Swindon’s continued expansion at heart of Local Plan review

People living in Swindon are being asked for their views to help shape a review of Swindon’s Local Plan.

The current Local Plan sets out how much development is needed by 2026, as well as where and how it should take place.

But Swindon’s continued expansion has meant that work has already started on extending and updating the Local Plan so that it now covers the years up until 2036, supporting local growth.

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The revised up-to-date 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.

No decisions on future growth in the borough have been taken and Swindon Borough Council is keen to hear what local residents want the Local Plan review to address and what needs to be changed in the current Plan.

The Council is also working closely with Wiltshire Council on a development strategy across the wider area in the form of a Joint Spatial Framework. The views of residents are also sought on the scope of this framework.

Cllr Toby Elliott, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Sustainability, said: “Swindon is a rapidly growing town with record low unemployment and we need thousands more homes over the next 20 years to house our ever growing population. We also want to encourage a diverse housing market in Swindon.

“A lot has changed since we created our Local Plan and that is why we continually need to update and refresh it so it meets our development needs. This is just the start of the process and we want local people to have a say in how we shape the refreshed Local Plan before options are presented for consultation later next year.

“If we don’t takes these steps, we will be subject to speculative applications for new development which could lead to additional unplanned housing being imposed upon us. We have already seen examples recently of where this has taken place and I am determined that we do all we can to prevent this occurring in the future.

“By working closely in partnership with Wiltshire Council we can make sure our respective plans are aligned, while at the same time saving taxpayers’ money.”

The consultation will be open until 5pm on Tuesday, 19 December 2017.  Further information including how to respond can be found on the Council’s website: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20019/consultations_and_surveys

The consultation documents are also available for inspection at the Council’s Civic Office and main libraries.