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Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Community Area Strategy

The core strategy is a key document and will inform future development in the community area. Here is an excerpt from Wiltshire Core Strategy Consultation Document • • Page 115
http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/planninganddevelopment/planningpolicy/wiltshirecorestrategy/wcsconsult2011.htm - and the link takes you to the complete draft strategy and consultation documents - make your views known by following the link and making your comments

5.20 Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Community Area Strategy
5.20.1 The community area is located in the north-east of Wiltshire and contains the historic market towns of Wootton Bassett and Cricklade.

Wootton Bassett is the largest town within the community area, located approximately 6 miles from Swindon and 2 miles from the M4, and as such is ideally located to develop into an important employment centre. However, the town currently functions as a dormitory settlement to Swindon and experiences high levels of out-commuting.

5.20.2 Cricklade is a smaller settlement which nevertheless performs an important role as a local service centre. Although improvements to the retail and other facilities in the town would be welcome,some housing development would also be needed to create a critical mass to support any improvements.

5.20.3 RAF Lyneham, a significant UK military base, is located 4 miles to the south west of Wootton Bassett, and strong links between the base and the town exist. However, RAF Lyneham as anoperational facility for the RAF is set to close by September 2012 and with its future use unclear,the impact on Wootton Bassett and the surrounding area may be significant. Lyneham itself isdominated by the RAF base and has a relatively small population and employment base outsideof the military presence. This situation will require ongoing engagement by the council and
Community with the MoD.

5.20.4 Wootton Bassett has been identified as a location for new strategic employment growth. The townhas a smaller employment base than might be expected for a town of its size and it clearly acts as a dormitory settlement to Swindon. A large number of MoD personnel live in Wootton Bassett,and the issue of RAF Lyneham and other MoD sites closing must be considered. However, the town has a varied employment base beyond the MoD and should be relatively resilient to mass job losses. The strategic location of Wootton Bassett and low number of jobs compared to the population provides an opportunity to expand the employment base significantly.Therefore WoottonBassett will be the location of strategic employment growth to help reduce out commuting.

5.20.5 Housing growth in the main settlements will help improve their vitality and create a critical mass to deliver improvements in infrastructure.

However, given that there are a number of existing outstanding housing commitments; future housing growth in Wootton Bassett should be phased to enable infrastructure delivery alongside housing growth. Specific issues to be addressed in planning for the Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Community Area, include: housing growth in the community area will help deliver affordable housing to respond to the identified need.

Development in Wootton Bassett provides an opportunity to help improve the existing poor provision of pedestrian and cycle linkages in the town.

As Wootton Bassett is located close to the M4 it provides an excellent location for future
employment growth. However, this should be balanced to improve the mix of employment
opportunities in the town and thereby help reduce out-commuting.

A mix of employment development alongside housing is also important for Cricklade and
appropriate proposals for mixed development will be supported.

Main food shopping trips from Wootton Bassett are currently lost to neighbouring towns, including Calne and so the development of additional convenience retail in the town may be appropriate if a suitable site is identified. This would improve the retention of convenience trade in the town and also its overall vitality.

identifying appropriate future uses of RAF Lyneham is recognised as an important task and
will be investigated through a separate Development Plan Document to be led by the local
community.

There are a number of environmental constraints around Wootton Bassett, including areas
prone to flooding and a SSSI to the south which will need to be considered and appropriately
protected before selecting any sites for future housing growth.

Further work is needed to identify how improvements to the recreational facilities in the
community area can be delivered. These include Ballards’ Ash Sports Hub, Cricklade Country
Way and the restoration of the Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal.

The community area may be seen as being at risk from unchecked expansion of the nearby
higher order centre of Swindon. Imposition of a rural buffer as a line on a map is not permitted
in a Core Strategy by Government guidance. However, protecting the open countryside, as
well as the uniqueness of individual settlements, both of which the Core Strategy recognises
are prized objectives by the local community, are therefore an important objective for this
strategy and will be taken forward by appropriate and strong policy mechanisms.

How do we expect Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Community Area to change by 2026?

5.20.6 Wootton Bassett will continue to function as the main service centre within the community area.

Cricklade will perform a similar role, but with a more local focus. The separate identity of both
Wootton Bassett and Cricklade will have been maintained and enhanced where appropriate.

The retail offer of Wootton Bassett will have been enhanced and the town will enjoy a good supply of housing including affordable dwellings.

The town will have an appropriate level of facilities for its size, with a hub for sports provision at Ballards Ash.
 People within the community area will have access to a range of jobs within the town, which will have helped to alleviate the existing highlevels of out-commuting.

5.20.7 The closure of Ministry of Defence sites, and in particular RAF Lyneham, will have been managed to ensure the best outcomes for the local community and economy