HEAVILY revised plans for the Future Chippenham scheme have passed through cabinet.

At the latest extraordinary meeting of Wiltshire Council’s cabinet, councillors voted through plans for a massively edited form of the controversial distributor road.

Plans now only include the southern portion of the original low speed distributor road – from the Lackham roundabout up to the A4.

This also brings with it a reduced housing number for the area. Originally it was proposed that the scheme would unlock 7,500 houses, but with revised plans, the number has dropped to between 3,800 and 4,200.

This is again dependent on the numbers required in the local plan review.

Leader of the council, Richard Clewer said that 2,400 houses in the Chippenham area needed to be built in the plan period.

During public speaking, Chippenham resident Melanie Boyle said the council should stop putting so much housing pressure on the town because of its easy links to Swindon, Bristol and London. She added that residents had not had the opportunity to vote on the proposals being discussed today.

“Is this what you want to be remembered for? Committing ecocide during a pandemic and a climate crisis?” Ms Boyle added.

Other public objectors said there was a great need in Chippenham for affordable housing, this was met by cabinet member for housing, Phil Alford replying that those properties would need to come from house building.

Cllr Clare Cape said that a huge amount of work had gone into restoring the Chippenham canal, and plead with the cabinet for housing not to encroach on the important green space.

Leader of Wiltshire’s Liberal Democrats, Ian Thorn said public confidence in the planning process is at an all time low because of proposals like Future Chippenham.

There is a risk, however, that Homes England will not accept this new plan. Currently, Homes England has not signed off on the revised plans.

This is a risk cabinet believe is minor, as the leader explained, earlier this week, all current communications with Homes England have been positive.

Initially, the council applied for a £75m grant under the Housing Infrastructure Fund but with these revised plans the scope of the grant is not yet known.