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Recent updates

  • Article: Aug 31, 2018

    The government has produced a new version of its National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). When the first version came out in 2012 much was made of the way it simplified hundreds of pages of planning guidance into a 59-page document.

    The 2018 revised Framework sees the number of pages creep up to 73, with the main emphasis in the update being on using the planning process to increase the quantity of housing, with a target of 300,000 dwellings per year in England.

  • Article: Aug 30, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats have published a comprehensive blueprint for replacing the business rates system, cutting taxes for businesses by around 20% in Wiltshire.

    The report - Taxing Land, Not Investment - calls for the abolition of the business rates system and its replacement with a tax on land values, the Commercial Landowner Levy (CLL).

    The levy would remove buildings and machinery from calculations and tax only the land value of commercial sites, boosting investment and cutting taxes for businesses.

    Liberal Democrat members will debate and vote on the proposals at the party's Autumn Conference in Brighton next month.

    Vince Cable says: "Business rates were a badly designed policy to begin with and have become an unacceptable drag on our economy. They are a tax on productive investment at a time of chronically weak productivity growth, and a burden on high streets struggling to adapt to the rise of online retail.

    "Many of the areas around the country that voted for Brexit feel they have been left behind. In place of policies the Brexiters offer only rhetoric. Great swathes of the country demand better, and this policy offers change to the manufacturing industry and the small towns passed over by economic growth."

  • Article: Aug 24, 2018

    After many years, funding for cavity wall and loft insulation is coming to an end, so now is the time to get a grant before it's too late. Insulating your home is one of the best ways of saving energy, lowering your bills and keeping your home warm in winter and cool in the summer.

    Wiltshire Council's Warm and Safe service can refer you to an accredited contractor to get a free, no obligation quote. The grant may pay for some or all of the work.

  • Article: Aug 16, 2018

    An application for demolition of the existing farm buildings, construction of 227 dwellings, a new vehicular access, public open space, landscaping, drainage and other infrastructure works at Bugley Barton farm went to the Strategic Planning Committee on Wednesday August 15th.

    Previous applications on the site back in the '90s were refused by the then District Council, which had a policy of maintaining a buffer between the town and the bypass. However since then Wiltshire Council has allocated a large swathe of land to the west of the town for housing.

  • Article: Aug 5, 2018

    Bath and NE Somerset council have been told by the government to do something about air pollution in the city, so they're intending to implement a Clean Air Charging Zone (CAZ).

    In 2012 a scheme to close Cleveland Bridge to lorries was rejected by the government after an appeal by Wiltshire Council, and in 2014 Bath looked at the feasibility of a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in the city.

  • Article: Aug 1, 2018
    By Your WC

    Here's an update* from your WC:

    Interested parties will be invited formally to register their interest in Braeside and Oxenwood as going concerns when the two sites are placed on the market.

    As part of this process any prospective buyer will need to ensure they meet the requirements for the sites to continue and to be viable as places for outdoor education.

  • Article: Jul 11, 2018

    Wiltshire Council's Health Scrutiny Committee met on July 11th in County Hall. The main items on the published agenda were an ombudsman's report into the bad and unlawful treatment given by WC social services to a disabled client, and the results of a Care Quality Commission investigation which exposed the inadequacy of the county's Health and Wellbeing Board.

  • Article: Jul 9, 2018
    By WC

    Free parking will be implemented in Amesbury from today. Both Wiltshire Council-run car parks in the town will be free from midday onwards Monday - Friday and all day at weekends, until further notice.

    All council-run car parks in Amesbury (Central and Church Street) and Salisbury will be free from midday on weekdays, and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. The five park and ride sites that serve Salisbury will continue to be free.

  • Article: Jun 29, 2018

    Two new energy tariffs were launched this week offering a choice of green and affordable deals by supplier Our Power supported by Bath and North East Somerset Council and Bath & West Community Energy.

    The new scheme, called Our Power In B&NES, offers locally-generated renewable energy to residents through a collaboration with not-for-profit energy supplier Our Power and local community business Bath & West Community Energy.

  • Article: Jun 29, 2018

    Wiltshire Council's Housing Site Allocations Development Plan Document is set to be approved by the WC 'cabinet' on Tuesday. The formal consultation stage, where representations were invited on the soundness of the Plan, ended on 22 September. Three thousand three hundred and seventy comments were received.