The Council has listened to the concerns of residents in Chiseldon and removed a piece of land from the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment.
The large site at New Road is to be marked as ‘rejected’ in the SHELAA and, on that basis, is unlikely to be taken forward in the Council’s Local Plan, pending Cabinet consideration and further public engagement.
The decision to remove the larger New Road site from the SHELAA follows the close consideration of public responses to the recent consultation. For the site to be taken forward and meet national planning policy, there has to exceptional circumstances that meet the public interest. In this case, no such interest was found.
Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “I am pleased to be able to say that this particular New Road site has been removed from the SHELAA.
“We have listened to feedback from local residents and concluded there was no public interest in bringing the site forward in respect of enhanced facilities for the village that would meet with national policy requirements.
“The site sits within the North Wessex Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and I completely understand the concern that its inclusion in the SHELAA has caused. We do, however, have a duty to consider all options at the early stages of the Local Plan.
“It’s still important to stress that just because a site appears in the SHELAA, it doesn’t mean that it will be built on. The SHELAA only identifies sites with potential for future development and does not allocate sites to be developed.”
The inclusion in the SHELAA of all three sites in Chiseldon (the two at New Road and one at Hodson Road) was opposed by ward councillors and South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, and while the Council understands these concerns, the reasons to reject the large site at New Road were compelling.
The smaller site at New Road is currently subject to a planning application, which will be considered in the New Year.
The site at Hodson Road still has potential within the remit of the SHELAA but, ultimately, it will depend on the details of any proposal. This site was not opposed by the North Wessex Downs AONB submission.
Members of the public will be able to take part in a statutory consultation period to come in 2019 on the Local Plan Review.