Design Development and Housing
Westbury’s Neighbourhood Plan will help determine where housing development at Westbury takes place. The steering group are exploring the potential of the Neighbourhood Plan to allocate sites to help meet Westbury’s community housing needs. By working at the grass roots local level, it has the potential to secure community led development and more affordable homes where the ‘big picture’ Local Plan cannot. Any housing allocation in the draft Neighbourhood Plan will be put forward to the community and only if there is general support, will housing be allocated in our Plan.
Our Neighbourhood Plan will also set out clear standards for how future development must protect and even enhance our town’s character, quality of life and sustainability. Policies will set out how new housing should help tackle, and not worsen, our local issues, including congestion and air pollution. Policy will require contributions to delivering our local transport solutions. Our plan will also challenge Westbury’s future homes to integrate efficient and renewable energy, electric car charging and cycle storage to ensure our future housing steps towards achieving a zero carbon rating in the coming years.
Wiltshire Local Plan and the Westbury Neighbourhood Plan will work together to plan for housing to meet Westbury’s community needs up until 2036.
It is important to note here that the emerging Wiltshire Local Plan has set out that it looks likely that a further 710 homes and 1ha (hectare) of employment land need to be planned for in Westbury in the period up to 2036. The Neighbourhood Plan cannot be used to block development and must plan positively for the future growth of the town in line with the Local Plan.
Find out more about the Local Plan here, Wiltshire Council Local Plan Review.
Draft objectives emerging through consultation and evidence base work to date:
- To raise the quality of new development through use of sustainable construction, methods and materials that reduce carbon emissions and energy demand, and to ensure that land made available for development will be developed in an efficient manner, in such a way as to improve people’s quality of life, for both new and existing residents.
- To secure well designed homes and places that integrate with and respond sensitively to the surrounding built and natural environment.
- To ensure the balanced delivery of the right type and mix of housing to meet current and future housing needs that is properly supported by infrastructure and key facilities needed by both current and future residents.
- To celebrate, enhance and protect Westbury’s historic character, from the townscape to the distinctive landscape.
- To enable and promote early, proactive and positive community engagement and involvement in the future development of the town.
To be achieved by:
- Review of potential sites available, to identify sites supported for allocation in the Local Plan and suitable for allocation in the Neighbourhood Plan to meet local housing needs and deliver community benefits.
- Understanding what local housing needs of the town are in terms of sizes of new homes, and the ways in which people buy or rent.
- A Character Statement setting out what the positive and valued local characteristics are of Westbury to inform and guide a high quality and locally distinctive design and layouts that enhance the character and identity of the town.
- A protocol for early pre-application local community engagement on development proposals.
Assessment of Housing Need and Potential Sites for Development: Taking information from Wiltshire Council, and from our own local call for possible housing sites we are working to understand more about the available sites, to see if they are suitable for future housing for Westbury, and if they are, what needs to be taken into account and delivered in terms of housing as well as green space, biodiversity, community facilities etc. Our evidence will allow Westbury Town to be more proactive in future development – either through allocation in the Neighbourhood Plan or through influencing the Wiltshire Local Plan. Work is continuing on this element, but an assessment of known potential sites was undertaken through technical grant support. The Working Group are continuing to explore whether any of these sites might be suitable to come forward through the Neighbourhood Plan. Available evidence to date is below.
View the Westbury Housing Needs Assessment
View the Westbury Site Options and Assessments
View the Wiltshire Council Sites Selection Report
Character Statement: Members of the working group have worked together with planning consultants to prepare an assessment of the character of the town – identifying the positive and distinctive characteristics of both our built and natural landscape that must be protected and should be used to inform high quality and locally distinctive development.
View the draft Character Statement
Building for a Healthy Life: This document is a national Design Code to help people improve the design of new and growing neighbourhoods. The aim of the Design Code is to structure those involved with proposed new development to focus their thoughts, discussions and efforts on the things that matter most when creating good places to live. BHL can help local communities to set clear expectations of new developments by offering a series of easy-to-understand considerations that will also allow local communities to more easily identify the qualities (or deficiencies) of development proposals.
View the Building for a Healthy Life Design Codes
Pre-application Community Engagement Protocol
The Westbury Pre-application Community Engagement Protocol is intended to facilitate a structured approach to enable effective, positive and early involvement of the local community in outline and full planning applications addressing all aspects of a proposal. It will underpin a policy in the Neighbourhood Plan.
View the Pre-application Community Engagement Protocol