Neighbourhood Planning: Westwood Update Special Edition

Westwood Parish Council has commissioned this Special Edition which is focussed solely on the very important topic of Neighbourhood Planning, the term used by central and local government to address the nation’s need for new housing and supporting services. In simple terms, there are central government targets for the provision of new housing, including the associated infrastructure and services, to meet the needs of a growing population, and each Local Authority must make their contribution to meeting those targets. Similarly, each Town and Parish Council will be expected to make a contribution to support their Local Authority. As there is a presumption that all Councils and Local Authorities will be positively supporting the needs of the nation, Westwood Parish will be expected to determine what types, how many and the locations of new housing in our area.  Special Edition Westwood Update

Plannning Applications

This will be a cause for considerable concern throughout our community, and we are already having to deal with planning applications for the building of new properties. However, Neighbourhood Planning is the formal process which has been defined to allow us, under the leadership of the Westwood Parish Council, with support from Wiltshire Council, to take ownership and control this key issue. It will enable us to determine the scope, scale and impacts of new housing developments within the parish boundaries.

Westwood Parish: Neighbourhood Planning Strategy

The planning strategy for the Westwood Parish is under development. The current version, which has been signed off by the Westwood Parish Council is located at  Neighbourhood Planning Strategy

Wiltshire Neighbourhood Planning Guide

Wiltshire County Council's Neighbourhood planning guide is located at planning guide

Neighbourhood planning reference material

Reference material

Neighbourhood Plan update

Copies of a consultation notice have recently been delivered to the households of Westwood Parish. Consultation dates have been arranged for 24th (7-9pm), 25th (7-9pm) and 26th (10am-4pm) September at the Westwood School
    The purpose of the consultation is to provide an opportunity for all parishioners to offer their opinion on the content of the Draft Neighbourhood Plan in relation to the provision of new housing. As the Neighbourhood Plan is an important document representing local views all households are encouraged to be involved and to attend one of the sessions.
    This consultation is being undertaken by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group in order to gather key information for the Neighbourhood Plan. A draft Neighbourhood Plan is to be submitted to the Parish Council in due course and it will be subject to extensive public consultation. The subject of housing provision in the Parish will form part of the draft Neighbourhood Plan.

Unfortunately no reply details were given for those wishing to respond via the leaflet and who are unable to attend the consultation sessions. Arrangements have been made with the village shop to collect such responses." 


Article published: 22 Sep 2015

Dear residents

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group wishes to thank all those who provided comments during the recent phase of consultation. This has given the group important information with which to develop the Neighbourhood Plan.

The group received around 200 individual responses, many of which made more than one comment, resulting in over 300 specific items being recorded. The purpose of this communication is to give you a brief report on the early findings.

The primary sources of comment were transport and facilities for villagers, followed by infrastructure and housing. Each of these areas of concern contained a number of issues raised, all of which will be taken on board. We will not, however, forget the other topics raised and will consider all comments accordingly.

The Parish Council Steering Group will now work to reflect the outcome of the public consultation in the shape of a draft Neighbourhood Plan, which it is expected will be available early next year. Further opportunities will then be provided for parishioners to be presented with the draft plan and provide further input in a series of consultation events.

Some comments received may not be appropriate for the Plan and may be passed to the Parish Council for action, although we would remind you that you can, and should, send concerns directly to other authorities, such as Wiltshire Council, for action, where appropriate.

John Bishop

Westwood Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group


Article published: 30 Nov 2014

Our Neighbourhood Plan

A Neighbourhood Development Plan is a statement of how a community would like their environment to evolve. It sets out a vision for the area and policies for the use and development of land. We would like to hear your comments on matters which you consider important in shaping the future of our community.

Very soon every household in the parish will be getting a leaflet describing how you can get involved in the creation of our plan. We hope that we will receive ideas and views from everyone.

Westwood Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group. (WNPSG) can be contacted from the Contact page

Article published: 01 Aug 2014

Neighbourhood Planning

Since the Special Edition of the Westwood Update last month, there has been a great deal of activity.

Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group [NPSG] : In addition to the 3 Parish Councillors, 8 members of the community and 3 organisations, which operate within the Parish, have applied to join the NPSG, making the current total of 14. Many others expressed an interest in being involved on occasions, although they could not commit their full time to the committee. This is a tremendous response which clearly demonstrates our concerns about future developments within the Parish boundary and, especially within the Westwood village, and the need to protect our Green Belt and areas of Conservation and Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Annual Parish Council: The Neighbourhood Planning process was a major topic on the agenda of our APM and which brought record numbers of parishioners to come along and participate. This was the first significant engagement and consultation with the community for the Parish Council to seek out, listen, understand and take note of all your issues and concerns, as well as the opportunities and next steps we should take collectively. To provoke comment on these matters, we worked on the following fictitious scenario which is based on a real potential threat, namely:

Scenario: To meet the requirement for new housing across the County, Wiltshire Council have asked the large villages of Holt, Winsley and Westwood to find locations in their Parishes for a total development of 100 new social and affordable homes.  Westwood is asked to provide a contribution of 25 new homes over the next 5 to 10 years. If necessary, Wiltshire Council will exercise their legal right to compulsorily purchase land in the Parish to fulfil their obligations, if positive and constructive local support cannot be found voluntarily.

When collated and analysed, a separate report of the APM workshop will be produced and published on our website, A further Special Edition of the Westwood Update may be necessary in June, following the first full NPSG.

Link Officer: Wiltshire Council have appointed Chris Roe, a Senior Planning Officer, Monitoring & Evidence in the Economic Development & Planning department, to provide subject matter expert to the Parish Council. Chris will work closely with Cllr. Ian Richardson who leads our Neighbourhood Planning process.

Consultation: The first consultation with the community took place at the end of the Annual Parish Meeting on 7th May. which was well attended by around 50 people. A full report of the issues, ideas and opportunities has been uploaded on to the Westwood Parish website

A summary of the workshop:

a. It was well attended by around 50 people.

b. There was excellent positive and constructive contribution. Most comments fall under either
Requirements [Demand-side] or Potential Solutions, based on a [fictitious] requirement for 25 new
homes [SUPPLY - side]

c. The next steps will to arrange various surveys and workshops which will be wholly dedicated to
Neighbourhood Planning, under the auspices of the NPSG.

d. There was no time for a full and proper discussion on this occasion, but all views and opinions
were captured and analysed.

7. [ the NPSG can be sent a message from the website Contact page ] 

Article published: 08 Jun 2014

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