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Plan for 500 more homes
MORE than 500 new homes will have to be built in south Wiltshire in addition to thousands already agreed.
Amesbury, Bulford and Durrington will be required to take 300 more between them, and another 50 will go up in the area around Amesbury.
In Wilton itself, and in Salisbury, which will already see new estates at Hampton Park, UKLF Wilton and Fugglestone Red with more planned at Old Sarum, no further increase in house building is currently proposed.
A government-appointed inspector has told Wiltshire Council that it hasn’t identified enough building land, and every part of the county will have to find sites suitable for more development.
The inspector proposed increasing the housing numbers in the draft Wiltshire Core Strategy from 37,000 to 42,000.
The public are now being asked to suggest potential areas and to comment on the council’s ideas about how the new homes should be distributed around the county.
And landowners can put forward potential sites for more homes.
Until the inspector approves the package that the council comes up with, it is legally vulnerable to speculative applications from developers to build on greenfield land, which is already happening in the north of the county.
Toby Sturgis, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet member for spatial planning, said: “Our vision is to create stronger and more resilient communities and by ensuring we have a robust development plan in place to manage growth – both in terms of housing and economic development – we can achieve this.”
The inspector is also expecting the council to review settlement boundaries, and parish councils are to be asked whether they want to make changes.
For villages where residents would like to see some growth, this may offer scope for infill development, and Wiltshire’s head of economic development and planning Alistair Cunningham told the Journal: “This is an opportunity for smaller communities, not an imposition. It will be a genuine consultation. I really don’t see that there will be significant changes that will take in huge new swathes of green land.”
Asked why there is further uncertainty when south Wiltshire already has an adopted core strategy governing where there should be development, Mr Cunningham said things had “moved on” nationally.
He pointed out that other parts of the county are being asked to absorb bigger percentage increases in housebuilding.
The consultation documents can be found at wiltshire.gov.uk/planninganddevelopment/ planningpolicy/wi ltshirecorestrategy/wiltshirecorestrategyexamination.htm.
Copies are also available in libraries and at the council office in Milford Street.
* THE building boom in the county will earn almost £11m for Wiltshire Council this year.
It will receive £10.899m in New Homes Bonus – money handed over by the Government to reward local authorities for increasing the number of homes in their area.
That makes it number seven in the Top Ten earners’ league of councils.
Last year Wiltshire received £7.59m, and the year before, £1.84m.
Although local authorities are free to use the money for purposes such as building affordable homes, or bringing empty homes back into use, the handout is not ringfenced.
The council has said that after consulting public opinion it decided to use it “to help deliver the key priorities set out in our business plan, including the growth in demand for elderly care”.
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