As Salisbury City Council (SCC) currently consult with the public and other stakeholders about its proposals for development at Churchfields, Wiltshire Council has clarified its position on the plans.
The consultation being held by SCC will help inform and shape its emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan, which will be published for formal comments later this year.
All Neighbourhood Plans must conform to policies in the adopted Wiltshire Council Local Plan and cannot contain or duplicate strategic or high-level policies that are included in the Local Plan.
The emerging Salisbury plan potentially includes two contentious sites in the city – Churchfields and Quidhampton Quarry – and if these sites are included in the final draft plan, Wiltshire Council says they will object, as these sites are already part of the Local Plan.
Ultimately the Examiner will determine the matter, but according to Wiltshire Council, SCC is aware of this conflict and wishes to gauge public opinion on various elements of their plan prior to formal submission to Wiltshire Council.
Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, commented, “We have been holding constructive conversations with Salisbury City Council about its emerging Neighbourhood Plan and have advised we will object to the plan if the council continues to include strategic sites such as Churchfields as potential development sites.
“We do not think that some of the sites chosen are appropriate for housing development. We are currently undertaking a Local Plan Review, and that is the proper place to consider the future of strategic sites such as Churchfields and Quidhampton Quarry – and we should not look to pre-empt this process.
“However, we do recognise that SCC wishes to provide sites for housing and to gauge public opinion on many proposals within its forthcoming plan, but we have advised that SCC shouldn’t be pursuing these two sites at this time.
“We would need to consider our response to any formal Neighbourhood Plan submission when it is made, but SCC is aware of our objections to these sites.
“We will continue to keep an open dialogue with SCC and work constructively together on the Salisbury Neighbourhood Plan.”
You can read more about the Salisbury City Council plans for Churchfields here.