THE Future Chippenham scheme could look vastly different from the options consulted on earlier in the year.

Next Wednesday (July 21), cabinet is set to discuss the controversial low-speed distributor road, but not in the form residents have come to know.

Based on the feedback from the consultations into Future Chippenham and the Wiltshire Local Plan, it is proposed that cabinet approves a dramatically scaled back version of the road.

This revised scheme would just be the southern portion of the road – from the Lackham roundabout up to the A4. Therefore, the number of housing proposed will be cut by nearly 50 per cent from 7,500 to between 3,800 and 4,200 plus infrastructure.

They said that consultation has turned up a preferred route but acknowledged the many responses decrying the plans because of transport issues, climate change and environmental issues.

The report says: “The benefits of both the funding and the ability to deliver infrastructure led development are clear and remain an important consideration to deliver housing within the county and provide a stimulus for growth and regeneration for our communities within Wiltshire.”

Cabinet next week will vote to approve the revised scheme and then seek the approval of Homes England – which issues the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Leader of Wiltshire Council, Richard Clewer said: "It was abundantly clear from the consultation responses that what was being put forward was on a scale that Chippenham wasn't able or ready to accept. I think it's imperative when you get that sort of response to think again and look at how and what we can do to make that better."

"We had to come up with a different way to deliver the infrastructure Chippenham needs," he continued. "Not everyone will be pleased but we have to find a way of meeting those requirements while listening to people at the same time.

"This is still on a scale that allows a proper master plan to be developed. We've never had a masterplan on that scale delivered in Wiltshire, but it also gives us the ability to look at the benefits that come from that."

The leader said that no housing was never an option because of government housing targets, and there was development towns needed. He also confirmed that the CIL money from the housing would be invested into Chippenham and to create a sustainable future high street.

“If the new scheme and the preferred route for the southern section is approved, it will then be taken forward through the development of a draft Framework Masterplan to guide the development of the site," he added.

"Further representations will be submitted in support of the allocation, as appropriate, to the pre-submission consultation of the Local Plan review and agreement will be sought from Homes England."

“Whilst feedback on the northern section of the distributor road has been received, this is not being taken forward at this time.”

It should be noted that this is entirely dependent on the outcome of the local plan – as before.

According to work done by CAUSE – Campaign Against Urban Sprawl to the East (of Chippenham) – 75 per cent (885) of those who responded to the Future Chippenham consultation did not want the road at all.

Of the 1,200 people who took part in the survey around 246 (21 per cent) supported the bid and 44 (four per cent) replied “don’t know”.

CAUSE once again criticised the consultation process for its lack of “no road” option and counted those responses where a route was chosen and no comment was made as “support”.

Steve Perry, chairman of the organisation said: “CAUSE notes that responses were received from Chippenham Town Council, Calne Town Council and parish councils such as Bremhill, where objection to the road is underrepresented, as individual councillors (who overwhelmingly voted to object to the road) have not submitted objections.”