We have been asked to provide some clarification regarding the need to “Call for Sites“.
You’ll already be aware that a neighbourhood plan enables the local community to make its own decisions about whether, how and where Crudwell Parish will grow, what areas should be protected, what infrastructure should be provided alongside any new development, and what any new development looks like.
One of the next steps for us is to produce our own housing needs assessment, so we can work out for ourselves how many new homes we will need in the next few years. Realistically, Crudwell Parish will probably need to provide some new housing, but the idea is that we will have better and more robust evidence to back up the number of new homes that we propose, than Wiltshire Council had in suggesting that Ridgeway Farm should be developed. Then we can make our own decisions about where any new housing should go.
The problem for us is that we are, to a certain extent, in a race against Wiltshire’s Housing Site Allocations Plan (which proposed Ridgeway Farm for housing development). We need to ensure that the neighbourhood plan is quite well progressed when Wiltshire’s Housing Site Allocations Plan is submitted for examination (which we expect to be April 2018), and even more so when the Housing Site Allocations Plan is examined (expected October 2018). This means that we need to do some tasks simultaneously, and this is why we need to ask landowners for potential development sites at the same time as working out how many new homes we need to provide for.
We will need to be open minded about where any new housing goes, so we need to provide everyone with an equal opportunity to promote their site. Then we can make a decision about the location of new housing based on robust evidence, which we must do if the neighbourhood plan is to pass all the necessary tests.
Mike Credicott, Crudwell Parish Councillor
Sian Burke-Murphy, Chairman, Crudwell Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee