THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT
We would like to offer a massive THANK YOU to every one of you who have participated in our campaign against the Future Chippenham road proposal and the Wiltshire Local Plan proposal. Thanks too to all of you who have signed the CAUSE 38 Degrees petition against the road (almost 5,800 so far!) and for spreading the word so effectively about the campaigns.
Copies of our official formal responses to the two consultations can be found below:
If you are a Chippenham constituent, I would encourage you to email your MP, Michelle Donelan, asking her to formally withdraw her letter of support which she gave Wiltshire Council to support their Housing Infrastructure Fund bid for the £75M funding for the road. Chippenham Town Council have already withdrawn their support, making the letter of support given to Wiltshire ostensibly on behalf of the Town Council, but without any knowledge of the Town Councillors, defunct and useless. We are also writing to the MP to ask her to formally request Homes England cancel the HIF funding, as the letters of support provided by Wiltshire to meet the ‘public support’ qualification requirement of any HIF Bid were provided by the authors having been duped by Wiltshire Council into believing that the road would provide major benefits to the town of Chippenham, not least to the regeneration of the High Street amongst other things, and that there was in fact, NO public support for the proposal other than from developers who the Council kept ‘in the loop’ but actually fought hard to prevent any members of the public finding out about the proposal until it was too late.
We must not let up the pressure on Wiltshire Council, and will continue to press them in both Cabinet and Full Council meetings, until they see sense and change their objectives to suit the people of Wiltshire, rather than blindly following HMG dictates without question, and they change their planning and roads attitude from a 19th/20th century fossil-fuel-driven one to a 21st century one. We will still need your help and support to do that.
The war is NOT over, and we mustn’t let up on our efforts. To do so now would mean that all of our past efforts would be wasted.
We have now seen a draft of the Chippenham Local Plan and our views are as follows:
The housing need figures for Wiltshire are too high.
The housing target allocated to Chippenham is far too high.
Chippenham could become the next Swindon!
The approach used to select development sites around Chippenham looks flawed in a number of respects.
Site 1 (East Chippenham) should exclude any development between the North Rivers Cycle Path and the River Marden.
Public Consultation on the distributor road is premature and predetermines the outcome of the Local Plan.
If you wish to read a full explanation of CAUSE views on the Local Plan for Chippenham or to view the
documents issued by Wiltshire Council, please click on the link below.
LOCAL PLAN RESPONSE
WHERE WILL THE DEVELOPMENT GO?
Wiltshire Council have been granted
funding to build a link road to the East and South of Chippenham, enabling 7,500 new homes to be built.
There was NO consultation with local residents and this development is in direct contravention of the Bremhill Neighbourhood Plan.
The Neighbourhood Plan specifically states that "development should not be permitted in the open countryside ........ between the cycle route and the Tytherton Lucas Conservation Area....."
Public consensus, subsequently gathered, found that the majority of local residents are AGAINST the idea of urban sprawl and are NOT in favour of the development?
This development is enormous- equivalent to the size of Calne.
Houses, roads and related infrastructure would be built close to a conservation area, across our river valleys, ecologically important green spaces and good working farmland – and in an area of outstanding natural beauty (though not designated as such).
The impact will be to:
- Turn Chippenham into a much larger commuter town, with even more congestion;
- Massively increase greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the additional traffic;
- Have an adverse impact on the health and premature deaths as a result of air pollution;
- Increase flood risk in downstream Chippenham and beyond;
- Destroy the wildlife corridor and biodiversity along the River Avon and Marden valleys;
- Destroy good quality farmland needed to stop our reliance on other countries for food supply “ and loss of county farms;
- Destroy valuable, unspoiled river landscapes and their public amenity value.
THE AREA UNDER THREAT
Update on the Marden/ Avon Valley
(commissioned by the Bremhill Parish)
“The Friends of the Marden Valley group feel very strongly that the HIF plan to build 7,500 houses to the east of Chippenham will put in extreme danger the fragile ecosystem of the Marden Valley, particularly in the area surrounding its confluence with the River Avon near Tytherton Lucas”.
Robert MacNaughton, Founder, Friends of the Marden Valley
”CPRE has concerns with the way in which these bid proposals have been brought forward. Where this area of locally highly valued and sensitive countryside is concerned it seems that full transparency and public participation has not taken place. This undermines the democratic decision-making process where community and environmental groups play a vital role. Meetings behind closed doors destroy trust” Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE)