Neighbourhood Plan

September 2018

The referendum to approve the Hilperton Neighbourhood Plan is scheduled for Thursday 1st November 2018. It will be conducted on the same lines as local and national elections with voting cards to be issued by Wiltshire Council shortly. To be made, the plan has to achieve a 50% +1 majority in favour by those who vote.

This is a major milestone for the village which is the culmination of 3 years hard work by the Parish Council and the Steering Group and was far from a straightforward exercise with a number of obstacles to overcome. For the first time we will have a guarantee of no development on the eastern (Village side) of the Gap as well as policies to improve the design of any new development that does happen elsewhere, protect historic buildings and much more. For legal reasons we could not extend the landscape policy to include the western side of the gap of the gap due to the Wiltshire Council HSAP proposals. However, the fight to protect that from development will continue by other means and the making of this plan will undoubtedly help.

The Steering Group and the Parish Council is hoping for a high turnout and of course a vote in favour. There will be no second opportunity and a vote against will leave the village with no protection from developers.

The Plan and its supporting documents can be downloaded below:

Progress Report August 2018

The Hilperton Neighbourhood Plan has just passed a major milestone. The Plan has been examined by an independent Examiner and been approved subject to minor modifications for clarity and to correct some small errors. This is a great achievement for the plan and is the result of a lot of work by the Steering Group, the community and our planning consultant.

We are pleased to announce that The Examiner’s Report has been accepted by Wiltshire Council and a schedule of changes has been issued. Our consultant will be incorporating these and the final version of the Neighbourhood Plan will be published soon.

The final step in plan production is the Referendum, where the community gets to vote on the plan. The Referendum will take place within the next 2 months. This will be well advertised in advance and the process will be managed by Wiltshire Council in a similar way to a General or Local Election.

The plan is great news for Hilperton residents. Whilst for legal reasons we were unable to block the strategic site proposed by Wiltshire Council west of Elizabeth Way, for the first time we have a guarantee that there will be no development on the Hilperton Gap on the eastern (village) side of the road. The fight for the western (Trowbridge) side of Elizabeth Way is not yet lost, but it has to be fought by methods other than the Neighbourhood Plan. However, its acceptance may well help this fight. There are also policies to improve the design of any new development that does happen, protect historic buildings, improve sustainable transport and ensure the village gets the infrastructure it needs.
Everyone should read the plan and the Steering Group of local volunteers hopes that the whole community will turn out to vote YES when the time comes.

Copies of the Examiners Report and the Wiltshire Council Decision Statement are attached. We will be publishing the Plan within the next week or so

Progress Report May 2018

A further update on the progress of the Hilperton Neighbourhood Development Plan (HNDP). The Examiner, Ms Rosemary Kidd has now completed her initial review of the draft plan and submitted a series of questions to be considered partly by the Parish Council as the Qualifying Body (QB) and partly by Wiltshire Council as the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The questions are primarily of a technical nature and included some suggested of revisions to wording to improve clarity. The Steering Group with the help of our consultant prepared a draft response which the Parish Council approved with minor changes at its meeting on 15th May 2018.

We received the LPA draft response to the Examiners questions on 18th May 2018 and these were reviewed by the Steering Group on 23rd May 2018. Though the two responses are broadly in line there were some points made by the LPA which require clarification, particularly relating to a further Habitat Regulation Assessment which the LPA is carrying out. The timescale and potential impact of this is unknown.

A meeting is being set up with the LPA with the aim of providing a joint agreed response that can be submitted to the Examiner. It is hoped that this meeting will take place before the end of May. This process was anticipated and the HNDP project remains on timescale.

Progress Report March 2018

Firstly, apologies for the lengthy gap between updates. No excuses, it just got overlooked during the significant activity to progress the plan to its current state.

The regulation 14 consultation period closed on 30th June 2017 and as was expected generated a large number of responses some supportive some criticising the plan. In addition, during the period of consultation Wiltshire Council produced its Draft Housing Land Allocation Plan which included a proposed allocation of housing on the eastern (Trowbridge side) of the Hilperton Gap. As a result, the draft Hilperton Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) had to be revised to take account of both the consultation comments and the draft Wiltshire Council plan.

The revised NDP was completed in November 2017 and submitted to Wiltshire Council for review which identified no further significant issues. The Revised NDP and its supporting documents can be downloaded from the Wiltshire Council website using the link below.  Wiltshire Council then carried out the Regulation 16 stage of the consultation process during which further comments were invited. This consultation process ran from Mid December 2017 and ended on 2nd February 2018. More information on this consultation process can be found at:

The next stage of the process is a formal examination of the Hilperton NDP together with any comments made as a result of the Regulation 16 consultation. Wiltshire Council has appointed Ms Rosemary Kidd as the examiner. A start date has yet to be confirmed but it is hoped that it will begin in April 2018 and is expected to take 6-8 weeks. We understand that the examination will be largely a desk exercise and it is not expected that there will be any public hearings. However, that is of course entirely in the hands of the examiner.

The subsequent stages depend a great deal on the outcome of the examination. Worst case is that the draft plan is found deficient in some measure and has to be significantly revised; possibly requiring further consultation. Best case is that the examiner will be accept the draft plan with only minor revisions in which case we can progress fairly quickly to a public referendum for the residents to vote on the acceptance of the plan. This requires a simple 51% majority in favour. No date can be set as yet for the referendum but it will be widely publicised and hopefully take place mid 2018. Once the plan has been accepted it has the force of law and has to be taken into account when any future planning applications are submitted.


The draft Hilperton NDP and all its supporting documents can be downloaded from:

Progress Report 12th May 2017

After some delays caused by the change in parish boundary which came into force on 1st April 2017, I am delighted to report that we now have a draft plan and supporting documents which can be published. The documents are available for download below.  The next stage of the project is a 6 week consultation period during which various statutory bodies and of course parish residents can submit comments on the draft plan.

The consultation period runs until 30th June 2017 and a form on which comments can be made is also available for download. Printed copies of the documents will be on display by 20th May 2017 at various locations including the Churches, village hall, the primary school,  garden centre, Lion & Fiddle and Trowbridge library. There will also be a presentation on the draft plan at the village fete on 10th June 2017 where copies of the response form will also be available.

Once all the comments have been received and analysed, they will, where appropriate be incorporated into the documents which  will then be sent to Wiltshire Council for examination. Eventually a referendum will be held on the agreed plan which will only be adopted if the majority vote in favour.

If you want more information or wish to be involved with the project, please email


Draft Neighbourhood Plan
Scoping Report
Draft Consultation Statement
Response Form  (Two formats of this document available – Adobe PDF and  Microsoft Word docx)

Progress Report 1st December 2016
A huge amount of background research and analysis has been taking place over the last few months and the project is still very much alive but nothing particularly exciting to report until recently. We have completed the draft scoping report to provide the evidence base for any proposals and a first draft of the Plan. This was submitted to Wiltshire Council on 1st December 2016 for inspection and a decision as to whether further investigatory work is required including something called a Strategic Environmental Assessment. This inspection is expected to take around 6 weeks and the next stage depends on their decision.

There is still a long way to go before getting to a public consultation on the recommended plan. However, we have come a long way in a remarkably short time thanks to a lot of hard work by a dedicated team of volunteers. Ernie Clark, Chair of the Parish Council has asked that a public vote of thanks be recorded to those involved on the Steering Group and all those who helped with other tasks including distribution of questionnaires and survey forms

Final Version of the Questionnaire Analysis

Wednesday 13th July 2016

View the Final version of the questionnaire analysis which will now form part of the Plan documentation when published.

Extract of the Consultation Statement
Sunday 11th September 2016

Neighbourhood Plan Community Engagement

Steering Group Update
Thursday 26th May 2016

A questionnaire which is the first stage in the consultation process is currently being delivered to all addresses in Hilperton Parish and neighbouring locations. This questionnaire can be responded too on-line if you prefer by following this link.

Closing date for the survey is 29th June 2016.

The Neighbourhood Plan

Neighbourhood Planning is a new initiative by the Government to allow local communities to influence how their neighbourhood’s might develop; see Neighbourhood Planning – A guide for Wiltshire’s parish and town councils. An inaugural meeting was held in December 2015 and there was sufficient interest for a Hilperton and East Trowbridge Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to be formed in January 2016. This is a major piece of work that is anticipated will take around two years. The current members of the Steering Group are listed below but more volunteers are welcome.

Toby King (Chair), Peter Fielding (Communications), Sarah Schofield, Ernie Clark, Jacqui Clark, Louise Fowler, Roland Hall, Heidi Hart, Chris Hicks, Mike Jacobs, Ian Jamieson, Richard Jamieson, Jane Linham, Jenny Martin, Sharon Meade, Christine O’Doherty, James O’Doherty, Steve Oldrieve, Eileen Parfitt, Amanda Park    Michael Perry, Sara Robert, Tony Short, Mary Tapping, Pam Turner.

We have a Facebook group which you might like to bookmark; it will be updated regularly. If you want to get involved please use the contact form below, join our Facebook group or speak to anyone on the Steering Group. In due course there will be wide consultation on both the scope of the Plan and its vision. This is your chance to have a say in how our community evolves.