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Decision taken to not allocate housing in plan review

The Calne Community Neighbourhood Plan (CCNP) Steering Group have been undertaking a Site Assessment process that might have resulted in allocating housing as part of the plan review. However for a number of reasons, the decision has been taken not to allocate.

Firstly, Calne Town Council and Calne Without Parish Council were part of a Community Governance Review in 2021/22 which will be implemented in the Local Government elections in May 2025. This has significant impact for the neighbourhood plan review because the current Calne Without Parish area will be split over 6 Parishes meaning that the Plan area will then cover 7 Councils. This means our plan needs to be 'made' by February 2025.

Secondly, the Steering Group commissioned AECOM to complete a technical assessment of sites developers or landowners had offered for development. Allocating sites for development, whether green or brownfield, requires significant time for technical site appraisals and will almost certainly mean that the plan requires a full Strategic Environmental Assessment which takes at least 7 months to complete. AECOM's report was due in August but has still not been received and waiting for this report risks the whole plan review as we won't complete before the split in parishes.

Thirdly, suggested housing numbers for Calne and Derry Hill and Studley have been given in the Wiltshire Local Plan (Regulation 19) Consultation. The Steering Group have challenged the numbers and so felt it was inappropriate to allocate.

With these factors in mind the Steering Group considered its options for completing the review of the Plan and the Steering Group has recommended to the Councils that a draft Plan be progressed to its first formal consultation stage (Regulation 14) as soon as possible. This will enable the Plan to progress through its next stages (Regulation 15) in summer 2024 and examination and referendum by February/March 2025.

To meet this timescale, it will not be possible to make any housing or employment allocations in this iteration of the Plan.

Both Councils approved this approach in November 2023.

The next steps are for the Steering Group to prepare for public consultation on the draft plan in early 2024. When available details will be posted here.

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