Liberal Democrat response to Wiltshire Core Strategy Consultation Document
Wiltshire is a special place with a diverse range of communities. Our County boasts natural and built environments that are appreciated for their history, beauty and character .
While there may be a national need for more housing, there is also a national need to preserve our heritage and community. Wiltshire must not be a target for developers to make short-term profits .
We are not against growth. Growth must have its limits and any further growth must be at a pace that recognises the needs of those already living here.
- · We request that ALL communities are allowed to have a real say in the choice of strategic sites of new housing and commercial development. The proposed strategy only allows this opportunity for market towns. We believe any community wishing to create a neighbourhood plan, as defined by the Localism Bill, should be able to propose the most appropriate sites for development. We request that the core strategy clearly states that all Wiltshire communities will have the opportunity to propose their preferred locations for any future development under the neighbourhood planning proposals detailed in the Localism Bill.
- · We request that a detailed Infrastructure Delivery Plan is a prerequisite to all the proposed developments identified in the core strategy major development proposals. This plan will identify the infrastructure that will be necessary to support the development proposed. Any infrastructure delivery plan must clearly demonstrate that key services such as schools, medical centres, road networks, etc will be adequately supported to deal with increased population.
- · We strongly assert that access to good quality skilled employment must be a prerequisite to any future development proposals .
- · We assert that satisfying local housing and employment need must take priority over the need indiscriminately to expand the housing numbers in locations proposed for future development.
- · We request that the planning period is divided into three phases, these would be: 2006 to 2016, 2017 to 2021 and 2022 to 2026. This would allow more appropriate balancing of housing demand and infrastructure requirements with development delivery.
- · We request that the definition of "Sustainability" and "Resilience" are clarified in the consultation document. These words are used in relation to hugely important policy proposals and so deserve to be clearly defined .
- · We request that the definition of "Community" is clearly defined in this document. The town and parish and community area boundaries , as referred to in the draft documents, do not adequately reflect the population and resource utilization in these areas. It fails to adequately account for the importance of service catchments. Resource boundaries are far more important than political boundaries when considering future development proposals.
Written on behalf of Wiltshire Liberal Democrat Councillors by Simon Killane, Wiltshire Councillor for Malmesbury, 07th August 2011