Councillors have blasted Future Chippenham plans which they say will turn Chippenham into a mini-Swindon.

Bremhill parish councillor, Ian James said the proposals to build 7,500 houses across the east and south of Chippenham would create a mini-Swindon and “destroy 2,000 acres of valuable farmland.”

Cllr James added that the plans to build a distributor road would bring increased traffic.

He said: “This excessive number of houses is unsustainable and creates some huge risks. An additional 15,000 cars on roads around Chippenham and Calne will make increased traffic congestion inevitable, as the road will be a low speed distributor road running through housing developments, not a relief road as the council would have us believe.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Picture taken at the Avon-Marden Valley looking towards Bencroft Hill by Cllr Nick MurryPicture taken at the Avon-Marden Valley looking towards Bencroft Hill by Cllr Nick Murry

Wiltshire councillor, Ashley O’Neill said the plan has no relation to the housing needs of the town and will destroy our valued open countryside.

“We’re talking a significant difference between Chippenham’s actual housing need versus what Wiltshire Council is proposing,” Cllr O’Neill told the Gazette & Herald.

Cllr Nick Murry said he believed the Future Chippenham scheme consultation was an attempt to predetermine the Local Plan.

“The Council is asking the public which route they would prefer this destructive road to take, rather than whether Chippenham actually needs a suburb the size of Calne, without which such a road would not be required,” he said.

Chippenham and Wiltshire councillor Clare Cape said she asked the local authority to rethink the development proposal.

“Why are they obsessed with bending to pressure to take unjustifiable housing numbers and dump them on Chippenham?” she said.

“What other options have been considered and where is the evidence of benefit for the people of Chippenham?”

“This would ruin much loved local green spaces and heritage in the form of the old railway cycle track and the canal and create yet more traffic to our already busy roads.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Cllr Ian James co-ordinated over 150 protesters in Chippenham over the plans last December. Photo Trevor PorterCllr Ian James co-ordinated over 150 protesters in Chippenham over the plans last December. Photo Trevor Porter

The councillors also criticised the council taking on an extra 5,000 houses than needed and add that the distributor road will not help the people of Chippenham or its surroundings.

“It is there to serve the housing it unlocks,” added Cllr Murry.

Philip Whitehead, leader of the council, said the level of housing was identified for Chippenham up to 2046 and the Local Plan Review indicated there was a need for the extra 5,100 houses.

“The level of growth and the number of new homes required to meet housing need at Chippenham, and indeed elsewhere in the county, is considered through the separate Wiltshire Local Plan Review process.

"The number of new homes proposed in the Local Plan Review, which covers a period up to 2036, indicate that land is needed for a further 5,100 homes at the town and proposals are put forward for where this could take place.

"People are able to comment on these proposals as part of the Local Plan consultation currently taking place. This is entirely a separate consultation to the Future Chippenham road route options consultation.

“A new road will only come forward based on the progress of the Local Plan Review and a planning application.The plans have not been predetermined and we would encourage everyone to take part in these consultations to give their views on the proposals.”

To have your say on the plans and for more information, please go to