Local people can now have their say on Swindon’s draft Local Plans

People living in Swindon are being asked for their views on proposed changes to the Borough’s Local Plan and Local Transport Plan.

Published: Thursday, 29th July 2021

Have your say on Swindon's Local Plan

The Swindon Borough Local Plan 2026 was adopted in 2015 and sets out how much development is needed in Swindon, as well as where and how it should take place for the period up to 2036.

In order to keep the Local Plan up to date, Swindon Borough Council is required to undertake regular reviews to take into account government changes to the planning system, comments from previous consultations and new sites which have come forward for development, such as the Honda site to the east of Swindon.

The revised Local Plan, which is now subject to a seven-week consultation from today (29 July), will help to build local communities and ensure housing and associated infrastructure that Swindon needs in the future is delivered in a sustainable way, guarding against speculative development.

This will be the last opportunity for local residents to influence the content of the Plan before it is submitted for independent examination.

The Local Plan sets out the requirement for housing and employment land in the Borough and where they should be delivered. To meet the assessed housing need and ensure a five-year housing land supply, an additional 21,600 homes are required between 2018 and 2036.

Many of these homes are already committed though having planning permission or on already allocated strategic sites such as at Wichelstowe, the New Eastern Villages and Kingsdown. The draft Plan identifies 2,200 homes on smaller allocations in addition to these commitments.

Alongside the consultation on the Local Plan, a public consultation also opens today on the draft Local Transport Plan that sets out the Council’s forward-looking policies and strategy for investment in transport infrastructure.

This is a statutory document that sits alongside the Local Plan and the policies and strategies within both documents are aligned in delivering the over-arching priorities of the Council.

With the previous Local Transport Plan produced 10 years ago, this refresh takes account of several new themes: climate change and the need to work towards a low-carbon economy; transport related social inclusion, accessibility and equality; the role of new technology; and the importance of a joined up approach to land use planning and transport planning.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Infrastructure, Transport and Planning, said: “Swindon’s Local Plan is one of the most important documents produced by the Council and it is vital local residents have the chance to feed in their views on where development should take place. 

“We know people are really passionate about their local communities and the representations we received from the last review of the Local Plan is one of the reasons why we are going back out to consultation. 

“We now have a slightly higher housing target due to Swindon’s forecast growth and the fact the town is bouncing back strongly from the pandemic. New housing and employment sites have come forward since the last review, such as Honda’s South Marston site, which has recently been bought by major developer Panattoni. 

“We need to make sure our Local Plan is robust so it has a five-year housing supply, which will help prevent speculative applications on land where residents do not want to see development. 

“It is important that the Local Plan is also viewed alongside the Local Transport Plan in order to make sure that the two line-up and provide a clear future for Swindon.

“I would strongly encourage local residents to read both the drafts of the Local Plan and Local Transport Plan and give us their comments so we can take all their feedback on board.” 

The two consultations, being run in parallel, are open from today (29 July) until 5pm on Thursday, 16 September 2021. 

Local Plan: further information including how to respond can be found on the Council’s website: www.swindon.gov.uk/localplanreview

Local Transport Plan: further information including how to respond can be found on the consultations page on the Council’s website.

The consultation documents are also available for inspection at the Council’s Civic Office and main libraries.

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