THE concept framework for Future Chippenham has been described as akin to George Orwell’s 1984 “where official statements mean the opposite of what they say”. 

After Wiltshire Council agreed to amend a leaflet implying that the new road scheme was supported by the £75m Housing Infrastructure Fund, Save Chippenham (which stands against urban sprawl) has said this was one of many ways the council was “trying to mislead residents of Chippenham”.

A spokesman for the protest group said: “Can Wiltshire Council really expect us to believe that creating ‘a strategic open space’ amongst thousands of houses could ever be regarded as a ‘benefit’ of destroying acres of Wiltshire Countryside? 

“And how can they argue that by building a road, miles from the town centre and the public transport network, it would ‘encourage more active and sustainable travel choices’ and that this is necessary for the council to improve the bus service?” 

“And we are still being asked to believe that the distributor road, accompanied as it would be by 4,200 new houses and therefore 8,000 – 10,000 additional cars, will miraculously ease congestion in the town?

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“Is Wiltshire Council still fit to govern us? Because either they have lost touch with reality, or they are trying to ensure that we do.”

The council has rebuffed these claims and said that "doing nothing means that nothing happens".

Leader of Wiltshire Council, Richard Clewer said: "As a council we are required to meet the government’s housing targets for Wiltshire; this means there will be development.

“So the questions remains what is best way to influence and control the development that will come forward.

“The Future Chippenham programme aims to provide infrastructure led development funded by the council and the Government to enable proper master planning to ensure the future needs of the community are met.

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“Such development allows us to plan new integrated communities rather than developers simply building isolated ‘cookie cutter’ housing estates.

“However, any options for development remain dependent on the outcome of the Local Plan review which will determine the allocation of sites for development and agreement with Homes England who are forward funding infrastructure for the agreed development.”

A decision on whether a judicial review lodged by Dr Helen Stride against the Future Chippenham scheme can proceed is still pending.

The council said it would robustly defend its position.