PROTESTS are mounting against a £75 million scheme to provide Chippenham with a new road.

The proposed distributor road would be fronted by housing and is likely to have a 30mph speed limit.

The scheme is being fast-tracked to take advantage of a Homes England grant as work must be completed by March 31, 2024.

Liberal Democrat Wiltshire Cllr for Pewsham and Chippenham Town Cllr Clare Cape said: “I’m doing everything I can to get these appalling proposals stopped.”

Cllr Cape said 14 members of the public had spoken very eloquently at a Chippenham Town Council planning, environment and transport committee meeting on Thursday .

She added: “All are vehemently against the proposals for 7,500 houses in the Local Plan and rejecting all three options for routing an associated distributor road."

Local Julie Wheeler has written to Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan, asking her to comment on the scheme.

She said: “I cannot express strongly enough to you how appalled I am by both sets of plans.

“In the proposed plans our beautiful green fields and countryside around the Marden and Avon valleys would be obliterated to be replaced by a distributor road, including two river bridges/viaducts and canal bridges.

“Then the building of a staggeringly huge and unjustified number of houses equivalent to building a suburb the size of Calne.

“When we are facing a crisis in our countryside because of loss of habitats and biodiversity the idea is crazy!

“Can I ask that you let us know what your plans are to represent and support an ever-increasing number of Chippenham residents who like myself are vehemently against these plans?

“I am sure you must also feel quite strongly that at the present time outdated irrational developments like these are not what we need to be doing; that you put great value on the countryside like us, and that you support the need for improving our biodiversity and reducing our carbon footprint.”

Wiltshire Council held its third live public webinar on Saturday to provide a further opportunity for people and businesses to find out more about the consultation on the Future Chippenham distributor road route options.

The county is seeking people’s views on three options for a potential new distributor road to the south and east of Chippenham.

It says the road would provide a high-quality road link connecting the north east and southern parts of the town to the A350 and improvements to Junction 17 of the M4.

Any new road would be subject to the Local Review Plan being approved.

The first two webinars gave a detailed insight into the Options Assessment Review process and the information used to set the potential route options. The third event gave the project team a chance to answer feedback questions from the first webinar.

Simon Hendey, director of housing and commercial development for Wiltshire Council, said: “The Wiltshire Local Plan Review process, which considers the level of growth in the town to 2036and where homes could be allocated, is entirely separate consultation from this Chippenham Future road route options consultation.

“Any new distributor road would be subject to the outcome of future planning applications and progress of the Local Plan Review.

“We understand that some people may not want to see the development proposed scale, or the development of a road, and we respect their views and welcome those responses as part of this consultation.

“It is important they take the opportunity to express their views in the local planning consultation. That’s the process that will determine if development comes forward and if there is a need for infrastructure such as the distributor road.”

Engineers said the distributor road would be fronted by housing and is likely at this stage to have a 30mph speed limit, subject to Wiltshire highways and planning and a road traffic order.

Jamie Adkins, senior engineer with highways consultants Atkins, said: “The distributor road’s primary function is for local transport connectivity and distribution. This is to enable residential and employment development. It is not a strategic road or a bypass.

“The road is a single carriageway and includes transport infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, buses and cars and the road can be described as a primary street running through the residential development.”

There would be access off the distributor road for rear parking behind housing and to retail shops and commercial developments.

There would be two link road options at Pewsham Way; Option 1 that connects to the Canal Roundabout, and Option 3 that connects to the east of Forest Lane.

All three options would include viaducts crossing the River Avon and the flood plain. Option A would include a 258-metre long viaduct, Option B a 468m long viaduct, and Option C a 336m long viaduct.

Wiltshire Council says initial work indicates that a distributor road could bring significant benefits; it would directly unlock land to support much needed housing development and reduce traffic congestion in the town centre, improving connectivity and travel within and around the town.

These benefits would help underpin the future sustainable growth of Chippenham and increase opportunities for residents and businesses.

But local residents have expressed concerns about the environmental and ecological impact on wildlife and biodiversity.

They are also concerned about the impact of building bridges and viaducts crossing the River Avon floodplain, and the potential impact on public rights of way, particularly for cyclists using the National Cycle Routes through Chippenham and pedestrians.

Residents have by 5pm on Friday, March 12 to comment, using the online form or emailing