REJUVENATION plans for Chippenham have taken a significant step forward after proposals for a multi million-pound sustainable business block were submitted to planning officers.

A multi storey car park has also been proposed to increase the current number of spaces at the Sadlers Mead site from 165 to 255.

After fears were raised the five storey car park would be an eye sore on the town’s landscape, architects revealed designs that aim to hide it from view from nearby Monkton Park by using timber cladding and semi mature trees.

Plans to combat increased congestion that could arise from extra people driving into the town have also been included in the plan which is part of the overall Chippenham Station Hub rejuvenation development.

Mathew Croston, strategic programmes manager at Wiltshire Council: “This is about improving that initial image of Chippenham. When people get off the train the first thing they see is a sea of car parks and it is relatively hard for people coming to the town to know how to get to the centre.

“Two of the main points raised by the public is the traffic and the visual of the car park. That is why we have focussed on making sure it is attractive by using timber cladding and planting semi mature trees which after growth will screen parts of it, especially from green spaces. There is currently people driving up Sadlers Mead looking for parking spaces and we carried out testing on the highways, some roads coped but some will need extra mitigation and that is something we will be focussing on.”

The work is part of phase two of the rejuvenation project that has already seen the station get a new café, waiting space and ticket machines.

Cllr Pauline Church, cabinet member for economic development and Salisbury recovery, said: “It is about safeguarding jobs and it shows that Wiltshire is forward thinking. It also shows businesses that Wiltshire is a viable option. This project will give confidence to other businesses to consider Wiltshire.”

If given approval, the car park could be built by 2020, in time for the electrification of train lines in the town which is expected to increase footfall to the town. Improved trai services will mean London can be reached for the town within an hour.

Solar panels, electronic car charging points and eco-friendly heating systems have all been proposed for the new office building that will house Good Energy's HQ. The move will secure the 300 jobs at the company within Chippenham. Good Energy admitted that it had considered moving out of the town because of a lack of suitable office space, and spent four years searching for a viable new office proposal.

Fran Woodward, Good Energy’s director of people and culture: “Leaving Chippenham was not something we would want to do but it is incredibly difficult to find office space in Chippenham for a business of our size. Psychologically being able to connect to London in the hour is very powerful and important for getting businesses to Chippenham.”

Ian Durston, programme manager at Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We see this project as important for the whole of Swindon and Wiltshire and we want to improve Chippenham, but in a sustainable way.

“This may sound like we are encouraging more cars into Chippenham with more parking, but we are actually providing a way people to use sustainable transport through the train. The train station improvement also encourages people into the town to the area outside the station will also be improved for bus services.”

The proposals will be available to view on Wiltshire Council’s website in the new few weeks and member of the public have 13 weeks to comment on the plans before it goes before a planning committee.

The application for Sadlers Mead is now online and can be accessed here:,893561