Chippenham will write to ask Homes England to withdraw the £75m Housing Infrastructure Fund from Wiltshire in order to lower planned housing levels.

At full council, Chippenham council voted for the chief executive of the town council to write to Wiltshire Council’s chief executive copying in Homes England and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MGCLG).

The motion was put forward by councillors Nick Murry, Angie Litvak-Watson and Gemma Grimes, would see the letter ask Homes England to pull the £75m funding and would reaffirm the newly formed council’s position on opposing the proposed level of housing.

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During the debate, Cllr Nic Puntis said he opposed the road and the number of proposed houses but did not want to see the town excluded from future investment to improve the town.

Cllr Desna Allen agreed with Cllr Puntis’ points, saying that she did not wish to “shut the door on everything.”

“I agree 7,500 is too much and I agree the design of the road is pretty appalling,” she said.

“But there must be some way, somewhere that we can get something we want because people do need housing.

“There are people sofa surfing and we need to be in a position to make sure we can get something sustainable and deliverable and help keep this a pleasant place to live.”

It was noted that the letter and the town council's stance does not negate its ability to look at sustainable development in the future or its ability to apply for future funding.

Cllr Clare Cape, who has been battling the problems put forward by the road and “inflated” housing numbers since last summer, said she has pressed Wiltshire Council to rethink the plans in the light of the climate emergency and the pandemic.

“I still believe we need to go back and look at the housing needs for all of Wiltshire properly in the current environment,” Cllr Cape said.

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“And find some solutions that don’t wreck our countryside and don’t require roads that serve no purpose other than to be filled up with cars.”

Cllr Bill Douglas said: “I fully support this motion. Wiltshire Council is paying no attention whatsoever, as usual, and I think we’re doing the right thing sending it to the ministry and see if we can get some movement there.”

At the vote, the motion was passed by councillors unanimously.