PLANS for the divisive Future Chippenham project and why Wiltshire Council chose the south most portion for the scheme have been explained.

When the council produced the now approved and heavily parred back version of its distributor road plans the local authority said it had listened to the some 1,200 responses in the consultation process.

Though protestors decried that they should be duly consulted on the new scheme, cabinet pressed on to approve the plans, the ball for which is now in Homes England’s court.

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But why did the council chose this section for the revised plans and not the middle (eastern) section or the northern end of the original Future Chippenham project?

In the cabinet paper for the revised plans it said: “Those sites that offer the greatest prospects for delivering sustainable new communities and that support integration with existing settlements, encourage walking and cycling and with ready access to local neighbourhood facilities should be favoured over less well-connected alternatives.”

However, according to the council’s own Local Plan document, the southern site chosen for the new road is the joint fourth most sustainable.

The most sustainable site named in the plan is site one, the controversial patch to the east of the town.

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Richard Clewer, leader of the council, said: “The council’s Future Chippenham programme acting as landowner and master developer is promoting sites it believes are deliverable, viable and require infrastructure to unlock them and generate community benefits.

"The council has secured £75m of grant funding from Homes England to support the delivery of key infrastructure to unlock land to facilitate future growth of the town and the council will continue to work with Homes England to deliver this within the funding parameters and timescales they require.

“The Wiltshire Local Plan, and its evidence base, will set out the longer term development requirements for Chippenham and will continue to be developed taking account of the comments received during the recent consultation and a Draft Plan will be published for consultation in 2022.”