Still time for residents to have their say on revised Local Plan
Local people still have three weeks to give their views on proposed changes to Swindon’s Local Plan.
Published: Thursday, 26th August 2021
The current Swindon Borough Local Plan 2026 was adopted in 2015. The revised plan currently out for consultation sets out how and where development can be accommodated in Swindon for the period up to 2036, on both brownfield and greenfield sites and for both homes and employment.
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 Council has held two drop-in events in Highworth for residents to ask any questions and two further events will take place at the Ellendune Community Centre in Wroughton on Tuesday, 7 September between 6pm and 8pm, and on Saturday, 11 September between 9.30am and 11.30am.
The consultation, which opened almost a month ago (29 July) closes at 5pm on Thursday, 16 September.
The revised Local Plan will help to build local communities and ensure the 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 it should be delivered. To meet the assessed housing need and ensure a five-year housing land supply, an additional 21,600 homes are required up to 2036.
Many of these homes are already committed through 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.
A public consultation is also open 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: “It is really important that local residents tell us what they think of the proposed updates to the Local Plan so we can take their views on board before it goes for independent examination.
“There is still three weeks before the consultation closes so if you have not had a chance to look at the revised Local Plan you still have time to make any comments or suggestions.
“Alongside the online consultation I have also attended local drop-in sessions and it has been really positive listening to people and getting their thoughts on what they like and don’t like within the revised plan.
“If we get the Local Plan right, it will help us stave off speculative planning applications where residents do not want development, which makes this consultation all the more important.
“It is also key that local people feed in their views on the Local Transport Plan as it has a really important role to play in Swindon’s future.”
Both the Local Plan and Local Transport Plan consultations run until 5pm on Thursday, 16 September.
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 at: www.swindon.gov.uk/consultations
The consultation documents are also available for inspection at the Council’s Civic Office and main libraries.