PROGRESS is being made in Chippenham regarding the development of a neighbourhood plan for the town.

If implemented, the neighbourhood plan would give communities greater power to deliver the kind of development they want to see in the town.

It could deal with a wide range of issues such as housing, the environment, employment, heritage and transport, or it could focus on a limited number of issues that are of particular importance to the town.

It may also contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development.

Cllr Nick Murry, chairman of the neighbourhood plan working party, said: “For too long now it has felt like development has been imposed on Chippenham rather than proposed by it.

“The town council’s decision to invest in developing its own neighbourhood plan presents a real opportunity to change that and for the people who live here to take part in shaping the future of their town.

“The plan will allow us to develop a shared vision for the town, and to influence where new homes, shops, offices and other development should go, and which areas and open spaces should be preserved.

“The timing couldn’t be better, with the town council set to expand its responsibilities and Wiltshire Council’s Local Plan Review raising the prospect of thousands more houses designated for Chippenham.

“A steering group should be in place by November, but there will still be further opportunities for people to participate through various specialist working groups that will arise as the plan develops.”

The plan will be grounded in extensive public consultation and will only be adopted following a successful community referendum where a majority vote is needed.

Chippenham Town Council will hold a wide range of events and provide many opportunities for residents to share their views over the three years then anticipate it will take to deliver the plan.

Town council decided to implement a Neighbourhood Plan at a full council meeting in November.

If the Neighbourhood Plan is implemented, there would be an increased amount of Community Infrastructure Levy expenditure which could benefit the community.

Anyone interested in joining the steering group should contact the Town Hall via