and in 2017 produced the Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework: Issues Paper. The intention was for the Joint Spatial Framework to guide the overall pattern of development across the wider area of the two councils, setting out a distribution of new jobs, homes and infrastructure to inform the councils’ individual local plan reviews.

Following this, the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published. This now requires local authorities to “maintain one or more statements of common ground, documenting the cross-boundary matters being addressed and progress in cooperating to address these” (paragraph 27). Planning Practice Guidance outlines what a statement of common ground should contain and explains that it should be “maintained on an on-going basis throughout the plan making process”.

A statement of common ground can identify matters that are agreed, yet to be agreed or further information that is required before matters can be agreed. It should identify those areas where cooperation is required to deliver the strategic policies of both authorities. To this extent, it will cover many of the elements previously intended to be included within the Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework.

A Statement of Common Ground should, therefore, be prepared between Wiltshire and Swindon to confirm the extent of joint working between the two authorities.

This includes whether:

  • the proposed housing requirements for Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council can be accommodated within each authority’s boundaries and if not the extent of the shortfall in provision
  • the proposed employment land requirement identified in the Swindon and Wiltshire FEMAA can be accommodated within each authority’s boundaries and if not the extent of the shortfall in provision
  • there are other cross boundary strategic issues that should be addressed through joint working including infrastructure provision to support growth

The Statement of Common Ground should be subject to ongoing review. The scope of the Joint Spatial Framework will be determined by the Statement of Common Ground. It may be reduced in scope compared to that previously proposed, for example, it may only focus on employment land and infrastructure delivery.

On the dates specified, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet (20 March) and Wiltshire Council Cabinet (26 March) met to consider, in part, each revised Local Development Scheme. At each meeting endorsement was received for the preparation of a Statement of Common Ground between Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council to inform the matters to be addressed in a Joint Spatial Framework.

Further information on the public consultation

For further information on the Local Plan Review and the Joint Spatial Framework consultation, including the consultation documents and, once completed, a summary of the responses, please visit the Planning Policy Consultation Portal.

For more information about how we will handle your personal details and comments, see the Planning Policy Privacy Notice.

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